Throughout August, Edinburgh comes alive with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. But with both taking place in the same city at the same time, how do you tell them apart? Here’s a quick guide to their main differences:
The Edinburgh Festival hosts world class performances of opera, classical music, theatre and dance. The Edinburgh Fringe hosts performing dogs, certain adult themed puppet shows and spaghetti juggling contests.
Artists and companies participating in the Edinburgh Festival appear at the invitation of the Festival Director. Artists and companies participating in the Edinburgh Fringe just appear. And if they can’t book a stage to perform on, hell they’ll just do their show right there in the street!
At the Edinburgh Festival, performances are approved by festival organisers. At the Edinburgh Fringe, anyone can perform anything they like (see performing dogs, adult themed puppet shows and spaghetti juggling above).
Patrons at the Edinburgh Festival select which performance they’d like to attend based on descriptions in a glossy brochure. At the Edinburgh Fringe, visitors select which performance they’d like to attend based on how much alcohol they’ve consumed and who’s walking up and down the Royal Mile shouting the loudest.
At the Festival, tickets cost anywhere between £15 and £60. At the Edinburgh Fringe, hundreds of shows are free and many more only charge a few pounds. There are probably even a few performers who’ll pay you if you look hard enough.
And the biggest difference between the Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe?
The Edinburgh Fringe makes more money than the Edinburgh Festival and all the other festivals that take place in Edinburgh across the year – put together!
In fact, a whopping 75% of all the money taken at Edinburgh’s cultural festivals across the whole year is generated by the Fringe, because despite its significantly lower ticket prices – well, they’ve got performing dogs, dodgy looking puppets and spaghetti jugglers.
Image: “Edinburgh Castle by Aaron_Caskey, on Flickr”