1. When you first get the Fringe guide, you try – and fail – to set a budget.
If you’re visiting Edinburgh for the weekend, it’s easy: You fit in as much as you can. If you live in Edinburgh, prepare to say goodbye to all of your money because you need to SEE ALL OF THE THINGS.
2. Not that it matters, because everything you want to see will sell out immediately.
If your favourite comedian puts 30 shows on sale in May, they’re guaranteed to go within seconds.
3. Even if you manage to get a ticket, you won’t find the venue because EVERYTHING HAS A DIFFERENT NAME.
“What the heck is ‘Queen Dome’?” “It’s Edinburgh University’s chaplaincy centre.” “Where’s ‘Gilded Balloon Turret’?” “It’s in Teviot.”
4. Suddenly, everyone you know wants to visit you.
“Oh hey… We were just wondering if we could stay with you for a week or four?”
5. But you don’t have time to entertain them, because you’re at work.
Which results in serious FOMO. Every time you go outside, there are people sunbathing and daytime drinking. Your office might as well be based in Magaluf.
6. That is, if you ever get to work. Being heckled by street performers elongates your commute significantly.
“Hey, you in the suit. Cheer up! It’s the Festival!”
“No. It’s 8.55am on a Monday.”
7. And the tourists don’t help either.
Tourists, we love you, but it would be great if you could check a map instead of using the bus as a mobile tourist information centre.
9. And you break out in a cold sweat if you find out your journey will take you via the Royal Mile.
10. You panic every time the Edinburgh Military Tattoo flyover goes past.
“WHY ARE THERE LOW-FLYING FIGHTER JETS ABOVE THE CASTLE? Oh, wait, it’s just the Tattoo.”
Next day: “WHY ARE THERE LOW-FLYING FIGHTER JETS ABOVE THE CASTLE?”
11. Every time you go outside, you end up saying “hello” to someone who looks familiar, before realising they’re a celebrity.
“Sorry, Sue Perkins. I thought you were Sandra from Accounts.”
12. At some point, you’ll inevitably accept a lift in a rickshaw.
Which will cost a million pounds.
13. Two words: drama students.
No, teenage girl, I don’t want to see your school production of Cabaret in a pub basement.
14. Your favourite pubs turn into Free Fringe venues.
If you want a pint, you’ll have to sit through an hour of religious improvised comedy called Whose Shrine Is It Anyway?
15. Where beer costs £7 a pint and is served exclusively in plastic glasses.
16. Despite the cost, you get drunk on Friday night and end up in a series of increasingly weird free shows.
17. And don’t even think about going for a meal afterwards, unless you actually enjoy queueing.
Want to go to your favourite restaurant in August? Tough. They don’t take bookings. You’ll have to queue up with several dozen drama students and a mime artist.
18. You realise you can make money by renting your spare room out…
… but you’ll spend the £200 you make a day on Festival tickets.