18 things you can count on happening at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival


We all know that the Olympics kick off today, but what about entertainment for the less athletically inclined among us? Never fear, because today also marks the beginning of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

With 50,266 performances planned for this year and 3,269 shows (643 of which are free), the choice for festivalgoers is endless.

For newbies and veterans alike, we've compiled a list of the 18 fail-safe things that will happen if you're hitting the Fringe this year.

(Danny Lawson/PA)

1. You try a free show and it's painfully unfunny, so you vow never to go into a random free show again.

2. The next day you are coerced into another one and it's actually hilarious.

3. You pack as though you're going on a summer holiday, but get to Edinburgh and realise that it's Scotland and it will therefore rain most of the time.

4. When in Rome! You sample the various Scottish whiskies and beers on offer, until the cold of the outdoor bars ceases to bother you.

5. You have a huge Scottish fry-up for breakfast to help battle the sampling of the night before.

6. You get harassed by someone flyering on the Royal Mile who acts like his life depends on you coming to their show.

7. You agree to go to a show purely out of pity for said flyerer.

8. You pick a show just for its name - the sillier the better.

9. You plan on going to approximately 25 shows a day. Needless to say this isn't achieved.

10. A comedian or performer picks you from the crowd and you are forced to do something hideously embarrassing.

11. You find yourself in the depths of Underbelly in the early hours of the morning, watching some cabaret and vowing to quit your job to join the circus.

12. You get lost running from one venue to the other. Why does Edinburgh have to be so hilly?

13. When you're taking a breather from legging it to your next show, you remember that Edinburgh is actually a really pretty city.

14. While stuffing your face with a burger in-between shows at the Pleasance Courtyard, you inevitably spot Russell Howard.

15. You go to what you think is a hilarious stand-up showcase, but it turns out to be a serious dramatic piece exploring the impact of climate change.

16. You accidentally spend an hour sitting watching the same street performance, wondering for the umpteenth time why you grew up learning the violin and not BREATHING FIRE.


17. You see something really weird, like a performer casually dislocating his whole body. Only at the Fringe.

18. You try Irn-Bru because you're in Scotland, quickly to remember that there's a reason why you don't drink it all year round.

Let's be honest, you can't really predict what's going to happen when you go to the Fringe - but you can count on it being weird and wonderful.

(David Cheskin/PA)