“The Festival Fringe” is the Whackiest Euro Festival You Haven’t Heard Of

Europe’s Coachella? Not quite.

We were kind of bummed when we found out this wasn’t a festival celebrating tassles, until we learned that it’s even cooler: Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival. Months before performers from around the world take the stage in August, the city begins hyping everybody up for this truly spectacular event. Programs are available in businesses of all stripes (and posters riddle walls and bulletin boards). If you want to get in on the fun, you should think months ahead, too—hostel beds fill up and prices are much higher than the rest of the year.

Edfringe, thankfully, is no cousin to Coachella when it comes to pricing.

How did the festival get so bloody huge, you ask? By not turning anyone away. The original Festival Fringe was formed by several performers who were rejected from the Edinburgh International Festival and simply performed on its fringes—true to that spirit of inclusion, all are welcome to sing, dance, act, or bagpipe their hearts out. Yes, this does mean that not every act is West End-quality, but there are quite a few diamonds in the rough.

Edfringe, thankfully, is no cousin to Coachella when it comes to pricing. Tickets for shows are bought individually starting as early as February. Some shows are free, and half-price tickets can be bought on The Mound day-of. Edinburgh may not be the most tropical location to spend the hottest of your summer months, but being part of a massive, messy, mishmashy celebration of art ain’t half bad.

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