Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Get the most festival fun for your money

05 August 2016

August Festival season is here again! With five of the twelve main festivals happening within one busy month, it's certainly the right time to get stuck in. No matter what your budget, there are things you can do and a couple of tricks and hacks you should know to make this exciting month fit your budget. Read on to discover how you can get the most out of the Edinburgh Summer Festival Season... 

1. Embrace the art of the Street Performer 

Street Performance Cc Edinburgh Festival Fringe

During the festivals almost every street in the centre of Edinburgh becomes a stage with a fantastic variety of performers out to entertain the crowds. From jugglers to living statues, singers to fire eaters, you can see some truely weird and wonderful things while you're going between shows. Stop by the stages on the Royal Mile and performance area on The Mound for regular performances by Fringe acts giving previews of their shows - and all for free!

2. All hail the half price hut

Fringe Half Price Hut 2015

If you're feeling spontaneous then you can grab a bargain at the Fringe Half Price Hut, which is open from 10th - 29th August this year. Here you can buy tickets for shows on the day at half of original the ticket price. You'll be able to see what's on offer via the Fringe website, the app or the big screen above the hut, but you'll have to book the tickets in person to get the half price deal, so get there early! 

3. Find the free stuff

Virgin Money Fireworks Concert Eoin Carey

[Image credit: Eoin Carey]

There are lots of free shows as part of The Fringe. It's free to get in, and you simply donate however much you think the show is worth on your way out. It's a great way to see some fantastic comedy and theatre shows on a budget. 

There are also some great free exhibitions as part of Edinburgh Art Festival. In fact, 90% of the shows are free, so you can see some fascinating works of art from all over the globe without stretching your wallet. 

And of course, one of the most popular shows of the August Festival season, the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, is visible from many public vantage points across the city at no cost at all - if you have saved some money though buying a ticket to watch the concert in front of the bandstand in West Princes Street Gardens offers a pretty spectacular experience. 

4. Go Alfresco in the Gardens

Edinburgh Gin Garden 500X210

[Image Credit: Edinburgh Gin Facebook]

During August many of Edinburgh's gorgeous gardens become a buzz of festival activity and with free entry it's a great way to soak up the atmosphere without having to spend a buck. These areas also often offer performance spaces for festival acts. In St Andrew Square Garden, live music performances take place on the stage area in the Edinburgh Gin Garden; meanwhile the nearby Caorunn Artists' Garden in front of Royal Bank of Scotland at 36 St Andrew Square will be hosting live art from a host of Scottish artists. Over in George Square Garden you can play a great bit of celebrity spotting as many of the festival performers congregate and pass through this buzzing festival hub.

5. Perks for Locals

Gilded Balloon Teviot Credit Gilded Balloon FB 500X210

[Image Credit: Gilded Balloon Facebook]

If you live in Edinburgh then you're in luck! On Mondays and Tuesdays during the Fringe, the Gilded Balloon offer a selection of £5 tickets exclusively to Edinburgh Residents. Simply visit the Gilded Balloon box office in person with a drivers license or a utility bill with an Edinburgh address and the purchasers name to take advantage of the deal. Please note tickets are limited to two per person and subject to availability, details at gildedballoon.co.uk 

Find out more about Edinburgh's Festivals >