What is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

Last updated at 14:51
fringe performersEdinburgh Festival Fringe Society

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is back for its 68th year. It's the world's biggest arts festival, and it transforms Scotland's capital city for three weeks every August.

Thousands of artists from all over the world perform on hundreds of stages all across Edinburgh.

Famous comedians like Michael McIntyre often perform, and new artists hope that their talent might be spotted.

The Fringe is known for putting on weird and wonderful performances.

Huge audiences come to see theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, musicals, opera, and spoken word performances.

In 2014, an estimated 1,857,202 tickets were sold for shows and events across the city.

Where it started

The Fringe started in 1947, when the Edinburgh International Festival was launched.

The festival was so successful, that there were more performers than it had space for.

Eight theatre groups who weren't invited decided to turn up anyway.

They performed around the edge, so that their shows would still be seen by the crowds.

This became known as the 'Festival Fringe' and more groups joined every year.

The Fringe 2015 in numbers

fringe performersEdinburgh Festival Fringe Society
  • There will be 3,314 shows.
  • Between them, they will put on 50,459 performances.
  • Artists have come from 49 different countries.
  • They will be performing at 313 venues across Edinburgh.

This year, festival-goers will get the chance to get involved in magic tricks, hear disgusting poetry, and learn the secrets to being a great cartoon artist.