Edinburgh Festival Fringe to replace ‘Half Price Hut’ for event's 75th anniversary

Organisers of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe have admitted the popular ‘Half Price Hut’ will be missing when the event returns next month.

The pop-up venue, a fixture at The Mound precinct at the Fringe in modern times, has traditionally drawn huge crowds as it allowed people to snap up discounted tickets for shows which were not sold out.

However, the Fringe Society, which oversees the festival, said the infrastructure needed had “reached its end of life”.

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The Half Price Hut was operated for years during the Fringe at The Mound precinct.

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    The Fringe Society has previously announced that it would be running a new area for performances on The Mound under a partnership with social media giant TikTok. Free street theatre shows will also be staged beside the Royal Scottish Academy building on The Mound.

    However, the Fringe Society insisted discounted tickets would still be available every day of the festival from its official box office on the Royal Mile.

    The decision to drop the Half Price Hut, which previously ran on The Mound between 10am and 9pm, has emerged after concerns were raised about its possible absence next month in an open letter raising widespread concerns about the running of the event.

    The campaign, backed by performers, producers, promoters and agents, demanded “immediate clarification” on rumours the Half Price Hut would be missing this year, describing it as “an incredibly useful resource”.

    Fhona McCarthy shief executive joined forces with festival staff and then Lord Provost Frank Ross to launch an 'Inspiration Machine' next to the Half Price Hut on The Mound in 2019. Picture: Stewart Attwood All images © Stewart Attwood Photography 2019. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

    The Half Price Hut, which a sponsorship deal with Virgin Money had helped pay for, had been one of the popular new features of the festival in modern times.

    Large queues were regularly spotted at The Mound from festival goers looking to make a last-minute booking for a show.

    Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: “The physical Half Price Hut will not be returning as the current infrastructure had reached its end of life.

    “But that doesn’t mean Half Price Hut ticket offers will end. Instead, they’ll be available at our box office at 180 High Street – more details on this will be announced soon.

    "We will also be co-ordinating weekly ‘offer-led’ e-newsletters to subscribers, with venues able to provide targeted offers for specific shows or locations.

    "The move to e-ticketing throughout Covid has meant there are no physical tickets. We have invested in mobile phone handsets at venues, to ensure a seamless move from physical to e-ticketing, which was piloted in 2021.”