The Edinburgh Festival Fringe - an annual tradition

British arts have always played an important role for the cultural identity, in all the countries of the United Kingdom. Theatre, especially, represents a representative element from the medieval ages, when actors would travel from town to town and perform street plays for any audience who would give them some money and a lot of hospitality. Later on, this art has developed and specialized institutions were build, where professionals of the field could go on with their work. Theatre Edinburgh has become an official activity during the World War II, when in 1947 the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was organized for the first time. The event has become so popular, that in 2014 during 25 days there were more than 3,190 Edinburgh theatre shows, from over 50 countries, using 299 locations. Even if it began as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival and other events which could no longer take place in Europe because of the war, the festival has become an international tradition as far as arts are concerned, regardless which form: children shows, dance, theatre and circus, music, exhibitions and even cabaret.

During its first years of existence, The Fringe, as it is also known worldwide, did not benefits from an official organization, until 1951, when a group of determined students from the University of Edinburgh got involved and began to take care of various aspects, such as obtaining accommodation and food for the participants. Four years later, in 1955, they have already managed to develop a central booking service for all those who came to perform at The Fringe. Due to the increasing popularity of the event, the Festival Fringe Society was founded in 1959: they have elaborated a constitution and a festival guide, in which the main policy was not vetting or accepting censored Edinburgh theatre shows. Originally, the creators of the event (John Calder, Jim Haynes and Richard Demarco) aimed to maintain the atmosphere of the festival during the whole year, but since there were many entities involved in its organizations, the exclusivist plays have begun to be distributed by the Traverse Theatre to audience from all over the globe, both during Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe. Since the Fringe become a huge international celebration, volunteering students could not deal with the planning and organization anymore, so in 1970 the Society has its first administrator employed, John Milligan.

Nowadays, the event has become so important for the artistic life all over the world, that each year during three weeks in August, all the arts performers in Scotland and not only, gather in Edinburgh to enjoy art with all its forms. Each year, the Festival Director invites and strives to bring to : theatre Edinburgh the most popular and famous international performers, while also organizing talks, exhibitions and workshops. It seems that the initial idea of the Festival, according to which people should have been offered a platform where they would develop and let the human spirit bloom, has managed to take a concrete shape. Launched during the World War II, The Fringe still enriches annually the cultural life of Scotland, Britain and Europe.