Doing the Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh International Festival

'Doing the Edinburgh Festival' can be an expensive business, no doubt about it. Ticket prices have crept steadily upwards over the last few years and booking fees have started to appear, but there are still many ways to save money. Here's a few of them ...

There are over 6,000 completely free shows on the Laughing Horse Free Festival, most of them staged in Edinburgh's bars. And what have you got to lose going to anything that costs nothing? There's a lot of comedy but I'm particularly intrigued by Anyone for a Witch Hunt?, a play described as a cross between Arthur Miller's The Crucible and Father Ted.

The Edinburgh International Festival has a reputation for being particularly pricey. And yes, the top priced ticket for St Petersburg's famed Mariinsky Opera at the Festival Theatre is £72 but - with all due respect to those involved in Anyone for a Witch Hunt? - we're talking world class opera here. Equally you can get a ticket for £16. Particularly good value are the Queen's Hall series of morning concerts where you can get a ticket for £8. Admittedly that's standing in the gallery but where else can you see baritone Bo Skovhus for less than the price of lunch?


The Fringe has lots of 2 for 1 offers on Monday 8th & Tuesday 9th August. These are clearly marked throughout the Fringe programme. From 10th August you can get half price tickets on selected shows from the Virgin Money Half Price Hut in the Mound Precinct. And if you're really strapped for cash you can save yourself the 9o pence per ticket booking fee by going direct to the Fringe Box Office in the High Street but be warned: them there queues be long & tiresome!

But possibly the best way to save money is to get yourself along to the Pleasance Courtyard on Wednesday 3rd & Thursday 4th August, buy yourself a drink, sit down and wait. Performers are desperate to get bums on seats at this stage of the festival and it won't be long until someone approaches you asking if you want to see their show. And who knows? That free ticket might be for this year's next big thing.

© Mark Howitt for Pilrig 74