Record programme for Fringe's 70th
From its roots in 1947, when 8 performance companies wanted to take part in the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival, were refused and then decided to perform anyway, the Fringe has grown to become the single largest arts festival on Earth.
This year's programme, published today under the banner Alliance of Defiance, pushes that definition further than ever before, with almost 3,400 shows and more than 53,000 performances at exactly 300 venues.
As always, 2017's Fringe lineup is a diverse and wonderful combination of different forms of art and entertainment, reflecting the festival's open-access nature and offering an incredible range of choice.
Comedy rubs shoulders with theatre, children's shows feature alongside cabaret and variety, exhibitions, live music and spoken word are there with dance, circus and physical theatre, and musicals and opera take their place beside the famous array of lively street performances.
Key themes to emerge from this year's Fringe programme include Activism, the Syrian Conflict, Global Politics, Gender, Disability & Health, Fertility, Personal Journeys & Identity, and Friendship.
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:
This is a very special year for the Fringe as we celebrate 70 years of defying the norm, of championing artistic freedom and providing a platform for artists around the world to come and present their work in a truly unique environment that is inclusive, inspiring, and often life-affirming.
The fringe movement has circled the globe and inspired a worldwide network of over 200 sister fringes, with fringes now taking place on every continent except Antarctica. In the current climate of global uncertainty, fringes are more crucial than ever, continuing to provide artists with a space to express themselves without fear of censorship.
Lots of big names will be appearing at the Fringe in 2017, with Sue Perkins, Clive Anderson, Sylvester McCoy, Judy Murray, Ruby Wax, Sean Hughes, Irvine Welsh, Hazel Irvine, Daniel Sloss and Craig Ferguson among the thousands taking part or presenting work.
And, as is traditional for the Fringe, there's a host of new and unconventional venues to enjoy, including Hibernian Football Club's Easter Road Stadium, The Leith Volcano (formerly St James Church), an Army Reserve Centre, Musselburgh Racecourse, a hotel swimming pool, and the recently-vacated former offices of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Shona McCarthy added:
The 2017 Fringe Programme reflects the principles that guide the fringe movement, it is diverse, topical, challenging and of course, exciting. I hope that as many people as possible will join us here in Edinburgh for the 70th anniversary edition of the Fringe, to witness and participate in this joyous international celebration of arts and culture.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said:
The 70th anniversary edition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme is as varied as ever and features artists from all over the world. Edinburgh’s festivals are now world renowned and it is remarkable to think the fringe movement that began here in 1947 has developed into a worldwide network of fringes.
This global fringe network will be celebrated with the first World Fringe Day on 11 July, three weeks before the main event gets underway.
2017's is a gargantuan programme in a very special year for the Fringe and Edinburgh's Festivals. Look out for more detailed coverage on these pages in the coming weeks.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from 4-28 August 2017, and tickets are now on sale. Find out more about the Fringe, including links for programme information and ticketing.
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