As a newbie to the Fringe herself, Charlotte Lock has collated a small list of must-do activities to tick off your list, helping you to fully embrace the Fringe!
1. Walk down the Royal Mile
Frankly, if you have managed to, or have even considered doing the Fringe without stepping foot on the mile, you could question whether you have truly done/experienced the Fringe Festival. This street is such an enormous part of the Fringe; it is a constant hive of activity with a vibrant atmosphere, even in the rain! Yes, it is crowded and yes, you will probably leave with a few dozen leaflets, stickers and show recommendations, but it is all part of the experience. The Royal Mile is probably the best place to get a taste of different shows and a simple walk down the road will leave you really feeling like you have embraced the Fringe.
2. See something you wouldn’t normally
The Fringe Festival has such an array of the arts there is almost too much choice. Being such a unique experience, why not use this time to see something you wouldn’t normally. Experience a performance which is perhaps outside your comfort zone or even just featuring something you haven’t seen before, the Fringe provides you with the perfect opportunity to try something new, so I dare you to try just one thing that is unusual for you, who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised!
3. Discover a quirky café
Edinburgh Fringe is a feast for the senses, but after walking up and down the mile a few times and seeing a couple of shows, you will probably desperately desire a thirst-quenching drink and a comfortable sofa to rest your weary legs. It is, therefore, an obvious choice to try one of Edinburgh’s many quirky coffee shops; why not try to find a hidden gem down a backstreet, one to recommend to fellow Fringe festival-goers! Or, for the Harry Potter aficionados, try one of the many cafés used by J.K. Rowling when she was writing her novels, who knows, maybe you could be inspired too!
4. Find an obscure theatre
On a similar note, the Fringe is home to hundreds of venues, with many not necessarily being established theatres. With venues often having such an impact on a performance, finding a particularly obscure theatre is part of the thrill of the Fringe, so why not try to discover the most unusual venue you can.
5. Trek up Arthur’s Seat
Not linked to the Fringe but a must-do is Arthur’s Seat. Despite its intimidating stature and being quite a climb, the views all the way up make the journey well worth it. It truly is an incredible experience, and if you bring great company, music and take the occasional break, I promise you it will be worth the effort. Plus, what a photo opportunity!
6. Visit the Meadows
Fancy escaping The Royal Mile? Head to The Meadows – a vast stretch of greenery. On a brighter day, this is a great spot to have a wander down to; you might catch a glimpse of a few performers training, I for one have seen people in elaborate equipment up trees and street performers rehearsing. Moreover, the Underbelly’s Circus Hub is located here, and this provides another great escape from the crowded Royal Mile whilst still enabling you to fully embrace the Fringe.
7. Be spontaneous
Ironically, this isn’t exactly something you can plan, but try to turn up and see a show on a whim. The Fringe is all about impulsiveness and freedom, so take a risk and choose a flyer at random and go see a show, this is particularly great for the Free Fringe! The impetuosity is a huge part of the experience and makes the performance even more memorable and exciting.