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Other tickets on the cheap

Though the bulk of cut-price action is on the Fringe, the other Festivals have occasional bargains to offer, too. You have to seek them out, though; and the options change from year to year, so here are our best tips for deal-hunters beyond the Fringe.

The International Festival makes a reasonable effort to offer affordable seats for all events, and these are often available at short notice. Inevitably, though, they are for the worst seats in the house, and sometimes even with a restricted view. The knowledgeable staff at the Hub booking office will be happy to explain what you're getting for your money.

The serene Book Festival is already cheap compared to the pricey Fringe, with affordable tickets for family events a particularly welcome feature of their programme. You shouldn't expect to enjoy much of a further discount, though deals on particular talks are sometimes available and are advertised in the entrance tent at Charlotte Square.

Book Festival
"The serene Book Festival is already cheap compared to the pricey Fringe"

There are slim pickings too at the Jazz and Blues Festival, which has no difficulty selling full-price tickets for most of its events.  If you're very well-organized, all customers get a 10% discount for booking 5 different shows at once, rising to a very desirable 20% off for booking 10; the sting is that the tickets need to be booked a week before the festival starts. To be sure of getting your discount, book by phone. If you're a student, there are also standby tickets on sale at the venues for £5, half an hour before the performance starts. But these are on offer only if the show hasn't already sold out - and the popularity of the programme means it would be unwise to rely on this for anything you really want to see.

The Tattoo has a number of "restricted view" tickets at bargain prices, and the view from those seats often isn't at all bad; the problem is usually that there's a handrail in front of you, which you can easily see above and below. But be warned that Tattoo tickets are notoriously difficult to get hold of, so you'll need to plan well in advance or else keep pestering the box office for any returns.  Failing that, if you just want to catch a glimpse of the massed pipes and drums, you can see them marching out at the end of a performance by waiting near the Hub on the High Street; listen for the fireworks going off as your cue to get into position.

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Edinburgh 2013

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