The Edinburgh Fringe Festival began on Sunday with a massive procession through the town centre.
The Fringe is now 58 years old, and this year it boasts 25,000 performances of 1,700 shows in 236 venues.
Unknown performers take their place alongside established acts such as Ricky Gervais, Richard Herring, and the voice of Bart Simpson - Nancy Cartwright.
There will also be the usual quota of street theatre and open-air entertainment.
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Send us your stories, reviews and pictures from this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. If you've been before, let us know your highlights and lowlights from the Fringe.
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The Fringe has become, certainly as far as comedy is concerned, a showcase for wealthy London based agents to flog the talents of their charges to London based promoters. I represent a local based comedy act and the only time of the year we plan no appearances is during the Fringe. Why? Because it is more than ten time more expensive for venues than at any other point in the year. Even to get your 50 words in the Fringe brochure costs in the region of £500. The People's Festival - I think not!!
Andy J, Edinburgh
I love the festival! I used to live on the royal mile and the bagpipes would be blaring outside my door from 7am to 3am, but it's only for a month and the atmosphere is great!! I hope the weather improves though....
Caroline, Edinburgh, Scotland
I was there Saturday and Sunday appearing in the "Amused Moose Hot Starlets" show at the Pleasance JokerDome. Managed to catch a few shows myself too - including "Colin and Fergus", which was very funny, and "Afterhours" which is on every night showing some of the top comedy acts - but does go on very late! There's lots more that I wanted to see but had to get back to work...
In the daytimes, when I wasn't flyering round the Pleasance (sorry if I was bugging people, but those who came were glad they did!) I went and sat in the park next to Prince's Street and listened to the (free) music shows. I can appreciate that some locals find the clog-up on the buses and pavements a pain but surely this is outweighed by the chance to see thousands of brilliant shows from all around the world..? If you really don't want it, I would be very very happy to replace it with the "London Fringe" down here next year!
Kate, London (back now)
All those who say the fringe is full of English luvvies - you can find Scottish acts if you open the big book called a PROGRAMME and have a look. When you live in Edinburgh it's easy to ignore all the great stuff the festival has to offer - late licenses, busy streets, huge range of things to see... The moaners probably spend the rest of the year complaining there's nothing on. I'd recommend the first show I saw this year: 'British Television Explained', a great comedy from two Scottish guys which featured the best use of a flip chart I've seen at a fringe show.
Never mind the stand up comedy, and the plays. You should have been in Edinburgh last week for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival!
Stuart Hay, Dunbar
My best memory of the fringe circa 1971 is a nude Hamlet on roller skates throwing fish at the audience! Pure brill!
Neil Brown, Newtonhill
Don't know the venues and not sure of the dates, but Shooglenifty are an absolute must for any music lover. Traditional 'folky' type fiddle, mandolin and guitar music perfectly blended with the energy and excitement of rock and (or) roll. Enormous talent, enormous fun, a really high-energy night out. Don't miss them.
Joe, Melbourne, Australia (ex pat)
The atmosphere in the city is absolutely fantastic and it is the people - the tourists and the performers that make it all possible. From a local lad, and I'm sure most people that live in the city, they are all more than welcome.
Graeme, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
I thoroughly recommend Swedish comedian/crazy magician Carl-Einar Häckner (voted Sweden's sexiest man at one point), appearing almost everyday at the Pleasance Above. His show 'Heart' is a rollecoaster ride of crazy magic, comedy and a couple of Swedish jokes thrown in. Very energetic and very funny.
Edinburgh's heaving with people, it's no wonder some can't get a room for the night, but the Fringe and other Festivals are the only time sleepy Auld Reekie comes to life. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in August. Don't believe the miseries who don't like it; they have the city they like for the rest of the year!
Gordon Winter, Edinburgh, Scotland
There are some great young comedians in Edinburgh, comics that don't get a mammoth amount of mainstream exposure, but who are worth seeing live: Ross Noble, Daniel Kitson,, Alun Cochrane, Andrew Maxwell, and others. Check 'em out.
I popped into Edinburgh for the evening on my way home from a trip to Montrose with 10 friends. We managed to see three shows in the evening, Luke & Stella (one to miss, goes on for too long), Glen Wool (Very funny Canadian, humorous observations) and the brilliantly named Anvil Sprinstein (a Geordie with a scouse accent, not one to take your granny to). The city had a good atmosphere and I would encourage people to visit, even if it is only for an evening!
Gareth Renowden, Warwick, England
I saw Jimion at the Pod Deco on Friday night and he was a good laugh. Rob Brydon was rather lacklustre according to a reliable source (my mate). No shows seem to have started on time so far though...
