Eight things to absolutely hate about the Edinburgh Fringe

POPPED up to Edinburgh to enjoy the world’s largest arts festival? Here is the cavalcade of nightmares that awaits you at the Fringe.

Pretentious shows

The Fringe Festival is famous for its comedy, but there’s also lots of up-itself theatre for you to endure. You wouldn’t normally watch a moving account of one woman’s menstrual cycle told through the medium of contemporary dance and glove puppets, and after seeing it you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Twee Scottish Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a tourist trap just like any other major city. That means your hip cultural experience will be undermined by the presence of gift shops full of a thousand varieties of tartan tat, and bagpipers on every street corner. And the worst part is you kind of like it.

Pushy flyer bastards

You understand that people have got shows to promote, but that’s what posters are for. During the Fringe the Royal Mile becomes a gauntlet populated by in-your-face students and aspiring comics desperately trying to recoup their printing costs. Strangely their aggressive manner doesn’t tempt you to see them perform.

The f**king price of everything

From the price of booze to the accommodation, a trip to the Fringe will do a better job of wiping out your bank account than your next energy bill. Even getting to the sodding thing costs a fortune, and that’s before you buy tickets to anything. At least the really shit stuff is free.

Neds waiting to deck you

The Fringe is the Christmas of the Scottish hooligan calendar. Neds will make the hallowed pilgrimage from Glasgow through to Edinburgh, then lurk around near the Underbelly to beat up unsuspecting punters as they stagger home. For first-timers, getting headbutted by a wannabe Begbie is a rite of passage.

Student revues who think they’re Beyond the Fringe

Peter Cook and co. ushered in a new age of comedy back in the 60s, and the gaggle of teenage stand-ups you’re currently watching are pissing on that legacy. If only their dads had paid them more attention during their formative years they might have gone into engineering instead, and saved everyone this horror.

The fear of missing out

It’s impossible to see every show at the Fringe, meaning you’re going to miss an act you’ve got your eye on. This will feel even more devastating when you realise you made the wrong choice and now you have to sit through a punishingly shit improv musical, which you can’t just leave because you’re sat in the front row.

Your mate’s terrible stand-up routine

It’s just you and them in some pub attic, and they’re rattling off the weakest material of the whole Fringe. Out of obligation you’ll laugh at the expected intervals, even though a real friend would politely stop them and give them some life advice along the lines of ‘give it the f**k up, mate’. The worst thing is you paid £12 for this wasted hour.

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A Casa Amor reject: the shit celebs who appear at your local nightclub

DO you live in a small regional town with one shit nightclub? You’ll probably find some of these people making desperate appearances there. 

A Casa Amor reject

While Ekin-Su and Maura Higgins are signing multi-million pound modelling deals, this Ipswich-based plumber, who was instantly ejected from Casa Amor, is struggling to make hay from his time on Love Island. It’s difficult to imagine how an evening handing out watered-down shots at Vodka Rev in Dunstable will serve as a gateway to more TV work.

Come Dine With Me contestant

Nothing gets a crowd in a nightclub going quite like having a 57-year-old accountant who featured on Come Dine With Me in 2014 turn up to pretend to DJ. Revellers will stop dancing and look confused as this ‘celebrity’ plays Dire Straits album tracks in between angry rants about how he should have won his episodes.


Is it David Beckham? Zinedine Zidane? Raheem Sterling? No, it’s a slightly overweight man who allegedly played for Luton two decades ago, though there’s suspiciously little record of him online. He’ll spend the entirety of his £50 appearance fee on Jägerbombs and then get kicked out after vomiting on the dance floor.

1980s TV presenter

Your local nightclub Thunder Fingers has dug out a bloke who presented one series of Blue Peter and now scratches out a living making appearances like this and working part-time in Sainsbury’s. After watching him fire t-shirts at a piss-taking crowd you later find him weeping in the toilets, which is the most interesting part of his whole appearance.

A Geordie Shore ‘star’

Geordie Shore may have been the launchpad for several careers, but sadly not this lass, despite the promotional posters displayed by the nightclub leading you to think they’d booked Vicky Pattison. Instead, this ‘star’ appeared in two background scenes in season two before getting kicked off for being too boring, which is basically what happens at her night club appearance too.