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Edinburgh Fringe

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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an arts festival associated with the Edinburgh Festival. It takes place in the city of Edinburgh during August, and is the largest arts festival in the world.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, more usually called the Edinburgh Fringe, was started in 1947, the same year that the Edinburgh Festival was started. Eight theatre companies decided to take advantage of the crowds of theatre goers expected to attend the Festival by putting on unofficial performances of their own. Since then the Fringe has outgrown the official Festival, and now has its own staff and coordinating organisation, which sells more than a million tickets each year.

The Fringe is focused almost exclusively on the performing arts, particularly theatre and comedy. Fringe material can be anything from Shakespeare to the truly experimental. Some Fringe venues are established professional theatres and regularly sell hundreds of tickets to a performance; others are converted church halls or even living rooms, and attract single-digit audiences. At first there was allot of animosity between the fringe and the official festival, however now this has completely disappeared. The Fringe Festival has now dwarfed the official festival.

The prestigious Perrier Comedy Awards are announced at the festival.

The Edinburgh Fringe has inspired a world-wide circuit of festivals in many Canadian, American, Australian and European cities. Fringe theatre festivals are distinguished by their un-juried selection process, allowing artists to produce a wide variety of interesting works.

In 2003 the Fringe sold over 1 million tickets this was repeated in 2004.

One of the highlights of the 2004 Festival was Christian Slater appearing as Randall P Murphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which subsequently transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. Tickets for the run, which also included a cast of stand-up comedians, sold out prior to its initial Edinburgh run.

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