Full Guide to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024: Must-See Shows and Events

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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a world-renowned event that takes place every August in the beautiful Scottish capital. It was first conceived as a fringe event to the Edinburgh International Festival but has since become the big event in Edinburgh each year.

There is no fringe about it. If you live in or near to Edinburgh as a student or you love going to theatre shows and want to head up to Scotland this summer to see some great new and exciting theatre, comedy, dance, and music, this is a guide to what you can expect from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2024.


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What is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

It was first conceived as a fringe event to the official Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) back during the first edition of that event in 1947. The EIF does still exist in a similar format as it did back then, but the fringe has become the bigger event, known worldwide as a massive festival with thousands of shows throughout Edinburgh every single year, but especially famous for stand-up comedy. The Fringe always runs for three weeks up until the August bank holiday weekend and this year that is August 2nd to August 26th, 2024.

One of the beautiful and interesting things about the Fringe is that events take place in hundreds of weird and wonderful places, from legitimate theatre venues to former medical schools, in the student union, upstairs in pubs, downstairs in bars, at outside venues and tiny rooms. You could go see a show with hundreds of other people or be in a small room with just you and the performer on barely a stage, you never know what to expect.


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Buying tickets

Tickets are generally up to £20 max in cost, but you can find many cheaper tickets and there are some offers we’ll talk about shortly. Seating is hardly ever reserved, so to get the best seats in the house you just need to be a bit canny and clever with when and how you queue for events.

You can purchase tickets for shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 24 hours a day online. After the programme launches on 12th June, tickets are also available in person at the Box Office or via the telephone. It is also worth downloading the Edinburgh Fringe Festival App for the latest ticket information, e-tickets and guides.

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The Half-Price Hut

There are so many shows going on every single day during the festival, and the Half Price Hut is where you can find half-price tickets for shows coming up that very same day (or for shows the next morning). This is a fantastic way to discover new talent and to try out shows that you otherwise might not have looked at or been able to afford. It opens on the first Wednesday of the festival after the 2for1 days have finished and the physical hut is located at the Fringe Box Office at Old Assembly Close on the High Street.

2for1 Day

On the first Monday and Tuesday of the Fringe (on the 5th and 6th of August this year), all shows have the chance to take part in the 2for1 offer. This is where you can purchase 2, or multiples of two, full-price tickets with a discount automatically applied. Another great way to experience the Fringe without it costing you too much money. Access for the arts is always important.



If you live in student accommodation in Edinburgh or have friends who live there, that is the ideal situation to experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. If you haven’t got that, it can be expensive to stay there during August, as prices have gone up significantly in recent years. There are still some cheap rentals available, hostels and sharing with other people, or you could look to stay outside of Edinburgh for a much lower cost and get the train in for events and to explore every day. Even Glasgow is only an hour away by train, so as long as you can plan to spend most of the day and evening in the capital and make the last train back.

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Shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Here are some examples of shows that you can take in this year if you are visiting the Fringe.

Sh!t Theatre: Or What’s Left of Us

This experimental show runs from 1st August to 25th August,  a shambolic, profound and funny show from Becca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole. Their shows are always politically engaging and a lot of fun, with a good sing-around in the Summerhall bar at the end of the folk music show.

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Every Brilliant Thing

This drama from Duncan Macmillan is a beautiful monologue about a boy listing reasons for his depressed mum to stay alive, and then as an adult, why he should stay alive. This is a new production of a show marking its tenth anniversary at the Fringe with the original star, Jonny Donahoe, back again. It is an unmissable Fringe staple.

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Natalie Palamides: Weer

The world premiere of ‘Weer’ at the Traverse Theatre, Natalia Palamides is back, 6 years after the idiosyncratic ‘Nate’ show that brought critical acclaim. This is the new solo show for the clown princess, and one to look out for.

Performers in a show

Ahir Shah: Ends

At the Pleasance Courtyard, Ahir Shah brings his highly acclaimed show to the Fringe between the 12th and 23rd of August this year. Last year, it was only meant to be a work-in-progress show but it went so well it won the top comedy award of the festival. It’s a show about what his grandfather (who arrived in the UK in 1965) would make of the UK today

people watching a show

Fringe street events

Even if you are in Edinburgh during the Fringe but don’t have any tickets planned for any shows, there is still a buzz and excitement on the street every single day. There is an explosion of art, music, sights and sounds, where you can see a diverse range of street entertainers wherever you happen to be wandering throughout the day. Always be prepared for potential cold and rain (as this is Scotland in summer after all!), and if you carry some small cash, many of the street performers are making a living for performance so a little donation can go a long way.

You’ll discover street performers right in the very heart of Edinburgh, on the High Street and the Royal Mile, Hunter Square and the Mound Precinct. For street performers, there are buskers, magicians, circus acts, living statues, live shows, and of course, plenty of audience participation.

As Edinburgh is really, really busy for the entirety of the festival, we would always recommend walking as much as you can, as this gives you the easiest way to reach venues but also to soak up the atmosphere, experience the vibrancy of the street performers, grab some tasty food and drinks on the go and just enjoy the city.

If you are planning on visiting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, or you are interested in a city break at another time of year when it might be a little bit easier to find transport and accommodation in this fine city, there are plenty of famous Edinburgh landmarks, places to visits, cultural events to experience, great food, music, sport, and comedy, as well as fantastic history and nature to explore. It is one of the best cities around, and should definitely be on your bucket list, especially the Edinburgh Fringe itself if you ever get a chance to visit.