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    The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

    Along with the International Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was started in 1947 (but not given its own name until 1948) and is now the largest festival of its kind in the world. The Fringe began when several theatre companies turned up uninvited to the first International Festival to take advantage of the gathering crowds. The Festival Fringe society was formed in 1959 to manage the shows, and by 1981 the number of acts had risen to 494.

    The Fringe shows centre around drama, music, dance and comedy, although since 2008 the comedy aspect of The Fringe has grown into the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. The comedy aspect had become so huge that it had simply pushed the other genres into semi-obscurity.

    The Fringe is an ‘unjuried’ festival, meaning none of the acts are vetted or any performances disallowed. This has led to controversy on occasion, some feel this lack of quality control has resulted  in an open forum for performers with little talent or acts with shows in very poor taste. Even if true to some extent, these occurrences are  accepted to be in the minority.

    Over the years many now-famous performers have cut their teeth at the Fringe and an increasing number of awards are given each year at the festival.

    The 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival ran 7th - 31st August.

    Official Fringe Festival website

    Written by Shaun Flanagan

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