Edinburgh Festival Fringe revival expands to 106 venues as 670 shows are confirmed

At least 106 venues will be part of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe when it returns next week.

The Fringe is due to officially return from August 6, which more than 670 shows staged across 106 venues.

Organisers have revealed that more than 670 shows have registered for the event, which officially gets underway a week on August 6.

The figure is nearly four times as many compared to when the first tickets went on sale at the beginning of this month.

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The 2019 Fringe, the biggest in the history of the event, featured some 323 venues.

Scots singer Iona Fyfe is due to appear at this year's Fringe. Picture: Elly Lucas

Further announcements from venues and promoters are expected over the next few weeks after the Fringe Society decided to keep registration open until the end of the festival.

More than 300 new shows have been announced since physical distancing rules in Scotland were relaxed on July 19.

The Scottish Government is due to announce on Tuesday whether the current one metre distancing rule for indoor and outdoor events will be lifted from 9 August, after the Fringe’s opening weekend.However many venues are expected to keep distancing measures in place, regardless of the government’s announcement to reassure audiences and staff.

St Mary's Cathedral in the west end and a Ukrainian community centre on Royal Terrace are among the new venues confirmed today.

The former will host a series of choral concerts will the latter will host the return of the Acoustic Music Centre to the Fringe. Among the acts confirmed to appear are award-winning singers Hannah Rarity, Iona Fyfe and Mairi Campbell, the current BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Michael Biggins, Gaelic star Maggie Macinnes.

A spokesman for the venue said: “That this is happening at all is because of the grant EventScotland have given us to ensure these shows happen live and in-person.

“Social distancing means we can only run with 30 seats instead of our usual 80 seats. It’s not perfect by any means but it's something.”

Other venues already confirmed for this year include Silverknowes Beach Tynecastle Park football stadium, Musselburgh Racecourse, the grounds of Newhailes House in East Lothian, the top of a multi-story car park beneath Edinburgh Castle and historic railway arches in Leith.

New additions to Gilded Balloon’s line-up include Canadian comic Glenn Wood, sketch troupe Just These Please, rising TikTok stars Mamoun Elagab and Finlay Christie, and Jev Ives’ show Peak Trans, which tackles the public discourse on trans people in the UK.

The Pleasance’s comedy programme will now include Seann Walsh, Rachel Fairburn, Aurie Styla, Sam Lake, Tom Lucy and Louise Young.

The Beehive Inn, in the Grassmarket, will be hosting its own “Scottish Comedy Festival,” with Gareth Waugh, Connor Burns, Liam Farrelly, Daniel Downie, Gareth Mutch, Joe McTernan, Gary Little and Raymond Mearns all due to appear.

Nearby neighbour DanceBase will be staging performances on its rooftop garden in the Grassmarket, as part a celebration of how nightclubbing can be a “queer sanctuary” at the Grassmarket venue.

A spokesman for the venue said: “As the Fringe itself rebuilds, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to ensure there’s still a home at the world's biggest arts festival for acts based right here in Scotland, because when the Fringe stops, we don’t.”

Underbelly’s line-up in George Square will see the return of TV legend Basil Brush following his success at the festival in 2019 with a family-friendly show and an adults-only event.

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