How to… enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe on a budget
1. Keep things friendly
Consider joining the Friend of the Fringe scheme, which not only supports the festival but also gets you discounts on some of the shows. There are various levels of ‘friendship’, but even the basic level (for 2015 the yearly payment is £30) entitles you not only to show discounts but also 10% off fringe merchandise. Visit www.edfringe.com for details of the scheme.
2. Take the high road
Accommodation in Edinburgh is notoriously expensive at fringe time (if not booked out altogether). Consider staying further afield – frugal festival goers have been known to base themselves in nearby towns such as Perth.
3. Get appy
Keep checking the official fringe website and download the fringe app – both often carry news of half-price ticket deals and shows. These tend to change on a daily basis and offers for popular shows get snapped up very quickly.
4. Go from blogging to blagging
With so many shows fighting for attention, there really is no such thing as bad publicity at the fringe. It’s probably too late to start a blog this close to the festival but if you already write one and have a reasonable number of subscribers – whether specifically arts-related or not – or if you have a high number of followers on your other social media pages, you might just be able to get on one of the smaller show’s guest list in return for helping out with promotion.
5. Be streetwise
There is a lot of excellent street entertainment to be found at the fringe, both from visiting performers promoting their ‘indoor shows’ and from very experienced street performers for whom ‘all the world’s a stage’ the whole year round. (While this is an excellent way to enjoy good performances cheaply, don’t be that person who watches a full show and then slopes off without putting even a penny in the hat afterward – remember that your fellow performers on and off the Edinburgh streets are usually working on an even tighter budget than you are).