Faces of the Fringe

"While performing at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, I was amazed at all the colour, activity and buzz that filled the narrow streets of the Scottish capital. This seemed the perfect opportunity to capture a series of portraits of the Actors, Musicians, Flyerers, Artists, Queens, Storytellers,Tourists & Pipers that bring this surge of life and excitement to the Fringe."

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest open arts festival in the world. 

The Fringe sees Comedy, Theatre, Circus, Music, Poetry, Cabaret, Dance, Opera, Musicals, and Exhibitions across the three & a half weeks of the Festival. 

The 2019 edition attracted over 3000 shows, 34000 participants from 62 different countries across 300 vastly varied venues. 

Shows are performed in swiftly repurposed churches, cafes, bars, the Royal Mile is flooded with street performers on a daily rotation, beer gardens are filled with happy punters (all praying from an hour, just an hour of sunshine), while the 'Big 4' Venues - Assembly Hall, Gilded Balloon,  Pleasance and Underbelly - loom large over the rest, and challenge just how open and truly 'fringe' the whole Festival is... 

Performers spend all year preparing for the beginning of the Festival in August; most shows have at least 12 months planning before they hit the stage. 

The Fringe has a mix of the renouned big names as well as first-time performers. 

Any one who can find - or afford - a space is welcome to perform. 

"It's just too expensive these days" - the catch-cry of the 2019 Fringe. 

The capital is an expensive city outside of the Festival, but prices of rent, food and even beer skyrocket during August. 

Venue hire across the board hit new highs, and the true soul of the Fringe was constantly questioned, while some managed and schemed to cash in on it all.  

But a purity still flows through the Fringe. 

The majority of performers travel from across the world simply to perform before a willing audience. 

Most come home with lighter pockets. 

Many play to a handful or empty seats. 

But some mange to tap into something current, something different or just something that the millions who come to Edinburgh are hungry to discover. 

So where to next for the Fringe?

Some believe it's reached an unmangeable size; too many shows, too many venues and too many people simply can't all fit into a small medieval city. 

They believe it will implode, or the Big 4 venues will break off and form their own festival, with their own slected, programmed shows. 

Or maybe it'll just crack on, bigger and better than ever?