Edinburgh Fringe The Alternative Guide

Hurrah! Congratulations. The arts and wonder appealed to you, and you’ve made the decision to journey to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer. It welcomes you with open arms.


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But wait. It’s all very well and good to yell “Hurrah!” and frolic the streets clicking your heels, but what happens now? There are plans to be made, phone calls to be made, and more importantly tickets to be booked. The Edinburgh Fringe ain’t like every other summer festival going.

We’re all aware of how the festival tends to take over our eyes and ears when it gets to August. Not only that, but the world wide web is cluttered with tips and guides on how to survive the festival, and it can be hard to decipher the wisest morsels of knowledge from these. Especially when we all know that everything on the internet that you read is true. So I’ve taken it upon myself to provide you with an alternative guide, complete with tips and challenges (if you will) to allow you to really and truly make the most of the festival.

You’re welcome.

1) Make new friends!
Why not! Who doesn’t love the Scottish accent? Actually, ignore that. But here’s a fun game: try and meet someone new, and at least one from each continent. Not only is it a great cultural learning opportunity, but you can gather opinions on what’s good to see, from the real punters who’ve been there.

2) Perform!
Theatre originates from the latin ‘theatrum’, meaning “to spontaneously dance in the streets of the northern regions”*. Whether it’s an improvised interpretive dance or an impromptu hip-hop rendition of our National Anthem, don’t be afraid to exclaim and entertain. Leave the ‘being afraid’ to the public…

*factual accuracy of this statement cannot be ensured.

3) Document it!
Keep a journal, bring along a video camera or even just your phone. You don’t want to experience the festival through a lens, but a few memories of the vibrant street atmosphere will be invaluable. And besides, who will believe you when you claim to have seen a street performance of a heavy metal interpretation of Bizet’s Carmen set to the backdrop of a 1920s speakeasy (in Japanese)? Not many.

4) See and experience everything.
Just like any other year, at the Edinburgh Fringe 2010 there will be so much to choose from and discover. See someone you’ve never heard of before, and be open to every genre. You learn something new every day, and even if that is that you will never again see a heavy metal interpretation of Bizet’s Carmen set to the backdrop of a 1920s speakeasy (in Japanese), at least you’ll always know.

5) Play Edinburgh Fringe Festival Bingo!
To be explained further in the coming weeks…