Your tickets are booked, elbows sharpened to push through the crowds and hands warmed-up for excessive clapping. All that’s left is what to take, so let’s run through some top tips for creating a fringe survival kit!
One of the best and unique aspects of the Fringe are the weird and wonderful venues. You can be cramped in the basement of a bar or in a grand theatre straining to hear over that one person who just had to unwrap their sweeties during the tense final act.
For whatever situation it’s best to pack light, bring a small satchel or backpack that you can shove under a chair. Many venues don’t allow big bags or will ask to check or store them, which takes up time and can be a bit embarrassing when they rake through and find your emergency underwear and bottles of suncream, mosquito repellent and antiseptic you brought “just in case”.
Don’t go without a bag though, you will accumulate a ridiculous number of brochures, leaflets and flyers while just walking around. Store them to read in quiet moments – you never know when you’ll find an unexpected gem of a show!
There are so many incredible pop ups, food trucks and restaurants, and you should take advantage of them. However, if you’re in a rush or looking to save money bring food! Avoid becoming hangry and crying on the Royal Mile because that café is JUST. TOO. FAR. AWAY and when you get there it’s full and your feet hurt by bringing a few small snacks.
With the pre-show beers and abundance of prosecco bars it’s also good to keep your stomach lined. Bring something small and discreet like a cereal bar that you can eat easily in a queue or jogging to your next event, but not in the show. Don’t be that guy.
Also, bring water. Be that person in your group who constantly reminds everyone to stay hydrated. You’ll last longer and enjoy the shows better. With constant walking, boogieing and standing, it’s better to be the mum friend than have to go home early because you’ve become a shrivelled husk of your former self.
Yes, those vintage vinyl platforms with the gold stars are gorgeous, they’re insta-worthy, they make your legs look ravishing, but just imagine stumbling on cobbled streets and struggling up hills. I have been a victim. A fashion victim. Wearing leather knee high boots to the fringe in the height of my goth phase in 2010 I found my legs swollen and resembling black puddings. Don’t be like me, go for the trainers.
Part of the pleasure of the Fringe is wandering and soaking the atmosphere up, even if you are soaking with the sweat of many strangers and stuck behind a German tour group. Ditch the fashion and go for something light and breathable. Bring a light coat or cardigan you can shove in a bag, it’ll also be helpful if you sit down on the floor (it’ll happen).
When every street and venue have the same name and every member of your group gets separated in what was meant to be a quick toilet stop in a pub, or you take 200 boomerangs trying to get that perfect glass clink gif, you’ll find google maps and iMessage running your battery down. Bring a portable charger, don’t rely on plug sockets in coffee shops or in a venue, it’s not worth the risk! Also you need to be able to like and follow every performer on social media. It’s only polite.
Don’t forget paracetamol and blister patches for that inevitable moment you realise you read the tickets wrong and have to sprint to the other side of the city.
So run free and enjoy every minute of the beautiful madness that is the Fringe!