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Daily listings

The Daily GuideWe're waiting for information on the Daily Guide for 2012.  This article was first published in 2009.

With so much to choose from at the Edinburgh Festival, it seems implausible to suggest you might ever be at a loose end. But one way or another, there's always that odd bit of time - between two shows, perhaps, or when you've had your dinner but don't feel like going home - when you'd like to find something to entertain you, right there and then. That's where the Festivals Daily Guide comes in.

The Guide is published by the Edinburgh Festivals umbrella organization, and you can pick it up for free from literally hundreds of sites across Edinburgh. Step into all but the tiniest of Fringe venues, and you'll find them in a distinctive metal holder near the door - though the stock does run down as the day goes on, so it's best to bag your copy early.

Daily Guide
"The Guide gives you an immediate overview of the shows which could fill a particular slot in your diary"
The Guide's key advantage is that it's organized chronologically, to give you an immediate overview of the shows and events - across all of the Festivals - which could fill a particular slot in your diary. You only get the show's title, so you'll need to cross-reference with the relevant Festival programme to check out further details.  The Fringe programme is the best one to have on standby, since that's the Festival which offers the greatest potential for last-minute spontaneity.

Other daily listings

If you're within reach of the Internet, though, it's easier to go onto This excellent website similarly lets you search the whole Festival programme, within a specified time range - but with the added advantage that you can click through to read more about any shows which pique your interest. There are links to the box offices, as well, to give you a head-start when booking a show.

Of course, one final way to fill a spare couple of hours is just to turn up at a venue, and see what takes your fancy from the listings posted up there. It's a risky approach, but if you'd like to roll the dice, you could do worse than to head for Bristo Square: you can see what's on offer at the Gilded Balloon before checking out the Pleasance Dome, where you can also see the schedules for the Pleasance Courtyard, just five minutes' walk away.

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