ST Andrew Square is to be transformed into a major Fringe venue for the first time to coincide with the arrival of trams.
Three separate performance areas will be created to accommodate up to 30 shows in the square which is home to Jenners and Harvey Nichols.
It will also become home to one of the most popular Fringe venues, the Famous Spiegeltent, with the site expected to be open until at least midnight.
The move to open it up for the Fringe will coincide with the transformation of the entire length of George Street into a new “al fresco” culture quarter, with restaurants and bars allowed to extend their pavement cafe areas and stages set up for performances.
It forms part of a year-long pilot to reduce traffic levels on George Street and hand over more space to pedestrians when trams finally run.
Charlotte Square Gardens, at the west end of George Street, has been used for the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the last 30 years.