Today is the inaugural World Fringe Day, a 24-hour celebration of the global fringe movement that was spawned when a group of upstart thespians launched a festival outside the official Edinburgh Festival some 70 years ago.
To mark seven decades of the Edinburgh Fringe, thousands of free Fringe tickets will be distributed to locals along with free bus travel today. Fringe Society staff will visit 26 charities across the city gifting "Fringe days out" to families and individuals.
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’s pink double-decker bus will also be travelling around Edinburgh with Forth 1 presenter Micky Gavin gifting ‘Random Acts of Fringe-ness’ to members of the public.
“Events will be taking place all over the world today,” said Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, “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”.
Gaynor Marshall, Communications Director for Lothian Buses, said: “Our partnership will enable lots of families and individuals to travel to and from Fringe venues across the city, at no cost to themselves, allowing them to enjoy the spectacular sights and sounds and all that Edinburgh has to offer throughout August.”
World Fringe Day is supported by £100K through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund through Creative Scotland.
As well as free tickets, to mark the day, celebratory events are rolling out across the timezones from a Fringe ceilidh at the Adelaide Fringe in Australia to a Fringe Day party at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in Western Canada.
— Amy Blackmore (@_amyblackmore) July 10, 2017
Coverage from around the world will be appearing on the World Fringe Day website and on social media via the #WorldFringeDay hashtag throughout the day.
The 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe will host 53,232 performances (or thereabouts) of 3,398 shows from 62 countries in August. This year's Fringe includes many free and "by donation" shows.
Fringe facts 2017
- Total shows: 3,398
- Total venues: 300
- Performances: 53,232
- Countries represented: 62
- International countries: 58
- Cabaret and Variety makes up 4%
- Children’s Shows make up 4%
- Comedy makes up 35%
- Dance, Circus and Physical Theatre makes up 4%
- Events make up 3%
- Exhibitions make up 1%
- Music makes up 14%
- Musicals and Opera makes up 3%
- Spoken Word makes up 3%
- Theatre makes up 28%