The Edinburgh Festival starts each year in August and lasts about three weeks. This year it would start on the 14th of August and end on the 4th of September. Since 1999, the Festival’s headquarters is in a gothic building on the Royal Mile, the so called Hub, not far from the Castle. (In 2005, the Fringe lasted from the 7th till the 29th of August.)
It is also worth mentioning that on the opening day of the Festival, called the “Fringe Sunday” there is a grand picnic organized for the residents of town, which is held in the harbour district, along with 150 free shows (performances) offered as a gesture of thank you for any inconveniences that may occur due to the Festival.
The “Fringe Festival Society” was founded in 1958, with the duty of coordinating the programs, advertising the event, selling tickets from a central office and giving advices to the performers on how to make their dreams reality. The society strives to provide free hand to all performers to the Fringe, through allowing the right to all sorts of productions to take place, indiscriminately, without any previous selection; therefore anyone can perform at this wholly open festival. In 2003 for example, there were more than 650 different art alignments, from the A-listed Hollywood and mighty theatre stars, through the passionate amateurs and the dedicated undergraduates, all gathered to win the culture-hungry Fringe-public’s attention and approval.
Also exists today, the so called “Friends of the Fringe” who patronize (sponsor) the Fringe Festival with a symbolic amount of money (10 Pounds). As sponsors, the Fringe Program is delivered to their homes and they also have ticket booking priority and advantage.
As the almost 60 year old festival seemed to attract a larger and larger audience to this town, the number of festivals organized here also increased over the years. Apart from the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, other festivals such as the Military Tattoo, the Mela, the International Book-fair (13th-29th August, 2005), the International Film Festival, the Jazz & Blues Festival and the Art Festival also run simultaneously.