World Fringe Day celebrations sweep through Edinburgh and around the world

Celebrations are taking place all over the world today (Tuesday 11 July) to mark the first ever World Fringe Day. Events will be taking place across continents as fringes come together to celebrate 70 years of the fringe movement and pay tribute to Edinburgh as the birthplace of the fringe concept. Coverage from around the world will be appearing on the World Fringe Day website throughout the day.

In Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society will be thanking the people of Edinburgh for hosting the Fringe for the last 70 years. Fringe Society staff will visit 26 charities across the city, gifting Fringe days out to families and individuals in partnership with Lothian Buses. Gift recipients will be given Fringe Box Office vouchers along with Lothian bus day tickets that will enable them to experience the Fringe for free. The Fringe Bus will also be travelling around Edinburgh with Forth 1 presenter Micky Gavin, who will be gifting ‘Random Acts of Fringe-ness’ to members of the public.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said:

“World Fringe Day is a rare opportunity for a truly international celebration of creativity, transcending national boundaries and demonstrating the power of arts and culture to bring people together. Events will be taking place all over the world today, and here in Edinburgh we are focussing on saying thank you to the city and people of Edinburgh for supporting the Fringe over the last 70 years. We have lots of surprises planned for the day and are delighted that, in partnership with Lothian Buses, we are able to gift Fringe days out to families and individuals around Edinburgh via 26 fantastic charities working across the city. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society works to improve access to the Fringe wherever possible with the aim of making the Fringe the most inclusive festival in the world and we hope that these days out will give people an opportunity to see what is on offer and be part of the Fringe in its 70th anniversary year.”

Fringe days out will be gifted to charities throughout Edinburgh including Canongate Youth, Lothian Autistic Society, Pilmeny Youth Centre, Sikh Sanjog, The Broomhouse Centre, 6VT Youth Café and WHALE Arts Agency.

Fiona Horne, Operations Manager from 6VT Youth Café said:

“As a city-centre based charity we are always aware of the Fringe festivities taking place around us in August. However, we work with young people from across Edinburgh from a wide mix of backgrounds, many of whom have never had a chance to experience the Fringe first hand. We are delighted that the box office vouchers and bus tickets gifted by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society for World Fringe Day will enable young people from all over Edinburgh to try the Fringe out, sampling shows and enjoying free activities on offer at the Fringe, without having to worry about ticket and travel costs.”

Elsewhere in the world, Adelaide Fringe will pay tribute to Edinburgh with a World Fringe Day Ceilidh; Shenandoah Fringe (Virginia, USA) will host a pots and pans parade of colour and confetti featuring live performances from ShenFringe favourites; National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa, will be posting World Fringe Day selfies from its festival closing ceremony; Edmonton International Fringe Festival Fringe will be holding a World Fringe Day party; and China’s Shenzhen Fringe will host a celebration of all things fringe to mark 70 years of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and eight years of the Shenzhen Fringe Festival. In the UK, Buxton Fringe is holding a series of World Fringe Day drop-in events at the historic Pump Room and in Morecambe, the Morecambe Fringe is previewing a selection of performers that will be appearing at their inaugural Fringe in September 2017.

World Fringe Day has been supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund through Creative Scotland and by EventScotland.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said:

“EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the inaugural World Fringe Day in the 70th anniversary year of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Edinburgh is renowned as a world-class festival city, with the Fringe a leading festival model that continues to be emulated across the globe with more than 200 fringes taking place around the world. Today is a day for fringes and fringe lovers to come together and celebrate all that is great about these amazing events. Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the remarkable story of one of Scotland's signature events.”

Fringe participants and audiences from around the world have been sharing their fringe stories on social media in the run up to World Fringe Day, recounting their favourite fringe days out, most moving performances and even their best fringe celebrity spots. Visit worldfringeday.com to see what’s happening across the world and share your own fringe experiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the #WorldFringeDay hashtag.

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