Lack of money should be no obstacle to partaking of the cultural feeding frenzy in Edinburgh in August. Each year there is an array of events and free shows on the Fringe or at other Edinburgh Festivals.
Free Shows at Edinburgh's Festivals
- Edinburgh Festival Carnival Held on the opening weekend of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival in mid-July, a Parade down the Mound to music, dance, and kids' performances in the Gardens.
- The Edinburgh International Festival's's large scale, opening event will be a concert of theme music at Tynecastle football stadium.
- The Free Fringe (See Venues) Hundreds of free shows over August
- Fringe on the High Street Street performers busking every day on Royal Mile.
- Virgin Money Fringe on the Mound Free shows outside the galleries.
- Fringe 2 For 1 Deals Look out for these in first week (8th or 9th August). Buy two and take someone for free!
- Virgin Money half Price Hut From 10th August, hundreds of tickets are available for half price.
- Edinburgh Art Festival Many exhibitions and events are free.
- BBC The Beeb, back at George Heriot's School in 2017, live casts many well-kent faces and voices from the small screen and radio.
- Edinburgh Mela Multicultural summer festival.
- Edinburgh Book Festival's Unbound Series 2017 continues the late, live, and free spoken word, music-infused literary events at the Spiegel Tent in Charlotte Square Gardens. 13-28th August 2017, 9pm-11pm.
- Edinburgh Festival Fireworks The Edinburgh International Festival's grand finale.
There are two rival organisations that have taken on the mantle of the "Free Fringe": Laughing Horse and Peter Buckley Hill's Free Fringe. The events are usually in pubs or clubs and if you like the show you can put money in a donation bucket at the end. Sadly, beer is not free as well.
Free tickets can sometimes be booked in advance through the Fringe Box Office, but you can often catch a show simply by rolling up to the venue.
Peter Buckley Hill's Free Fringe (website)
Looking at the list of PBH's venues can you detect a theme? A daily dose of laughs with your beer.
The former "Spirit of the Fringe" winner, PBH's Free Fringe returns with more comedy, spoken word, theatre, and live performances.
See list of PBH free fringe venues.
The Laughing Horse - Free Fringe Festival (website)
Free Fringe fest shows under the Laughing Horse banner.
The shows cover the gamut of live performance - comedy, cabaret, live music, theatre - in multiple venues: Laughing Horse Free Fringe venues
Pay What You Want Shows
Bob Slayer pioneered the "pay-what-you-want" ticket price with his Heroes at Fringe 2013. You can book and pre-pay for tickets in advance or just turn up and pay what you want (into a bucket) at the end of the show. In 2017, Heroes has 66 shows at the Fringe. Here are the Heroes Pay What You Want venues.