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EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Guide To The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Guide To The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be my 19th Edfringe as a punter and my 6th covering with BroadwayWorld, so here are a few tips that I've picked up over the years!

Plan

If you have limited time at the festival, I strongly advise planning your day. Shows run to a fairly strict schedule (performers are fined if they run over), so take note of start times and length.

When calculating travel time between venues, remember that everything looks closer on a map and that Edinburgh is full of hills. If you're overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme then have a read of our top recommendations in comedy, theatre, cabaret, musicals and family shows!

But also - don't plan

While planning is typically how I operate at the Fringe, sometimes it's nice to just go with the flow. Flyerers can seem pushy when you're in a hurry, but if you have the time, it's worth letting them tell you about their show.

You may also hear recommendations when you get to the festival or see a review for a show once you've already booked for something else. Allow yourself some flexibility, because spontaneous decisions are one of the best things about the Fringe!

Step outside your comfort zone

I had a last-minute cancellation of a show one year just as I received an invitation to go to a circus performance. While it wasn't something I would have ordinarily chosen, it wound up being one of my favourite shows of that Fringe.

Basic survival

It's all too easy to get carried away and schedule back-to-back shows, but remember your basic survival needs. There are many pop-up food outlets during the festival, but they can be fairly pricey if you are staying for a while.

Between the Pleasance venues on Waverley bridge there's a Tesco Metro and a Sainsbury's Local, which are excellent for stocking up on snacks and drinks. I would recommend always carrying water with you, as some venues can overheat and others are dry and dusty - nobody wants you to have a coughing fit!

Sleep

I know, I know, I'm laughing as I write it. With some shows running until 2am and others beginning at 9am, it's difficult to see where you're going to fit in a solid eight hours of snooze. If all else fails - caffeine.

Wi-fi

Edinburgh is pretty well equipped with free public wi-fi, especially at the Fringe. Starbucks is an obvious choice, but often busy. The Pleasance is my favourite spot for checking emails and writing reviews. Both Pleasance venues have reliable free wi-fi, comfy chairs and serve hot food. The Bristo Square location also has ATMs, which don't charge fees.

Check, double-check and triple-check your venue!

I have been attending the Fringe for around 20 years, and I still find myself at the Pleasance Dome when I'm meant to be at the Pleasance Courtyard. Most of the same-named venues are reasonably close together, but that isn't helpful when you realise five minutes before show start!

The worst ones to watch out for are the Assembly venues, which are spread a little further and it can take you a good half-hour to make your way across town. Don't get overly confident if you've been to the Fringe before - venues can move location!

Dress appropriately

Edinburgh weather has a mind of its own, and it's easy to find yourself unprepared. I've sat in venues where the temperature has hit both extremes - it's advisable to wear layers and you can adapt to either. Rain is inevitable, so I would recommend packing some kind of waterproof with a hood. The Royal Mile especially gets very crowded and nobody wants to be poked in the eye with an umbrella.

Taking sunscreen might seem wildly optimistic, but if the sun does make an appearance you don't want to get burned! Sensible footwear is also very important, as you will be walking a lot and many of the streets in Edinburgh are cobbled and uneven.

Think we've missed anything? Tweet us @BWWScotland and let us know!



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From This Author Natalie O'Donoghue

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