The Edinburgh Fringe – A True Spectacle

I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile has been transformed! Normally you can find two or three buskers up near the castle but for the next three weeks you’ll see dozens and dozens, each one more wild than the next!

Of course I had heard of the Fringe Festival before, but I really didn’t know much about it. Once opening day grew closer and we started seeing the performers popping up around town I was a little bit confused about exactly how you’re supposed to participate. It seemed so overwhelming with just too much going on.

We quickly learned that you just need your feet and an open mind. As you arrive on the mile you’ll see all of the above, and you’ll be handed flyers by every other person on the street. Some of the performers are truly buskers who’s only gig is to gather a crowd on the street and do their thing for tips. They are by far the best value. Most of the street performers have a true talent, and all they ask is for two or three pounds as a thanks for their efforts. I paid that for a cup of coffee, and had no problem tossing it into their hats. Most of the costumed buskers who’s only schtick was to stand (or sit) nicely for photos got 50 pence, or maybe a pound. If you go, bring a pocket full of coins. You’ll need them to toss into the hats, bowls and boxes, and you’ll wish you brought more.

The rest are previews trying to draw your attention so they can invite you to come see their paid show at one of the local venues nearby. All of the venues are within walking distance, and most shows cost between five and ten pounds. If you’re interested in a show, make sure to ask the flyer guy (or girl, or alien) about discount tickets. Most seem to have a two for one deal if you ask, or a secret password to get in half price.

We spent the first hour or so yesterday gathering flyers and gawking at everyone, then we sat down for lunch and sorted through those flyers to choose who we wanted to see. Two kebabs and a pint of beer later and we were on our way to see The Medicine Show. (See the photo up at the top of this post of the couple with the black and white painted faces? That’s them.)

We got lost looking for the venue and popped into a local shop to ask for directions. Not only did we get directions from two very nice ladies, they also gave us the two for one password. Score!

We saw a one hour very odd but very entertaining show for seven pounds. It was so worth it! Especially when Brian got pulled up on the stage and got to be part of the show. He even got a free beer out of it.

What will we see today? We have no idea, but it will be memorable, that’s for sure!

On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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8 Responses to The Edinburgh Fringe – A True Spectacle

  1. Tonito August 4, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    Another great post and photos! :) BTW This guy in the mirror suite seems to be a permanent fixture in Edinburgh as he was there when I was there for a weekend trip! :)
    Tonito recently posted..Around the Island in one day – Another day in the life of a Madeira touristMy Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      August 4, 2012 at 4:25 am #

      Thank you! Yes, I’ve seen him before, along with the Invisible Man (who’s photo I missed). They were both up closer to the castle and not in the midst of the Fringe craziness. Still fun though!
      akil3655 recently posted..The Edinburgh Fringe – A True SpectacleMy Profile

  2. Jennifer Souza August 4, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Wow. I’ve heard of The Fringe Festival but really didn’t know what it was.

    I’m a fan of that Yoda.

    Super cool!

  3. Angela
    Twitter: Acook2121
    August 4, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Love you pics, feel like I am there, Logan’s favourtie was the invisible man, the lifelike status creep me out, lol. Love this time of year we were lucky last year that our visit was during the Fringe, love the craziness. My Sis and boyfriend sit down with a schedule and cram in as many shows as they can, its mad!
    Angela recently posted..Scottish Recipes – Strawberry Shortbread CreamsMy Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      August 4, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      We got really lucky. I didn’t realized when we accepted this house sitting gig that it was during Fringe time. Free luxury accommodation within walking distance to the mile? I’ll take it!

      Bryce liked the Invisible man when he was here too. I think my favorite is the pierced woman. She’s just so unbelievable!
      akil3655 recently posted..The Edinburgh Fringe – A True SpectacleMy Profile

  4. Cherina August 5, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Ah, way to make me nostalgic for that city I love, and miss, so much!!

    Great photos of the festival guys! It’s such a vibrant time to be in Edinburgh. Hope the house sitting is still going well! :)
    Cherina recently posted..Travel and Adventure: How to be a More Adventurous TravellerMy Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      August 5, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      The house sitting is going really well, we love where we are and have been so lucky to be so close to everything we want to see. I’m so happy we’ve had time to spend in Edinburgh, and happy that we’ll be here for at least several more weeks (in a different flat though).

      Thanks for the compliment! I’m having such a great time shooting here.