The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012 – Free Show Guide

It’s well known that once each year the city of Edinburgh turns from its usual state as a slightly embiggened University City to a whirling mass of artisans, celebrities, tourists and overtly enthusiastic drama students.  Yes folks I’m talking about the Fringe, that wonderful offshoot of Edinburgh’s International Festival, which has now by means of sheeer perserverance, in addition to aiming to often please the lowest common denominator and the vulgar masses both.

Unusually, the people of Edinburgh seem to have a problem with the cultural miasma that fills the city, clogs the roads, papers the streets with litter, vomit and unconscious visitors who have yet to acclimatise to the 5am Festival pub closing times.  Needless to say, I’ve never fallen into this catagory of Festival-haters.  I welcome it with a gleeful grin every year, preparing as I do to embark upon a marathon of Plays and comedy shows to review for British Theatre Guide.

So to assuage the anger of these folks, and to help out the more beleaguered Fringers who have happened into ‘the ‘Burgh’ with no idea of what to do and nothing like the limitless funds (or a cheeky press pass) needed to utterly indulge in the pretentiousness all round, I have made a helpful tool.

As someone who has been at the sharp end of needing to organise and navigate over 70 shows in a 3 week period, I happened upon a sanity-saving system early on to prevent the insanity.  As it happens this system works for any bunch of fringe shows, to that end I present you with my system.  The Free Fringe Spreadsheet 2012.

It’s quite simple to use, First off, download it to your preferred Spreadsheet application, (MS Office, Open Office, Kingsoft, Lotus etc)

Decide if there is anything you don’t want, and delete it!
Then when you want to work on a specific day, click the top of the relevant column (say, 4th) to highlight it all & filter it, to remove any blanks. (how to do this this varies from one application to another)  This should leave you with only the shows on THAT DAY.
It’s usually a good idea to sort by that date as well, to put them in order goig down the list.

After that, it’s all up to you, look down the day, you’ll have the starting times, length and location all ready and you can build up a plan of what you want to see and if it’s logistically possible!  (I’d keep a copy of the fringe guide handy to check out what some of the shows are about)

I give you the guide “as is” hopefully it will be of assistance, but if you’ve any questions or comments, just drop me a line here on the site.


Happy Fringing!



  1. #1 by Arctica on July 17, 2012 - 11:35 am

    Thanks so much!! This spreadsheet has made my life much easier last year, when I went to three shows per day after a full day’s work. Very happy to have found it again =)

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