Edinburgh Fringe: What's happening this year? | Venues' plans so far

Edinburgh Fringe: What's happening this year?

Venues' plans so far

More than 100 comedy shows have been announced for this year’s Fringe - and announcements keep on coming,

Most of the major operators have announced some live programming, with more expected in the run-up to the official start date of August 6.

Currently, indoor venues in Scotland must operate with one-metre social distancing between groups, which can  each comprise ten people from four households, with a target date for lifting all restrictions is  August 9, although the rampant spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 has put this in doubt.

Here are all our 2021 Edinburgh Fringe listings so far

Many events will also be streamed, but below is what we currently know about what the main Fringe operators are planning for this summer

LATEST UPDATE: July 29 11.40am


Will be operating a pop-up venue in its Courtyard featuring the likes of Mark WatsonIvo GrahamHal CruttendenJoe Thomas, and Eshaan Akbar

It is also programming events at the EICC, including a one-man reinterpretation of Friends as seen through the eyes of Gunther.


Assembly Festival will be running the Palais de Variete Spiegeltent and an outdoor stage in George Square Gardens, plus its year-round home at Assembly Roxy. Its comedy line-up includes Nina Conti, Simon Evans, Police Cops  and Joanne McNally.


Underbelly will also have a venue at George Square Gardens, and be hosting a street performers’ stage in Bisto Square. Its comedy line-up  includes Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, Myra Dubois, The Scummy Mummies, Tom Stade and Marcel Lucont.


Will be running a limited number of shows at its Teviot base including  Shappi Khorsdandi, Fred McAulay, Glenn Wool, Scot Squad star Jack Docherty and the final of So You Think You’re Funny?


A collaboration between Gilded Balloon, Zoo, Traverse Theatre and Dance Base on the multi-storey carpark in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle has a full programme of events, including Jason Byrne and a three-night-a-week stand-up showcase hosted by  Fred MacAulay.


The venue has announced a line-up of Fringe favourites doing work-in-progress runs, plus a nightly compilation show. Their line-up so far includes Ed Gamble, Nish Kumar, Elf Lyons, Fern Brady, Sofie Hagen, Alfie Brown, Jordan Brookes, Krystal Evans, Amy Matthews, Stuart Goldsmith, Catherine Bohart, Olga Koch, Larry Dean, Liam Withnail and John-Luke Roberts


The year-round club will be presenting a Best Of Scottish Comedy showcase at 8.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, while Paul Sinha and Jo Caulfield have announced small runs there.


Not a normal festival site, but the first venue to have announced a substantial Fringe comedy programme, with international promoters Live Nation programming gigs across the whole month, even under two-metre rules.

Jason Byrne, Henning Wehn, Daniel Sloss, Craig Hill, Mark Nelson and Kiri Pritchard-McLean have all announced dates (listings) - with more seats set to become available if social distancing eases.


The Laughing Horse Free Fringe Festival will return with  programme of shows at its Counting House Hub, The Three Sisters and Hanover Tap using  ticketed pay-what-you-want model. More than 60 shows have been announced, most of them in-person gigs.


PBH’s Free Fringe will  be operating at venues including Subway, Canons’ Gait, Banshee Labyrinth, Globe Bar and Ciao Roma with acts such as Trevor Lock, Tom Little, Jollyboat, John Otley, Stella Graham and the organisation’s founder, Peter Buckley-Hill. 


The company will be operating at a number of its usual spaces, including the Symposium Hall, where long-running improv group Improverts will take up residency all month, and Surgeon’s Hall, where comedy shows include comic poet Eric Davidson's Thunderjab 3 and the BBC’s former chief medical officer Colin Thomas with Trust Me, I Was The BBC Doctor.


Nothing yet announced.


The Scottish Comedy Festival is also returning to the Beehive Inn on Grassmarket with acts including Daniel Downie, Gareth Mutch, Joe McTernan, Gary Little and Raymond Mearns. Fringe regular Barry Ferns will be performing a daily show atop Arthur's Seat, and John Hegley has a run at Summerhall.

Published: 29 Jul 2021

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