How to Survive the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Five top tips on how to get through the Fringe unscathed


 There is a giant purple cow in the middle of Edinburgh, a clear sign that the fringe has kicked off. Some of you readers might be heading to the greatest arts festival in the world. You might even be a fringe virgin, and if that is indeed the case, you will not be prepared for the culture shock that will kick into your psyche like an angry, drunk kangaroo. So for you younglings we’ve put together some basic guidelines that will make sure you’ll survive. Maybe some of you veteran fringers can pick up a few tips as well.

Edinburgh: a city that got so drunk it woke up with a tattoo
Just because you can drink ’til five in the morning and start again before twelve doesn’t mean that you should/can. Try it for ten days straight and you will soon lose your mind. Don’t get us wrong kid, if you are able, it’s a month long party. But you had best leave it to the professional (comedians) drinkers.

Flyer on by
While walking to any destination there will be an immovable crowd, even from your couch to the fridge. If you take every flyer that comes your way, after a five minute walk you will be holding a sizeable amount of the Amazon rainforest in your hands, so if you want to get anywhere faster than rock sediment movement, you have to learn to weave through a crowd of overzealous Americans and bemused Swiss tourists. Keep your eye on the middle distance and just keep moving; when you master it you’ll be the envy of all your tardy friends.

Queue tip
Edinburgh’s population triples during the Fringe, and we’ve never quite figured out how to deal with it short of hitting the city with the ray from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. So be prepared to queue for everything. And we mean EVERYTHING. Thirty minute waits at a bank machine are standard, and may the lord take pity on you if you have a weak bladder.

Whether the weather
Edinburgh is in Scotland, so for the vast majority of August it pishes on the city with such great force you’d think God was trying to wash the city away. So make sure that every day, no matter how deceptively nice the weather looks, you prepare for rain.

Do not feed the locals
We Scottish love to complain, since we have nothing else to do, and nothing grinds our gears like Jemima Toffington trying to mingle with us in a local boozer. If you are visiting, stay to the tourists’ parts. Sometimes the locals just want to hide in a dark pub and pretend the Fringe isn’t happening, and until we are ready to brace it again, you will not be welcome in these places, especially if you are that famous git off the telly. Under no circumstance should you attempt to try out “the lingo” or you’ll find out the meaning of a Glasgow kiss in a manner you’d rather avoid.

Good luck folks, take heed, steel yourselves and tell your gods to prepare for blood.

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