Arts & culture

Fringe Festival Countdown

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is making its eagerly-anticipated return, with tickets now on sale for over 700 shows

Lead image: © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Photographer: David Montieth-Hodge

By Cheryl Caira

The world’s biggest arts festival may not be operating at its previous show capacity, but the important thing is, it’s back – and there are plenty of fantastic performing artists to support and shows to book in for, both in-person and online. Online events are scheduled and on-demand, with some shows streaming at a dedicated time and others available for a set period. Live performances will take place indoors and outdoors, with one-metre social distancing in place until 9th August.

Here are eight shows we’ll be grabbing a ticket for over the next month – all with a musical or cabaret element to them. Keep an eye out for more themed show guides to come.

Black is the Colour of My Voice

Aug 6, 8, 10, 12, 14

Pleasance at EICC – Cromdale Theatre


In person

At once cheering and heartbreaking, Fringe First award-winner Apphia Campbell weaves an intriguing story inspired by the life of the legendary Nina Simone, looking back on a journey from piano prodigy to jazz vocalist and human rights activist.

Alice Rabbit’s AYE-Cons

MultiStory – Main Stage

Aug 6 – 7, 20 – 21


In person

Appearing at the city’s brand-new festival hub overlooking Edinburgh Castle, debut Fringe artist Alice Rabbit invites you into the ‘Hoose of Rabbit’ and down the rabbit hole as she hosts some of Scotland’s top drag queens for an hour of singing, syncing and exceptional looks.

Boogie Shoes Silent Disco Walking Party with a Scottish Twist

Aug 7, 13 – 14, 20 – 21, 27 – 30

theSpace on the Mile ­­– outside Radisson Blu Hotel on the Mile

15:00, 16:30, 18:00, 19:30, 21:00

In person

The lure of the silent disco seems untameable, particularly when it involves dance-walking round a city as bonny as Edinburgh. Expect your headphones to deliver uplifting, Scottish-rooted beats from artists including Simple Minds, Sheena Easton, Primal Scream, Calvin Harris, and the rest.

Shiva’s Camino

Aug 6 – 12

MultiStory – Main Stage


In person

Ever wanted to see flamenco, Scottish trad, Indian Classical, Bollywood and contemporary dance all in one jolly bundle? A unique celebration of cultural exchange and fusion, accompanied by live music and performed by UK dance company, Slanjayvah Danza.

Hip-Hop Orchestra Experience

Online @ theSpaceUK

Watch on demand from 14 August

Prized in their native Oakland, classical, jazz and hip-hop are the name of the boppy game for this online show as the old and the new come together. Get your ears and eyes around some winds, strings, piano, drums and MC’ing as part of five music videos from the orchestra’s new album, Death Become Life.

Wallace & Gromit: In Concert

Fringe Player – Fringe Online

Watch OnDemand

An absolute family-pleaser, this special screening of The Wrong Trousers features classic Aardman clips (Shaun the Sheep included) and classical and popular music, as Wallace and his canine compadre ready themselves to debut the ill-fated My Concerto in Ee Lad.

Absolutely Burlesque Cabaret

Aug 6 – 28

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall


In person

Dates are already selling out like sexy hot cakes for this 50-minute showcase from Sassy School of Burlesque, a local Edinburgh cabaret and burlesque school who promise a show of sass, class, glitter and glam.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok – Flight of Fantasy Tour

Aug 6 – 30

Theatre Big Top

16:00, 18:30, 20:30

They’re baaaack… One of the Fringe’s most-popular long-runners, the glamorous Lady Boys are set to take off once more with some mile high frolics and lofty stilettos to match. Always fun, and a good opportunity to get your head in the clouds for some entertaining escapism amid an airplane and showgirls theme.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will take place from 6th – 30th August 2021. For the full programme and further ticket information, visit