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Free Fringe Venues 2013

dragonflyThe PBH Free Fringe is an offshoot of Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival (which is itself an offshoot of the Edinburgh International Festival) dedicated to keeping the Festival experience affordable for audiences and for up-and-coming performers.

Rather than charge Festival-goers top prices for tickets, and performers an arm and a leg for renting out the venues, the Free Fringe operates on a ‘pay what you will’ basis. All Free Fringe shows are, as the name obviously implies, free – giving you the option to donate money to the performer after the show and/or to the Free Fringe programme through its website. Pretty great deal, huh?

If you’d like to support the Free Fringe and enjoy some comedy, theatre, music or spoken word shows during your stay in Edinburgh, then check out the following Free Fringe venues:

Canons’ Gait

One of our favourite pubs on the Royal Mile, Canons’ Gait has been a Free Fringe venue for several years. It usually hosts several comedy shows in its basement room throughout the month of August, and is also the perfect place enjoy some traditional Scottish ale.

Cabaret Voltaire

Located between the Royal Mile and the Cowgate, just a minute’s walk from our 2-bedroom Royal Mile apartment, Cabaret Voltaire is a popular club by night and, in August, a Free Fringe venue by day.


This cool bar certainly punches above its weight in cocktails, hip decor and general lovely vibes. Located on W Port, just off the Grassmarket, it’s function room serves as a fantastic Free Fringe venue.

Voodoo Rooms

Experience one of New Town’s most vibrant bars and catch a Free Fringe show at the same time by heading over to Voodoo Rooms, located on the east end of Princes Street. With its cosy leather booths, dark wood tables and shiny chandeliers, Voodoo Rooms is a truly memorable place to spend an evening.

For information on all Free Fringe venues, to check out this year’s programme and to donate to the PBH Free Fringe, visit the Free Fringe site.

Want to know what else to see and where to go during the Festival? If you book your Edinburgh Festival accommodation with us, we’ll share all our top tips for how to get the most out of the Fringe. We look forward to hearing from you!

Dragonfly image by emerille via Flickr

Written by Margaret Kay

Originally hailing from Seattle, Margaret has called Edinburgh home for just over four years. A freelance writer, she spends her time hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop – enjoying every angle of this stunning city along the way.

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