July 12, 2024

Edinburgh Fringe is set to return to pre-pandemic levels this summer

PHOTOGRAPH FREE TO USE FOR FIRST USE...Edinburgh street artists perform in Edinburgh on the last weekend of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009. This year saw a record number of acts perform representing the best dance, theatre and comedy.

New research from the specialist vacation experts UniversityRooms reveals this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe is set to return to its pre-Covid 2019 peak. That’s great news for fans of comedy, theatre and music, but visitors wanting accommodation will need to book early and think creatively.

Every August, thousands of visitors descend on Edinburgh’s beautiful, but compact, centre for its International Festival and famous Fringe events.

The Fringe started life in 1947 as a small, alternative event, literally on the fringes of the more highbrow Edinburgh International arts festival. Since then, it has ballooned to become an event surpassed only by the Olympics and the World Cup in terms of global ticket sales.

Following the Fringe’s peak in 2019, when there were more than 59,600 performances of 3,841 different shows in 322 venues, the event was decimated by Covid. Just one act performed live in 2020 and only 528 in 2021. But rumours of the Fringe’s death proved greatly exaggerated, and a leading tourism expert says Fringe ticket sales soared 11% in 2023 and are likely to return to their pre-pandemic heights this summer.

Lily Smith, a travel expert from the specialist accommodation finder UniversityRooms says: ‘Our research shows that 2.5m tickets were sold last year across the festival. Year-on-year, that’s an 11% increase over 2022’s already resurgent figures, and there are early indications that ticket sales will grow exponentially this year.

Says Lily: ‘As visitors from nearly 170 countries descended on the city, many were forced to book over-expensive, overcrowded accommodation last year, with reports of people even staying in farmyards to avoid the crush.

‘This year, all the indications are that a record number of people are booking accommodation well in advance, as the event returns to peak attendance. With this in mind, it’s small wonder canny visitors to Edinburgh are planning to stay in vacant Edinburgh University rooms this August. That’s a clever call, as the rooms are great value, centrally located and it’s already possible to book now for August. Best of all, you can stay in them even if you are not a student.

‘Using the revolutionary service UniversityRooms, visitors can choose from single, twin or double ensuite rooms, on a bed & breakfast or self-catering basis. What’s more, these great value rooms are available not only during the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe, but also at Hogmanay. During all these events, demand for hotel accommodation tends to be high, with prices to match!

‘University accommodation is available at a number of conveniently located campuses. Destiny Student Holyrood is located in the centre of Edinburgh’s busy cultural quarter, just a few minutes’ walk from The Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace and Arthur’s Seat. Destiny Student Shrubhill offers purpose-built student accommodation located just a 15-minute walk from Princes Street. Destiny Student Murano is located on a quiet street off Leith Walk, near Waverley Train Station, the Edinburgh Playhouse and St. James Shopping Centre. Last, but by no means least, Edinburgh University’s Pollock Halls campus, located at the foot of Holyrood Park, offers safe, affordable bed & breakfast accommodation over the University’s summer vacation, with up to 2,000 rooms available.

‘It doesn’t take an educated guess to realise that university accommodation is likely to get fully booked as we approach the summer and awareness of this inexpensive alternative grows. For more information, and to book your stay now, see https://www.universityrooms.com/en-GB/city/edinburgh/home/


Image credit: Festival Fringe Society