Sup. I am back from the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. (I am aware they do more than comedy, but frankly I have never seen a show there not starring a comedian so refuse to admit it, sorry dancers/ actors/ acrobats.)
I am spotty, bloated and exhausted. It is my 5th visit to the Edinburgh Festival, so I should know better. I should know the tips for not only surviving my visit, but succeeding in doing it. So, although I didn't put these into practice, I figured readers could.
1.) Pre book first class train tickets. Don't get the Megabus Gold. I repeat, DON'T GET THE MEGABUS GOLD. I was promised tables, chairs, and comfy beds. I was also told there was free Irn-bru. What the LYING advert doesn't show you, is that when the bus is all sold out, those tables and chairs become beds. This means you have the ONE option of position the entire journey, horizontal. Don't get me wrong, its a position I am a fan of, but not when it is forced upon you. First class train tickets are cheap in advance and you can get free food and drink. I am also a fan of the sleeper train if you want to blitz up to Scotland over a weekend.
2.) Airbnb. The crappest of hotels will charge you way over £200 a night during the fringe, but there are a lot of places available on airbnb during the fringe. My mate and I had a gorgeous two bed for £85.00 a night. Edinburgh is a walking city too, so a 20 minute walk to the dome is considered central. Taxis are cheapish compared to London too.
3.) Don't sleep away your days! There are some amazing shows during the day at the Fringe, you don't have to start watching comedy at night. I decided to download comedian Luke Mcqueen's alarm app to ensure I would wake from my slumber so I would hit the scene from midday. I enjoyed the likes of Ellie Taylor, Rachel Stubbings and Stephen Bailey all before 5pm. The alarm also wakes you up with a LOL too, and its currently free.
4.) Eat well. Like any festival, it is easy to hop from venue to venue scoffing burger after burger. But pre planning your brunches, lunches and dinners allows you to find those nice places with the granary bread and healthy salads. There are a LOT of Greggs Bakeries in Scotland. If you don't to keep your energy up and skin fresh, avoid. I had a lovely meal at Hotel Du Vin which was opposite the Udderbelly and Gilded Balloon and very nice.
5.) FREE FRINGE! Some of my favourite shows were at the Free Fringe this year! Don't put it off but do your research. A quick google will see you can catch Lou Sanders, Chris Dangerfield and Luisa Omielan (who sold out SEVERAL Soho Theatre runs) at the Free Fringe. Remember to take cash as it's a donation at the end and don't be tight! These are top comics you are watching....
6.) PACK WELL. It might be summer in the UK but that means squat to these Scots. You go from running from venue to venue, mostly in the rain to sitting inside boiling venues. Wear layers, carry deodorant, pack a waterproof jacket and don't even think about bringing heels in this city. Cobbled streets heels do not a lady make.
Edinburgh Festival is one of the best experiences a person can have. Its upbeat, spontaneous, exciting and a highlight of my year. If you haven't been this year, get planning for next. It really is something everybody should try.
(Unless you are dead inside and hate comedy that is....)