There’s nothing like visiting Edinburgh in August but unfortunately a jaunt to the Capital during its busiest month can hit your purse hard. So here’s how to make the most of the Free Fringe.  

Unless you’re a local resident, you’ll have to fork out for travel and if you want to make the most of the experience without rushing for the last bus or train, you’re going to need to find some accommodation, prices of which are always bumped up in August thanks to all the tourists. Let’s not even mention the drink prices.  

Plus, you’re still going to need to spend a fortune actually watching some Fringe performances right?  

Thankfully no, you can be entertained for free just by strolling around the city. The Virgin Money Street Events team run two vibrant street performance spaces every day of the Fringe on the Mound Precinct and the High Street on the Royal Mile, and with everything from musicians, to dancers, comedians, fire breathers, arts and crafts markets, show previews and much more, you’ll find the time is flying by without you having to spend a penny – although if you do enjoy a performance, it would be nice to donate some money to the performers.  

The Virgin Money Street Events for the Free Fringe
The Virgin Money Street Events

Thanks to ‘Peter Buckley Hill’s Free Fringe’ and the ‘Free Festival’ you can also check out plenty of shows without spending a penny. Most of these shows have essentially taken the concept of busking indoors: instead of venues charging extortionate fees and performers having to charge crazy prices for tickets to pay for the venue, it’s all free. The venues make money from increased drinks purchases and the performers make money by asking for a contribution of whatever attendees can afford to pay at the end of the show.  

If that sounds up your street, here’s a few recommendations of free shows at The Fringe Festival we think you should check out. However, remember that sometimes you end up finding the best shows just by wandering into a venue so be nice to the people offering you flyers on the street, they might lead you to one of the best shows you’ll see this year.  

Check out our guide on what to see and where to go at this year’s Fringe.

Joke Thieves (Free Festival) – Cabaret Voltaire Aug 13-14, 16-27 

Are you going to watch an improv masterclass or a car crash at the Joke Thieves show? Who knows, that’s part of the fun. The show, which has had four sell-out runs at the Fringe, features comedians performing their own jokes, then each others – making it feel very unpredictable and exciting.  

Becky Brunning at the Free Fringe
Becky Brunning comes to Cabaret Voltaire for Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Becky Brunning (Free Festival) – Cabaret Voltaire Aug 3-13, 15-20, 22-26 

If Becky Brunning looks strangely familiar to you, it’s likely that you were one of the eight million people who watched her brilliant performance as Lindsay Lucas in Broadchurch. In her debut solo show, the Funny Women finalist explains why she’s conflicted about everything from choosing a sandwich to knowing how straight to be or whether to take another driving test.  

You’re Never Too Old Are You? (Free Festival) – The Free Sisters Aug 23-27 

Turning 70 is a pretty big deal and this year Jim Everett is marking his 70th year of life by pursuing his passion for stand up and performing at the 70th annual Edinburgh Fringe – birthday celebrations all round! With the aim of keeping himself busy in retirement and hopefully making people smile, Jim will be telling his audience stories about his experiences at Britain’s Got Talent auditions and his journey into the comedy scene.  

Griffin and Jones: Homemade Miracles (PBH Free Fringe) – Liquid Room Annexe, Aug 5-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27 

Award-winning ‘professional idiots’, Griffin and Jones, are back for a third year at the Fringe with their brand new show Homemade Miracles. As the ‘pioneers of slapdash magic’ it’s safe to assume the new show will be full of their usual illusions, death-defying stunts and magical life hacks.  

City Love  (PBH’s Free Fringe) – Bourbon Bar Aug 5-6, 8 -13, 15-20, 22-27 

Who doesn’t love an epic love story? If it’s the kind of thing that floats your boat, check out Illuminate Productions fast-paced, painfully honest, rip-roaring comedy City Love. From award-winning writer Simon Vinnnicombe, the story follows two city workers juggling rent and bills until they meet by chance on the Number 12 night bus and transform their mundane lives.


  • July 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Many thanks for your article re my show. Much appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien