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Edinburgh Fringe 2019: Six ways to conquer your FOMO

Not going to Edinburgh this year? Don't fret – here are some very good reasons to keep your Fear Of Missing Out at bay

Edinburgh High Street during the Fringe
© David Monteith Hodge

In previous years I've been a stalwart of the Fringe, making the annual pilgrimage to Edinburgh to pack in as many shows as my spreadsheet will allow and generally revelling in all things Fest. This year however, parental duties have kept me away, so I'm trying hard to manage my FOMO as friends tweet from the Fringe frontline and reviews inform me of ‘unmissable' hits.

So for all my fellow non-travellers, here is some advice for managing the green-eyed monster this month.


1. Look out for transfers

When I first started going to the Fringe nearly 20 years ago the prospect of shows transferring after Edinburgh was a rarity. But now it seems that nearly every show with positive reviews – and even many without – are likely to go on to have another life elsewhere. So keep an eye on venues such as the Soho, Bush and BAC, whose autumn and winter seasons are usually packed with Fringe hits.

2. Think of the money

As is well-documented, the Edinburgh Fringe is increasingly becoming a bank balance-busting experience. From overpriced accommodation to spiralling ticket prices and a shortage of affordable eateries (£7 for a cheese toastie? Really?) you can save a fortune and spend it on theatregoing at other times of year instead.

Top tips for doing the Edinburgh Festival on a budget

3. Give your feet a rest

I have never worn a Fitbit during the Fringe but I'd imagine if I did it would probably explode. There is SO MUCH WALKING involved, and most of it seems to be up hills (this may be my fault for staying in the New Town). But this year I can enjoy sub-10,000 step days and the prospect of pottering along London's largely flat pavements.

4. No Royal Mile

In the very early days I used to flyer on the Royal Mile for my student shows. Little did I realise the bliss of a Fringe spent avoiding this most hectic of souks, where flyers are shoved into your hand whether you want them or not and street performers jostle for the attention - and money - of innocent tourists. This year I won't have to plan routes around it.

Watch WhatsOnStage walk down the Royal Mile

5. Theatre is still happening elsewhere

Although it can feel like the entire theatre industry has decamped to the Scottish capital during August, the truth is most of it is carrying on as normal. And if you're visiting London with children you can take advantage of Kids' Week, where West End shows give away free tickets to youngsters. Plus there are tons of great new openings to choose from - check out our guide for a sample.

6. There's always next year

The Fringe has made it to the ripe old age of 72 and doesn't look like slowing down any time soon. To misquote Benjamin Franklin, nothing is certain in life but death, taxes and the Edinburgh Festival. So you should relax in the knowledge that there will always be a chance to sate your FOMO another year.

Read all our Edinburgh Festival coverage here