Edinburgh Festival visitors flock to BBC's pop-up venue

On Friday 3rd August we welcomed the first of our Edinburgh Festival visitors to the BBC’s pop-up venue at the heart of the Fringe. Since opening, people every day have enjoyed:

-    The big blue tent where our broadcast content and masterclasses are held;

-    The smaller pink tent which is home to free live music, stand-up comedy, poetry and cabaret plus the café-bar;

-    The radio studio which, when not on air, is used for hands-on workshops with community groups and Fringe goers;

-    Local food trucks, Ping-Pong, deckchairs, a green screen, iPads to keep up-to-date with the latest Olympic news and a big screen can all be found in the garden between the two tents.

Kicking off proceedings was Patrick Kielty with his live Radio 2 show to an audience on-site of 300 and guests including Tim Vine, Lucy Porter, Marcus Brigstocke and Shappi Khorsandi with music from Scouting for Girls.

The BBC venue at Potterrow was the place to be for Super Saturday Olympic viewing as well as the Closing Ceremony with our Big Screen and stunning weather drawing in the crowds for gold medal moments from Team GB.  This being Edinburgh in August, the heavens opened for CBBC & CBeebies Sunday when we opened the blue tent to younger Fringe fans.  Stars of CBeebies ‘Show me Show me’ Chris and Pui entertained audiences inside the tent whilst a face-painter kept the rain-soaked audiences happy in the garden between shows.

Since then, 6Music have debuted at the Fringe with Shaun Keaveny’s Breakfast show and Radio Scotland’s MacAulay and Co, Festival Café and Christopher Brookmyre all back for another year.  We’ve explored the neuroscience of Comedy with Professor Sophie Scott in a special part-gig, part-experiment as part of our BBC Learning-supported masterclasses and workshops plus a special screening of Nina Conti’s BBC Four documentary ‘Her Master’s Voice’ with a Q&A afterwards hosted by Arthur Smith.

This week  Radio 1 and TV Comedy roll into town and the venue will turn into a mini TV studio as Scott Mills and Nick Grimshaw bring us their ‘Fun & Filth Cabaret’ promising even more filth this year with guest hosts Paloma Faith, Example and TOWIE’s Mark Wright.  We just have to work on a few health and safety issues for Kitty Bang Bang’s burlesque act before her appearance tonight…

Our biggest night of the Fringe has got to be this Friday when the extremely ambitious TV Comedy team take over the site for a live red-button 8 hour comedy marathon.  Hosted by Chris Ramsey, Susan Calman and Andrew Maxwell with Jameela Jamil, in a Fringe first, the show starts at 9pm and with four different audiences and over 40 Fringe acts performing, ends at 5am the following day. 

To see if we survive this Fringe endurance challenge, follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/bbcedfest) and check out the photo blog from Sidd Khajuria at http://bbcedfest.tumblr.com/

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