Make Your Fringe with the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme
- Katharine Gemmell
- 5 June 2019
Tickets are now on sale for this year's Fringe programme, which focuses on climate change, the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, migration and more
With the countdown to August well and truly ticking, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has today officially launched the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme. The largest arts festival in the world covers the whole spectrum of the arts, including exhibitions, events and street performances, and with the usual big names, like Frances Barber and Daniel Portman, as well as stars of the future set to perform.
The 72nd edition will feature a massive total of 3,841 shows (up from 3,548 last year) that spans a total of 59,600 performances across 323 venues. It will also welcome shows from a total of 63 countries, with a healthy 963 of those shows being Scottish and 744 shows specifically from Edinburgh.
This year, organisers are celebrating the unprecedented effort, determination and innovation that goes into an event of this scale with Make Your Fringe. Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: 'The Fringe is a remarkable feat of engineering and human endeavour, and this year we are celebrating all the artists, writers, crew, staff, venue operators, audience members and more who come together to Make Your Fringe.'
New to the festival from the Fringe Society is the Inspiration Machine, an interactive, arcade-style machine that shows videos of Fringe artists on demand. It will be situated at the Mound throughout the month. It will also be available online and is an opportunity for people to randomly discover what the Fringe has to offer. Another nifty new piece of technology for this year is the FringeMaker game app. It challenges users to explore venues, see shows and do some fun Fringe challenges like treasure hunts.
Key themes highlighted on the programme are the pertinent issues of environmental disaster and climate change. The full IPCC report will be read in full by 100 people in 1.5 Degrees Live! and comedian and activist Sam Haygarth talks protests and being arrested in Climate Crisis. Elsewhere, migration becomes a focal point with Pizza Shop Heroes presenting four former child refugees and their stories, or How Not to Drown by Dritan Kastrati, exploring his story of coming to the UK and traversing the British care system.
With 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, many shows will touch on this particular part of history and science. Apollo 11 recreates the British broadcast of the big moment, and the murky conspiracy theories surrounding the event are tackled in Apollo: Take 111. Experiences of indigenous people are also given a platform at the festival, with Deer Woman highlighting the 1,600 officially documented missing and murdered indigenous girls and women in Canada, and This Time It Will be Different critically looking at the Canadian government's inquiry into the treatment of indigenous people.
Other themes at the forefront of the Fringe are death and grief; body image and body positivity; true crime; Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic identity; and sex and sexuality. Shona McCarthy commented, 'From the growing threat of global warming to the personal stories of migrants making a new home in a strange land; the 50th anniversary of the moon landings to exploring sex and true crime stories, this year's programme will challenge perceptions, stimulate conversation, entertain, make you laugh, make you cry and inspire you.'
Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from Fri 2–Mon 26 August.