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The Counting House BallroomVenues for Performers 2018

All of our venues and performance spaces for the 2018 Fringe are listed below.  These will stay largely the same for 2019, and this list will be updated at the end of the year for next year's applications.

We are running all of the venues we ran in 2017 except The Golf Tavern, and have a new venue - Ushers, which is located underneath the Pear Tree and adds to the size of that complex of venues.

Changes for this year: Southside Social is now the much larger Harry's Southside (a bigger, now rectangular room with no toilets for people to travel through to) and The City Cafe now has three small rooms, rather than one large one. The Cellar Monkey, is now known as the Argyle Bar, the same as the pub it has been under - and the new Bunker room continues in Espionage after being a late addition last year. 

For each of our venues below you can click through to a separate page with all of the specifications for each performance space. We have rooms that range in capacity from 20 to over 150, mostly indoor and several outdoor spaces. All rooms have a full PA system and stage set-up, and many have more, with larger PA systems, lighting rigs and projectors/other AV, backstage areas etc. Full details when you click on the venue! 

Fully equipped Fringe Performance spaces for free

All of our performance spaces are fully rigged, set-up with sound, lights, staging and furniture, and fully ready to go for shows. Our rooms are designed for runs of Fringe shows are in separate spaces from the rest of the venue. (Our only non separate rooms are clearly indicated and are music only stages).

All of our spaces are professionally managed and set-up and come fully equipped with, at the very minimum: A full sound system, microphones, mic stands, mixers, stage lighting and MP3 player connection - and often much more. See the specific specifications on each venues link below for rooms with projectors, extra AV, screens and full lighting rigs.

Bar 50Please do not confuse us with other free venue promoters that expect you to bring all your own equipment, build your own rooms and are often in inappropriate areas of public bars without a separate performance spaces. All our rooms are dedicated performance spaces for Fringe shows, set-up and managed for the month.

We have spaces suitable for all Fringe genres and we programme a mixture of genres at each venue to provide a varied programme in each space, an indication of genres we feel are suitable are listed for each venue. In previous years we have had a large programmes of Comedy, Theatre, Music, Cabaret, Spoken Word and Children's / Family friendly shows. Along with this our spaces have also hosted Musicals and Opera, Magic, Poetry, Courses, Talks, Exhibitions, Art displays,  and everything else. 

City CafeIf you are planning any free walking tours of Edinburgh, Scavenger Hunts, or any other events why not include these in the Free Festival programme, or start/end the tour at a free venue or at a location on the Royal Mile - a starting point we can provide at some additional venues?

All of our venues are located centrally in Edinburgh.

If you have any questions on our venues, by all means email us on info@freefestival.co.uk

Click here for general performers information and click here to apply for a space at our venues

