A Quick Guide to EdFest Venues

A Quick Guide to EdFest Venues

2023-08-02 10:39:29
This Fringe you’re really spoilt for choice! We’ve got seven amazing venues with the best shows of the festival. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? We’ve put together a quick guide to each of our venues to keep you on track this year!


As the longest running curated multi-venue operator, Assembly has ample experience selecting some of the best shows of the Fringe! And with venues spanning the city of Edinburgh, you’re never too far from their extensive programme.

If you’re looking to spend the whole day in one location, Assembly George Square has a great selection of food and drinks stalls surrounded by so many venues, you can’t go wrong. Fancy a more spectacular venue? Check out Assembly Roxy, Checkpoint and Hall. These venues, scattered between George Street and George Square, are beautiful old churches filled with some of the most exciting comedy, theatre, circus and music at the Fringe! 

That’s not all! Don’t miss a night out in the New Town at Assembly Rooms, or a whole dance programme, in collaboration with Dance Base, at the Grassmarket. Finally, for a truly unique Fringe experience, head out to Assembly at Murrayfield Ice Rink to catch the spectacular immersive circus performance, IMA.

With a vast programme of comedy, dance, circus, music and so much more, Assembly is well worth a visit this Fringe! Find tickets for their shows here.

Gilded Balloon

Our Pals in Pink at Gilded Balloon are an Edinburgh based family business, who run amazing comedy productions throughout the year. They’ve been at the Fringe for over 30 years, and have a fantastic programme of comedy, theatre, and a whole lot of drag!

You’ll find Gilded Balloon towering over Bristo square inside their iconic Teviot home. Enjoy a drink inside the Gilded Garden before heading up and down the many spiral staircases to see your favourite comedy shows!

Looking for a venue even more fabulously pink? Don’t miss Patter Hoose’s, Studio 54 inspired Patter Bar! Inside this new Fringe hub you’ll find the best of Gilded Balloon, late into the night. Finally, have you ever fancied a night at the museum? Now you can, with Gilded Balloon transforming the back of the building and taking over the auditorium. It’s a venue you don’t want to skip!

Don’t miss out on their amazing programme! Find tickets for Gilded Balloon shows here.

Just the Tonic

Comedy legends, Just the Tonic, have been at the Fringe for over 20 years. Priding themselves on keeping the feeling of the Fringe, they host the best new comedy of the festival. As well as having amazing EdFest deals, many shows are 'Pay What You Want' so anyone can get a chance to see some hilarious comedy this Fringe! 

Find their headline acts inside Nucleus, home to their largest performance space. Another converted church, the atmosphere inside is like no other! If that doesn’t sound amazing enough, take a trip to The Caves - Just the Tonic’s main fringe hub. In here you’ll find six underground performance spaces for a quintessentially Edinburgh Fringe experience!

Don’t miss out on their other spaces, tucked away behind Cowgate, the Mash House and La Belle Angele for even more late night comedy! And for a more wholesome daytime experience, take a trip to The Grassmarket Community Project complete with a fantastic cafe, outside bar and some truly hilarious shows.

Find tickets for some of the best comedy shows in town here.

The Pleasance

The Pleasance Theatre Trust are Edinburgh Festival Fringe veterans, being at the heart of the festival since 1985! Don't miss the shows which are part of their Pleasance Futures development programme, which supports talented new performers and writers taking on the Fringe.

As one of the most iconic venues of the Fringe, a trip to the festival is not complete without going to Pleasance Courtyard. This maze of performance spaces inside the Edinburgh University Complex could keep you entertained for the whole festival by itself! As the home of their comedy programme, you can watch famous faces and up and coming comics, all in one place!

If that’s not enough, be sure to visit the Dome, Pleasance’s Bristo Square hub. It’s filled with a fantastic variety of comedy and theatre acts, as well as inside and outside bars, and the immersive DARKFIELD shipping containers. Finally, for state of the art theatrical productions, don’t miss out on the amazing work hosted at EICC!

Don’t miss the best of comedy, theatre and children’s shows at The Pleasance this year! Find tickets here.


Passionate about creating a platform for progressive and original work, theSpaceUK have been championing live performances at the Fringe since 1995! Having the most diverse programming of the Festival, they've truly got something for everyone.

The Surgeons Hall Complex is a fantastic multi-space venue, with a great courtyard bar, to see an incredible diverse range of shows. Around the corner you’ll find Triplex, another multi space venue, which doubles as a late night social hub. Want even more? Symposium Hall, with its custom built amphitheatre, is a fantastic converted church space with another covered beer garden outside - perfect for summer afternoons!

On the Royal Mile you’ll find another three venues: On the Mile, Niddry Street and Venue 45. A real mix of old and new, these intimate theatre spaces in the ideal central location, have amazing atmospheres which are not to be missed. 

With the largest range of acts at the festival, you can’t go wrong with a trip to theSpaceUK. Find tickets here.


As one of the largest operations at the Edinburgh Fringe, Underbelly has so many incredible acts from around the world, in some iconic venues! From Cowgate to the Meadows, it's easy to find their a-moo-zing venues - just follow the cow!

In the venue where it all began, Cowgate is the undoubted home of late night comedy. With bars open until 5am, this venue under the bridge is the place to be until the sun comes back up! Once the day begins again, head to George Square to sit by the iconic upside-down purple cow and soak up the sunshine in the beer garden (and cure your hangover with some amazing street food!).

Underbelly’s newest addition, Circus Hub is the first major space dedicated to circus at the Fringe. Inside the two tents in the Meadows, you’ll find an incredible selection of unmissable world class acts!

Finally, don’t miss the multi-space venue at Bristo Square. With spaces surrounding and inside McEwan hall,  you’ll find a fantastic selection of comedy, theatre, cabaret and music. And a trip to Bristo Square would not be complete without visiting the garden which has become synonymous with the Fringe.

Find tickets for all these brilliant venues here.

ZOO Venues

The home of the unexpected, ZOO Venues curate an incredible selection of international contemporary performances. Hosting exciting new talent, and big names from around the world, ZOO have selected an incredible dance and physical theatre programme which is well worth a visit! 

Inside ZOO’s Southside home, you can find two fantastic performance spaces, with the larger being perfect for large physical theatre productions. There is also a pop up bar and Southside Community Centre’s cafe - the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before your next show.

For exciting small scale productions, with some of the best new writing of the Fringe, don’t miss a trip to ZOO Playground. Complete with its own courtyard bar serving wine and local beers, this hidden gem is the perfect spot to sit in the sunshine away from the larger crowds of the festival. 

Get tickets to ZOO’s fantastic programme here.

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