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The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh

For three weeks in August, arts and entertainment take centre stage in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - the largest arts festival in the world.

The beginning of the Fringe Festival

Fringe fever began in 1947, with a somewhat modest offering provided by eight theatre groups who arrived in town to participate in the Edinburgh International Festival. Uninvited, the theatre performers had no option but to set up on the ‘Fringe of the Festival’. As the Edinburgh International Festival continued year upon year, the amount of ‘Fringe’ performers grew too until the gathering was formalised in 1958 with the creation of the Festival Fringe Society.

Edinburgh- the Festival City

August sees makeshift theatres, venues and bars pop-up in parks, in dis-used buildings and on the streets; occupying each and every spare inch of the city centre. When a massive, purple inflatable cow - the ‘Udderbelly’, one of the most iconic performance spaces - appears in Bristo Square, Edinburgh locals know that the Fringe is about to begin…

The Fringe Festival is a truly global event which attracts talented performers from around the world. From Comedy to Theatre and from Circus to Opera, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has something to offer audiences of all ages, interests and nationalities. In 2015, acts from 49 countries completed 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues! With this amount of choice on offer, it’s easy to understand why audiences return to the Festival year on year. It is impossible not to be touched and inspired by the energy and dynamism of Edinburgh, the Festival city.

The Fringe as a platform for emerging talents

The Fringe Festival does not have a selection panel: each and every performer who wishes to propose and perform a Fringe act can do so, so long as they find a venue willing to accommodate them. Accordingly, a variety of acts – from first-time performers to established household names – entertain audiences side-by side in fringe venues. As a result, the Fringe provides a platform from which emerging talents in the world of entertainment can be discovered. Rory Bremner, Al Murray, Steve Coogan and Flight of the Conchords are amongst those who have been previously propelled to stardom by a successful run of shows in the fringe.

Internship during the Fringe Festival

The Summer School’s Business in the Arts programme provides students with the unique opportunity to study in an environment at the heart of festival action and also to gain an insight into an arts organisation which is affiliated with the Fringe.

The 8-week Business in the Arts programme is divided into two parts. The first section is theory-based, and students separated into two streams: students with business majors and students with non-business majors. The primary difference is that the non-business major stream benefit from a greater content of introductory business management theory.

During the latter 4 weeks of the programme, students will complete an internship experience in an arts organisation which is participating in the Fringe.  The Fringe is fertile creative hub, a place to network with some of the world’s most exciting talents in the arts world: from directors, producers and journalists. It is therefore a wonderful opportunity for budding creatives to introduce themselves, and to build their reputation in the industry. For this reason, the Business in the Arts programme is one of the most sought after of all the Summer School offerings.