The Royal Mile – in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town – is where visitors and locals alike watch street performers stilt walk, eat fire or juggle while university theatre clubs and amateur dramatic groups hand out flyers and give small taster performances to entice audiences to their shows.

The 2023 Fringe takes place 4-28 August and features more than 3000 shows with theatre, comedy, music, dance, musicals, variety shows, children's shows and cabaret.

This year's theme is 'fill yer boots' - which is to get as much as possible of something that is valuable or desirable.

Shows will tackle a range of issues affecting the world today including mental health, gender indentity, race, and climate change.


The Fringe began in 1947 when eight theatre groups turned up uninvited during the official Edinburgh International Festival. The Fringe Society was created in 1958 and the event is now the world's largest arts festival.

The festival has helped to hone the skills of some of the finest comedy and acting talent from the UK and abroad, including Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Mike Myers, Robin Williams and Rowan Atkinson.

Notable Fringe performances over the years have included the first performance of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in 1966; comedians Bill Bailey, Owen O'Neill, Phil Nichol and Stephen Frost in 12 Angry Men in 2003; and Ricky Gervais playing to 6,000 people at Edinburgh Castle in 2007.

Explore Edinburgh's summer festivals with us this year.

View the full Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme, and 'fill yer boots'!