Edinburgh Fringe: £5 tickets for city residents

Fringe shows such as Princess Pumpalot should be seen by locals too. Picture: contributed

Fringe shows such as Princess Pumpalot should be seen by locals too. Picture: contributed

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With thousands of tourists descending on the city, Edinburgh residents can be forgiven for feeling a bit sidelined during the Fringe.

But in a bid to encourage more people from the Capital to snap up tickets, The Assembly is offering discounted briefs to people who live in the city all year round.

The venue has rolled out a £5 ticket deal on Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August 2, to celebrate 33 years of being a part of the arts event. Over the weekend, 500 homes received the special ticket offer letter alongside a copy of the Assembly Festival mini-guide and the special offer is open to all residents.

The discount scheme is part of Cheaper Fringe For Locals, which was set up in 2011 to enable promoters and performers to show their thanks to the city for hosting the arts event every year.

Some 15,000 people have signed up to the database, which offers to exclusive deals to people who live in EH ­postcodes.

William Burdett-Coutts, ­Assembly Festival’s artistic director and founder, said: “We want Edinburgh residents to enjoy having Assembly in town as much as we enjoy being here. They are the core of our audience and always have been.”

The Gilded Balloon will offer a £5 Residents of Edinburgh ticket on August 12 and August 13.

George Street venue The Assembly Rooms is running promotional campaigns with businesses who in turn offer discounted tickets to local residents, and offer discounted tickets to its return customers.

The Pleasance Theatre Trust has introduced a lower price ticket scheme for all shows on Mondays and Tuesdays, while The Stand is offering half-price shows, with tickets to see some comedians as low as £3.50.

Managing director Tommy Sheppard said: “We’re happy to participate in the Cheaper Fringe for Locals scheme. Unlike many of the makeshift venues that pop up all around town, The Stand are locals.”

Festivals and events champion for the city council Steve Cardownie welcomed news of the discounts.

He said: “It is a bit of a misnomer all the shows during the Festival Fringe are attended by tourists. Anything that helps drive down the prices of tickets to allow ordinary people to see shows, particularly in these difficult economic times, is to be welcomed.

“In recent years, there’s also been a huge increase in the number of free festival shows. The Fringe needs to be as accessible as it possibly can be, so that families, people on low incomes or the unemployed aren’t excluded.”