Excessive crowds and fierce competition of cultural offerings make August in Edinburgh overwhelming. But quieter settings and a more accessible experience is just an hour east in coastal North Berwick.
For the past nine years, this seaside resort has been home to Fringe by the Sea, a week-long multi-art festival aimed at “bringing the color, excitement and vibrancy of the Fringe to East Lothian.”
Over the years, the festival has grown in duration (4 days to a full week) and in size (from 13 shows and 2,500 people to 70 shows and more than 7,500 tickets sold in 2015). The hub of the festival takes over the North Berwick Harbour where two Spiegeltents are brought from Belgium and installed for the occasion. While the main focus is folk, jazz, blues and world music, the festival also includes comedy shows, lectures and presentations.
While the festival initially targeted locals from East Lothian and North Berwick who did not want to go to Edinburgh to see a Fringe show, today more than half of the visitors travel from out of town, sometimes for the full week to experience Fringe by the Sea in its entirety.
Advance tickets are available online through Brown Paper Tickets.
This year’s Fringe by the Sea will take place from August 8 until August 14. Check out the list of events.