The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

In the peak of summer, where would you most likely spend your holidays? For a lot of people, skiing in the Alps or sunning on a beach in the Caribbean has a lot of appeal. However for over 20,000 people, it is the capital of Scotland has the biggest drawing point.

Edinburgh. A city of history, a city of culture and for twenty-four days a year, a city of eclectic artistic talent, as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe comes to town. Filled with varying music, dance and comedy acts, the festival lives up to it’s reputation as the largest arts festival in the world.

Growing in size each year and averaging an intake of just under £300,000 the festival is the place to be for a breakthrough act. Predecessors including Eddie Izzard (comedy), Gabriel Byrne (writing) and UK beatbox champion Beardyman (music) have all had their say at the festival and in doing so, have left big shoes to be filled. Now it is the turn of new acts and fresh faces to leave their mark on their respective artistic world.

The festival gives plenty of support for any act trying to make their name. From debutants, such as the Mugging Chickens comedy troop, to seasoned professionals such as Dizzee Rascal headlining the festival’s musical strand, everyone has a place in the line-ups.

With the festival, boasting 259 venues last year, made way for an astounding 2,453 shows, 1,206 of which were world debuts. And it could be this festival that makes or breaks an act. The multitude of festival awards, prestigious in their nature, can give you that extra credit needed to become a more recognized talent.

If you are looking to attend the festival, fear not, as it will not cost you an arm and a leg to have a good time. Ticket prices will set you back an average of ten pounds for a better known act, the guarantee being that they hopefully know what they are doing.  However there are many fantastic performers which have free, live shows (558 in 2010) and in a lot of these cases, it is the intimacy of these acts makes them all the more enjoyable.

Absolutely Legless - Irish Dancers

This year, remember to look out for some groundbreaking acts: Paco Erhard, the world’s funniest German; Abandoman, a Radio 1 smash-hit hip-hop act; or Irish music, song and dance extravaganza Absolutely Legless. Several acts, debutants and returners alike, have a potential to not only shine but to progress on to greater, vaster plains.

Now in to its 65th year, the festival has a lot to live up to. But with acts travelling from as far as Japan, New Zealand and the United States to try and expand their fan-base, this year’s festival looks set to be bigger, better and bolder than ever before. So don’t miss out, book your tickets early and make your way to Edinburgh for August 5th, for a month’s worth of diverse artistic events you will be sure to never forget.

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