Rachael, Edinburgh, Scotland
A total waste of time and money! These people should be working for a living, not putting on plays that no-one with any sense is interested in.
Donald Muraco, Leith, Scotland
The 'Fringe' isn't really fringe any more though is it? Let's just admit that what used to be alternative is now mainstream, and let the reverse snobs grind their teeth. Can it also be made more accessible? The dramatic increase in hotel prices and shortage of rooms means that most 'ordinary' people can't afford to go and it's in danger of becoming just another mutual backslapping exercise between performers and reviewers. Edinburgh for the people!
Katherine, London, UK
Check out "The Magnets" at the Pod venue. I saw their preview show (after seeing them with Nicholas Parsons at the Pleasance). A fantastic modern a-capella group. A charming bunch of guys, and musically flawless.
See any play directed by Guy Masterson, particularly his solo interpretation of Animal Farm. It's truly breathtaking. Avoid Shakespeare and anything on stilts.
Gavin Stamp, London
The festival is great. Working in the centre of town we have our daily 'who's seen someone famous chat' (so far we have Mackenzie Crook, and a man who used to be Neighbours - early days though). So far this year, I can recommend Herbie Treehead's Dinosaur Circus at Pod Deco, great for kids, and Movin' Mervin Brown, Pod Deco again, who I think must be the happiest man in the world, with the fastest feet I ever did see.
The fringe is an example of Edinburgh remaining one of the best cities in the world to visit.
Colin, Edinburgh, Scotland
I was in Edinburgh during the previews prior to the "official" opening. Highly recommended from the selection I saw were "Two by Jim Cartwright" at Gilded Baloon, "Putting It Together" at Ctoo, and Nancy Cartwright at the Assembly Rooms.
Alan, Cambridge, UK
Had a great day on Saturday hanging out in the Pleasance courtyard, sitting in the sun, and taking in the culture. Dara O'Brien was the best laugh I have had in years at the fringe.
Debbie Sheldon, Glasgow
I would concur with Debbie, Dara O'Brien is one of the funniest shows I've seen. With regards to accommodation, I got round this by renting student digs at Herriot Watt University!
Craig Macleod, Glagow
I lived in Scotland near Edinburgh for 12 years. The Festival is a superb event which brings over 2,000,000 tourists to the City during the 3 weeks that it is on. The only problem every year was always the weather. We used to call the Festival the start of the monsoon season!
Philip Cleveland, UK
I am glad the Fringe is under way again: the previews have got me off to a good start. Great shows so far: Trust Byron, The Elephant Woman, The blind fiddler, Victor Borge (all at Pleasance or Assembly rooms). The dogs? Well, on Wednesday August 4, the BBC pick of the fringe was rubbish! The acts change every night so hopefully nobody else has to tolerate Charlie Chuck, Stewart Lee & Gary Le Strange; hopeless they are. Another real minger is the Rage at the Assembly rooms... a boring fat bloke from London playing a piece of pipe & treating good musicians badly. One to run from.
Neill Bell, Edinburgh, Scotland
Last year I spent 2 weeks up and saw brilliant shows, this year I went up for one weekend and the only show I had tickets for was cancelled due to chickenpox... vaccination, Mr. Slater... vaccinations...
Carla, London, UK
I'd love to go up for the festival, but there don't seem to be any rooms available in the whole of Edinburgh. Can someone let me stay in their spare room?!
Anna Stewart, Newcastle
Three years ago, I sat through the world's worst 'interpretation' of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the Fringe Festival. The majority of it was delivered from behind a curtain in a variety of poorly realised accents. I think it was supposed to say something about censorship. but mostly it said "we're students". That said, Cambridge Footlights have often been worth going to see, and almost every show has something to offer. Shame I can't make it this year.
I think some of the best performances are the street performers. You can wander up and down the streets of Edinburgh and sit and watch one after the other. They are all top entertainment
Tracey, Surrey, UK
The Edinburgh Fringe is basically about English Luvvies taking over Edinburgh for a big party, and the locals largely resenting them for it (whilst being happy to take their money). Or am I just a bit cynical?
Mark, Glasgow, Scotland
To Mark in Glasgow; You're not being cynincal. I live in Edinburgh & I can't stand the influx of obnoxious tourists & arrogant 'we-know'it-all' self proclaimed critics!
With regards to the comments from Mark and Keith, I think you are both being a wee bit harsh. Although it does get very busy and some of the people are a tad 'out there', just stay clear of them. It's great for Edinburgh and Scotland and nice to know people want to come here. Don't worry folks, the vast majority of us Scots aren't as dour as these 2!