Event Management: Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Fringe festival is the platform for different theatres, comedy, arts which also includes Classics of Ancient Greece and Shakespeare. The event organizers are Festival Fringe Society who issues programs, tickets and provides suggestions to the Fringe Office in Royal Mile, Edinburgh. The performers are invited from around the world and the venues for the program are around different places in and around Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. This festival began in 1947 with the concept of providing a Platform for the reviving of the human spirit in the wake of Second World War and to enrich the culture and heritage of Scotland and Europe. Founded by Rudolf Bing, Henry Harvey Wood and the Civic leaders of Edinburgh. (Miller, 1996), this festival has been taking place every August where thousands of people flock around from different parts of the world to see it. Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a part of the main Edinburgh International Festival which is one of the largest festivals of the world. It includes Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh People’s Festival and Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The festival budget covers the cost of Production every year mostly run on incomes from Ticker Sales(27%) and other incomes through broadcasting, publications etc.(4%). Sponsorships and donations (27%) and Public Grants mostly from Edinburgh Council (42%) also support the finance of the festival. An estimated 335,000 people attended of which 60% were Scottish, 26% from Great Britain and 14% from other nations. (Society, 2004). There are several venues of which the main venues include: Usher Hall (Seating: 2300), Festival Theatre (Seating:1800), Edinburgh Playhouse( Seating: 2,900), Royal Lyceum Theatre(Seating 650), Queen’s Hall(Seating: 920) and the Hub (Seating:420). Free and Ticketed events are scheduled for the festival and the bookings for the tickets are done thorough Computerised Booking System. An official website shows the different venues, programs and ticket details allowing online ticket trade called the E ticket Tent. Each event is run by a particular group and tickets are sold in their own websites also. Advertisements are done through Videos, Mobile, Media and Websites and through Print. Feedbacks are collected on the official Website and text ratings allow people to rate the performance through texts. Online TV station (Sweet TV) shows the daily broadcasting of shows and the links were published on the website as well. Festival FM, Pocket Video, Pod cast Network and other Publications are the main sources of advertisement for the shows. (Bain, 1996).

Perspective of a Tourist: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival from the perspective of a spectator from a foreign Nation state that the innumerable venues aligned around different places of the City makes it difficult to figure out where the place is in the new city and if the show is worth the hunt. The Royal Mile is the major area for advertisements and Promotional Activities yet the thousands of Flyers and skits makes the Spectator confused about the original concept of the Program and if it would be interesting in his ideology. The award nominations for the performances are sometimes very unusual and the critical appraisal of the program published in media still make choosing one program from the whole sea a difficult task. The publications usually target the performance based on the venue rather than the Art which sometimes overlooks some of the best works which are shown on the streets for free. Each Performance has separate websites and advertisements which makes it difficult to determine the venue and quality of the Program. Due to the large number of websites, advertisements and promotional activities foreigners and tourists who have come to the Festival for the first time will need the help of Local citizens to determine the best show which is worth their time and money.

Perspective of a Local Resident: Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been looked upon as the event where different Cultures, History and Heritage are displayed with little or no dominations by some others. This festival harbours the work of thousands of Performers and is venue for Playwrights, Actors and provides Artistic Freedom. Walking through the Royal Mile splashed with colours and costumes, a spectator gets all the fun of walking thorough a Festival which was enjoyed by the People of Scotland thousands of years ago when they went to Fairs or Carnivals. Even though most often the best actors are overlooked, the fun and ecstasy of performing in front of a large enthusiastic audience is what most actors look forward to. The Organizers does not screen the events themselves and might sometimes fall in the quality. The event allows the exposure of Performers and Performances which might not be allowed in Formal Festivals.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival Society only suggests the various ways to promote the show and is more often seen concentrating on the challenges of conducting such a large Event. Alistair Moffat who was the Fringe Administrator during 1976- 1981 said that the Society was established on the feedbacks of the Participants that they are to be supported and promoted to the public in Edinburgh and that the quality of each programme depends on the group and not liable to the Society.(Dale, M. 1988) This was termed as Unjuried Festival later. The Fringe Society is open all throughout the year producing programmes and exhibitions and monthly bulletins of the upcoming events. Royal Mile, Edinburgh is the main venue where the splendour of the venue is organized with meetings in Edinburgh and London as a platform for asking queries based on the Fringe Festival, Fringe Opening Party, Fringe Sunday and Street Promotional Activities and updates websites regularly giving an insight to the shows. The Information of the Performers and performances are updated in the websites allowing edition only by the authors. A press office is open all around the year giving advices and promotional opportunities for companies and a box office is opened during June to book and buy tickets. The Performer’s Centre is opened during the festival time to provide information and meeting and conferences for the Media, Performers and Viewers. (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2009).The Event allows the performance of various theatre artists or beginners and provides it as a platform for people to exhibit their talents, but the major risk involved in such Unjuried events are that tickets are sold for individual shows where the quality of the show might fall below standard making the viewer reluctant to spend on ticketed shows which can drastically effect the success of the event.

An event and its success depend mainly on the audiences and their life. The success depends on the people’s emotions and their enthusiasm to welcome such kinds of events every year. This is demonstrated through the reviews and experiences audience had during the course of the Events. For International Festivals like the Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, the success ratio depends on the local residents and the experiences of the tourists jointly. (Pearce et al., 1996). The experience of both the Foreign National and the Local Resident describes the analysis of the studies. Tourism and preconceptions of the cultural and heritage ideology exists individually in an individual. (Moscovici, 1982). Groups has been defined among the audiences to understand the theories of success of Event Management (Getz, 1992) and it has been determined that each group has their own theories and views of the Event and organization. This also determines that various factors like accommodation, travel facilities and promotional activities are well taken care of and supported by both groups, their difference in opinion occurs in the lack of integrity while conducting the shows and the large number of venues around the city. This shows that the events should be organized in a more organized way with integrity within the sub events and it wasn’t always the performances that affected the success of the show but how it was organized by reducing the inconveniences in venue and time schedule. A schedule and comparison has to be done while organizing large events and the different group expectations and viewpoints has to be studied in detail to make each spectator comfortable in his horizon.


James Christie
James Christie.(2008).Anxiety.
The Edinburgh Festival Fring
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2008).The World @ George Street.
Map of the Venues
Map of the Venues at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2008
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2008). Map Key


BAIN, A. (1996) The Fringe: 50 Years of the Greatest Show on Earth, The Scotsman Publications Ltd.

Dale,M.(1988) Sore Throats and Overdrafts: An illustrated story of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Precedent Publications Ltd.

GETZ, D. (1992) Trends in event tourism, Wallingford: CAB International.

MILLER, E. (1996) The Edinburgh International Festival, 1947 -1996, Scolar Press

MOSCOVICI, S. (1982) The coming era of social representations., The Hague Nijhoff.

PEARCE, P. L., MOSCARDO, G. & ROSS, G. F. (1996) Tourism community relationships. , Oxford: Pergamon.

SOCIETY, E. I. F. (2004) Edinburgh International Festival. Review 2004. Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2008).Map Key. Web. 

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2008).Venue Maps. Web. 

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2008).The World @ George Street. Web.

James Christie.(2008).Anxiety. Web.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Performer Opportunities. (2009). Web.

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