Leap into the unknown at this year's Festival Fringe

The official 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme was launched today, inviting performers and audiences from across the globe to leap into the unknown and embark on their very own Fringe adventure.

This year’s programme covers a wide range of themes and includes new venues, wellknown names, upcoming talent, international work, and the 10th anniversary of the Made in Scotland showcase. With 3,548 shows covering theatre, dance, circus, physical theatre, comedy, music, musicals and opera, cabaret and variety, children’s shows, free shows, exhibitions, events and spoken word, there is something for all tastes and interests.

2018 will also see the relaunch of the Virgin Money Street Events on the High Street and Mound Precinct, 20 years after the Fringe Society first took over responsibility for the area. Highlights include brand new, fully accessible stages, spectacular entrance archways, specially programmed showcases, and hundreds of brightly coloured pigeons, all designed to provide a more welcoming, high quality introduction to the world of the Fringe.intotheunknown fringe

Launching the 2018 Fringe Programme, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “On behalf of the artists, producers and venues that make the Fringe happen, I am thrilled to reveal the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme. This year’s programme contains an eclectic mix of creative endeavour from across the globe that will move, challenge and, of course, entertain.

“This year we are encouraging everyone who comes to the Fringe to take a leap into the unknown. Whether this is your first or your 50th time visiting the Fringe as a performer or audience member, this is a place where new discoveries wait around every corner. There is no other festival in the world that offers such a broad or diverse range of cultural experiences. The Fringe is a festival that empowers its audiences to create their own adventure.

“Last year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Fringe, but we also used it as a time to reflect, question, recalibrate and look to the future. Alongside this year’s programme, the Fringe Society has produced a blueprint of ambitions that will guide our activities in the run up to our 75th anniversary in 2022, to ensure the continued success of this amazing festival for everyone involved.

“The Fringe Blueprint identifies new approaches to ensure anyone can participate, regardless of their background. From driving down the cost of attendance to engaging young people in the arts and reaching out to underrepresented groups in Edinburgh and further afield, we want the Fringe to be the greatest festival on earth at which to perform, run a venue, develop a career, see shows and discover talent.

“We look forward to audiences and artists from around the world joining us to take a leap into the unknown at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “The Fringe continues to innovate, inspire, challenge and delight audiences, providing Scottish artists the opportunity to showcase their work on a renowned platform to industry professionals from across the globe. It enables the international arts community to experience all that Edinburgh, our world-renowned festival city, has to offer.

“As we celebrate Made in Scotland’s 10th anniversary, we are proud to have provided just under £5.5 million through our Festivals Expo Fund to support Scottish artists and creative companies with their careers. This funding demonstrates the talent and creativity of Scotland at the largest arts festival in the world.

“I look forward to taking a leap into the unknown at the 2018 Fringe and enjoying some of the many fantastic shows in this year’s programme.”

Cllr Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It is impossible to imagine Edinburgh without its festival offering each year; all the razzmatazz and colour on the Royal Mile and general buzz and excitement that the Fringe and other summer festivals bring to our city every summer.

“Building on the wonderful 70th anniversary celebrations last year, this year’s Fringe programme once again offers something for everyone, regardless of their age, taste or background, and I particularly welcome the Blueprint as a means of boosting participation, particularly amongst young people.

“We know from our People’s Survey that over three-quarters of Edinburgh residents have enjoyed a festival show in the last two years and, if the breadth and depth of this programme is anything to go by, I’m sure local residents will continue to delight in everything the Fringe has to offer. I'm looking forward to being there."

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