Skip to content


Home arrow How to get the tickets arrow Getting tickets for the Fringe
Getting tickets for the Fringe
Article Index
Getting tickets for the Fringe
Buying tickets from the Fringe
Buying Fringe tickets from the venues

Fringe box officeThe amorphous Edinburgh Festival Fringe is by far the largest of Edinburgh's Festivals, spanning over 250 venues across the city centre. Its sheer size and variety makes for some unusually complex ticketing arrangements - and if you want to get your tickets without spending your days in queues, it's well worth getting your head around them before you come to Edinburgh.

If you remember nothing else about Fringe ticketing, remember this: there are two completely different ways of getting tickets for Fringe shows. You can either buy through the central box office run by the Fringe itself, or go directly through the venue (or chain of venues) hosting the performance.

That's nothing unusual so far - but unlike most of the festivals, where the central box office is linked to the venues', on the Fringe the two channels often sell from separate ticket pools. That means it's common for one of the two systems to sell out while the other still has tickets available - and they won't always tell you that's what's happened. What's more, tickets centrally booked with the Fringe can often only be collected from the Fringe box offices, while tickets booked with the venue can only be collected there.

It's complicated, but if you're planning on spending any time at the Fringe, it's really something you have to know. With the right choice, you'll breeze straight into the show; picking the wrong option will condemn you to a frustrating mile-long schlep to a box office on the wrong side of the city.

Choosing where to buy Fringe tickets

Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of the two options.


Fringe central box office

Venue box office

Recommended if...

You’re planning a whole day with several shows across different venues.

You’re just getting tickets for one or two shows at a single venue.


You can book or collect tickets for shows at different venues from a single box office.

If you’re booking by phone or online, buying lots of tickets in a single transaction saves on booking fees.

The best online booking system on the Fringe.

Booking opens well before the Festival starts.

If you’ve booked in advance, you can collect your tickets from the same place that you see the show.

If you want to book in person, the major venues have a convenient network of box offices across the city.

You may get 2-for-1 or other venue special deals.


Unless you are booking early enough to have your tickets posted, you may have to collect them from one of the Fringe box offices – which may be some distance from the venue.

For some venues, the Fringe’s allocation of tickets often sells out before the venue’s.

You can only buy tickets for this venue (and, sometimes, selected “allied” venues).

Smaller venues don’t have online booking systems.

Some small venues only open their box offices for a few hours a day.

Many box offices are not open for advance booking before the Festival starts.

<< Which Festival?   Getting tickets for the I... >>

Edinburgh 2013

Coming to the Fringe this year?  We can help you make the most of your time.  Learn about Edinburgh's summer Festivals and plan your visit around the city's major events. 

Find out more >>