Five groups preserving the spirit of the Fringe in 2009

  • The List
  • 23 August 2009

This article is from 2009

Five groups preserving the spirit of the Fringe in 2009

We salute five groups who are preserving the original spirit of the Fringe, off the Fringe!

Serenade street parade
At 9.59pm on Friday night last, from a location revealed 24 hours earlier, a renegade parade set out to paint the town red. The word on the street and on the net was to bring hula hoops, stilts, noise-makers, bedecked umbrellas, discreet refreshments … and to play nicely. Were you there?

te Pooka
Somewhere in Edinburgh is a Big Red Door with a festival going on behind it. You won’t find te Pooka in the Fringe program, but it does have gooseberry wine, performances and events running throughout the month, and a ‘shadowy hall of broken-mirror dreams’.
Intrigued? Visit

West Port Book Festival
A far cry from the pushy old ladies currently thronging Charlotte Square in hope of a photo op with Carol Ann, the second annual West Port Book Festival offered four days of free events from a series of bookshops and other venues in ‘Edinburgh’s Soho’. It also featured the world’s first – cringe or chortle with delight – Literary Twestival. Powered by goodwill and dynamism.

Forest Fringe
A true fairy godmother of risk and innovation. Not only does it provide free performance space, but it even gives free accommodation to its artists. And rather than demanding finished shows, it invites them to go out on a limb and deliver works in progress. Tickets are free, and some of the acts are brilliant.

Street Crash
On Saturday afternoon, youth culture went live on West Bowling Green Street with Street Crash, a graffiti event organized by Urban Studios. If you felt pretty groovy looking at street art on the walls of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, get down to Leith and see the real thing.

West Port Book Festival

After the success of last year's inaugural festival, authors, poets and magicians congregate in Edinburgh's Soho for readings, happenings and workshops. It's all free with tickets for most events bookable via

Big Red Door Festival

A fabulous pageant of freakery and skill from Edinburgh's most secret venue. Peek behind the red door for theatre, circus, cabaret, music and mayhem with te POOKa, Theatre Paradok, KiN, Steam Punks, Fragments, The Otesha Project and lots more.