The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back for 2014 with a programme that is bursting at the seams with exhilarating, inspiring and unforgettable festival shows and offering a truly unboring experience.
2014 will see 50,771 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues across Scotland’s capital city. The number of shows reflects an 11% increase on last year’s programme, making it the biggest ever in the history of the Fringe.
Audiences at the 2014 Fringe will have a new online ticketing experience that will improve the process for customers looking to search for shows and buy tickets. Ticketing on edfringe.com is now fully responsive and customers can now access it on any PC, tablet or mobile device, and will benefit from improved filtering options, the ability to export their search results, create their own calendar of events, and share booked and favourite shows. Additionally, audience members can now post reviews of any show they’ve seen directly onto edfringe.com, which will in turn benefit participants who can build up a picture of genuine audience responses. Participants will also be able to enrich their online show listings by sharing reviews, social media links, sneak previews and other media files. This is alongside the official Fringe App for Android and iOS which is already available. Once again the Fringe Society has increased the number of ticket collections points around the city, to make things easier for our audience. New collection points this year include the Institut français d'Ecosse in the west end of the city and, as announced last month, the Domestic Arrivals Hall at Edinburgh Airport. A full list of ticket collection points can be found online.
As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe constantly evolves, a number of new venues will be showcasing work this year. Riddle’s Court, an A-listed 16th Century courtyard house set behind the Royal Mile is once again in operation following extensive conservation work, and joins the C Venues group as C Cubed, while, rising like a phoenix, La Belle Angèle on Cowgate is reopening as a venue, following the devastating fire in 2002. Northern Stage is moving to a new venue at King’s Hall on Clerk Street, and the south side of the city also sees new venues Greenside @ Nicolson Square and C venues - C south, extending the presence of the Fringe in that neighbourhood. The Famous Spiegeltent will be located in St Andrew’s Square, alongside Stand in the Square, and a brand new open air stage. TheSpaceUK, which is celebrating 20 years at the Fringe this year, manages performance spaces across eight locations, plus a caravan on Niddry Street with a maximum audience capacity of just eight. 2014 also marks the 25th year as a Fringe venue for Universal Art’s Hill Street Theatre which will this year once again play host to the Festival of Solo Theatre.
This year sees the former Dance and Physical Theatre category expanded to become Dance, Circus and Physical Theatre in recognition of the growth and popularity of circus shows over the last couple of years. Spoken Word, which was introduced in 2012 sees an 88% increase in the number of shows since last year to a total of 124 – making up just under 4% of the total programme. Children’s shows have also seen a big increase in popularity this year, with 22% more shows in this category than in 2013. All other categories continue to remain very popular.
Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:
“This programme is the culmination of the creativity and hard work of thousands of people. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is many things to many people and part of the success of the Fringe is that whatever you are looking for, and in whatever capacity you are looking, you can almost certainly be satisfied by what you find.
"This year the Fringe includes 3,193 shows which is a record number of shows, but more importantly the programme offers the widest selection of international high quality arts and entertainment that you will find in any one place at any one time. A truly unique experience.
“This year is an incredibly important year for Scotland with major international cultural, sporting and political events taking place. With our eclectic range of shows and uniquely diverse range of voices the Fringe will, as always, be at the centre of things and promises to keep residents and visitors unbored.”