48 Below Fringe Venue 146   Bar Food WiFi
Under The Phoenix, 46 Broughton Street. 0131 557 0234. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ only
48 Below has been a Free Festival venue since 2011 (It was previously the function room of the Phoenix so listed as that). It is located in the New Town on Broughton Street, close to the Stand, Playhouse and St Andrews square and a number of venues close to the top of Leith walk
Types of Performances possible at 48 Below
Comedy Theatre Courses Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in 48 Below
The Basement BarA 60 capacity basement room, with flat stage and bacstage
Click Here for full 48 Below details, tech specs and room layouts
The Argyle Fringe Venue 293   Bar Food WiFi
15 Argyle Pl. 0131 221 9759. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
Previously known as 'The Cellar Monkey', and A Free Festival since 2010, this is a modern and stylish basement area, under a traditional bar, with a comfortable lounge feel. Situated just off of the Meadows, it is a short walk across the meadows to the Teviot venues, and other venues across Southside.
Types of Performances possible at The Argyle
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Argyle
The Cellar Bar70 Capacity, more with standing. Low ceiling and cosy performance space, with wing space.
Click Here for full The Argyle details, tech specs and room layouts
Bar 50 Fringe Venue 151   Accessible Bar Food WiFi
Within SafeStay Edinburgh Hostel, 50 Blackfriars Street. 0131 524 1989. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 10pm, then 18+ only
Bar 50 is the lively bar of the Safetay Hostel (formally the Smart City Hostel) on Cowgate, always busy and Vibrant this venue is in an ideal location in the centre of Edinburgh, with a built in audience from the hostels residents. It is only a few minutes from the royal Mile. Bar 50 has been a Free Festival venue since 2012, after previously running Fringe shows under another promoter.
Types of Performances possible at Bar 50
Comedy Theatre Childrens Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Bar 50
The AlcoveA 60 capacity room at the corner of the Hotels main bar, with raised stage and wing space
Click Here for full Bar 50 details, tech specs and room layouts
Biddy Mulligans Fringe Venue 220   Accessible Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
94-86 Grassmarket. 0131 220 1246. MAP
Age Restrictions: Over 18's Only
Suitable for Music shows only, Biddy Mulligan's is an Irish Bar adjoining the Grassmarket Hotel and Wee Pub with a music stage available for solo/due music performers
Types of Performances possible at Biddy Mulligans
Music 
Performance Spaces in Biddy Mulligans
Main BarA stage in the Main Bar suitable for Solo Music Performers/Duos
Click Here for full Biddy Mulligans details, tech specs and room layouts
Cabaret Voltaire Fringe Venue 338   Bar Food WiFi
36-38 Blair Street. 0131 247 4704. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
Cabaret Voltaire has been a Fringe venue for a number of years, and is now part of the Free Festival, with four performance spaces and a music/DJ stage spread over three floors its a busy and vibrant venue. It's located right in the centre of things, just of the Cowgate and seconds from the Royal Mile - close to the City Cafe, Tron, Caves and Free Sisters Venues.
Types of Performances possible at Cabaret Voltaire
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Chat Shows Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Cabaret Voltaire
Cinema RoomA Small 25 Capacity room with cinema seats, and a large Screen that can be used by performers
Long RoomA long room split into two parts with overall capacity of 105 - A cosy 60 Seat and 10 standing space room, with an overflow area with a further 15 seats and 20 standing spaces.
Main Room120 Seated Capacity (plus standing room) space, very flexible large rectangular room with full PA, raised stage and backstage area
Click Here for full Cabaret Voltaire details, tech specs and room layouts
The City Café Fringe Venue 85   Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
19 Blair Street. 0131 220 0125. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 9pm, then 18+ only
Located on Blair Street, between the Royal Mile and Cowgate, the City Café is right in the heart of the Fringe. Refurbished downstairs in late 2017, there are now three small performance spaces which are all sound proofed and air-conditioned. It's been a Free Festival venue since 2008 the City Café has always been a in the thick of things, with performances inside, and the vibrant street performances from the Royal Mile and Tron Square Outside.
Types of Performances possible at The City Café
Comedy Theatre Childrens Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The City Café
Hollywood30 capacity, with 25 seats. Low ceiling, lights and small PA system. Decorated with a Hollywood Theme.
Las Vegas40 capacity, with 35 seats. Low ceiling, lights and small PA system. Decorated with a Las Vegas Theme.
Ninties25 capacity, with 20 seats. Low ceiling, lights and small PA system. Decorated with a 90's Theme.
Click Here for full The City Café details, tech specs and room layouts
The Counting House Fringe Venue 170   Bar Food WiFi
38 West Nicolson Street. 0131 667 7533. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 9pm, then 18+ only
A Free Festival venue since 2007, The Counting House is a popular and busy multi-room venue with four performance spaces. The venue forms a complex with the Blind Poet and Pear tree offering a busy, vibrant Fringe hub that is just across the road from Fringe central, and around the corner from The Gilded Balloon and Pleasance Dome
Types of Performances possible at The Counting House
Comedy Theatre Childrens Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Counting House
The AtticA 35 capacity room on the 2nd floor, ideal for solo performances with flat stage and no backstage
The BallroomOne of the premier performance spaces on the Fringe, with a large raised stage, backstage area, wing space, 150 seats and full lighting and PA. Suitable for all manner of productions, large and small.
The LoftA 35 capacity room on the 2nd floor, ideal for solo performances with flat stage and no backstage
The LoungeAn intimate space, with 65 seats, ideal for solo/duo performances.
Click Here for full The Counting House details, tech specs and room layouts
The Cuckoo's Nest Fringe Venue 106   Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
69 Home St. 0131 220 1078. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
A fantastic cozy bar and function space at the heart of Home Street, with a wide selection of beers and spirits, along with a tasty food menu. The venue is close to both our Lothian road venue Moriarty's, the Golf Tavern and the Meadows making a new expanded west end hub of of Free Venues.
Types of Performances possible at The Cuckoo's Nest
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Cuckoo's Nest
Basement50 Seated Capacity (plus standing room) space, very flexible rectangular room with full PA, stage area and small amount of wing space
Click Here for full The Cuckoo's Nest details, tech specs and room layouts
Dropkick Murphy's Fringe Venue 289   Accessible Bar Air Conditioned
7 Merchant St (Off Candlemaker Row). 0131 225 2002. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ only
Benefitting from a central Location, just off of the Cowgate, and also with a dedicated venue promotion team Dropkick’s is a large venue open through the year as a nightclub, and we will have shows in the space from lunchtime to early evening,
Types of Performances possible at Dropkick Murphy's
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Dropkick Murphy's
Main Room100-120 capacity room, in high celing venue - large raised stage
Click Here for full Dropkick Murphy's details, tech specs and room layouts
Espionage Fringe Venue 185   Bar WiFi Air Conditioned
4 India Buildings (Entrances on Victoria Street and Cowgate). 0131 4777 007. MAP
Age Restrictions: 12+ to 9pm, then 18+ only
A Free Festival shows venue since 2008, Espionage is an established venue right in the heart of the Fringe and old town, and the very first large multi-room free venue. Espionage is located just off of the Royal mile next to the Underbelly, with entrances on Victoria Street and the Cowgate. Busy all day and all night, with shows followed by the Free Festival night club until 5am every night
Types of Performances possible at Espionage
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Espionage
KasbarSeating arranged around bar area, with 60 seats, and room for 100 with standing. Very popular with stand-up comedy and home to the Free Festival's main pick of the Fringe shows
Mata Hari65 seats, thrust stage with low ceiling and additional space to hold 80 people with standing room (we have squeezed in 130 for busy shows, though not comfortably!). Three video Screens available. Disabled/Step Free Access to this Room.
Pravda90 seats, end on stage, backstage area. Raised seating to rear. Low ceiling and standing room at rear to get capacity up to 100 people. Video Screens available.
The BunkerAtmospheric 60 capacity space in the middle of the venue.
Click Here for full Espionage details, tech specs and room layouts
Finnegan's Wake Fringe Venue 101   Accessible Bar WiFi Air Conditioned
9b Victoria Street. 0131 225 9348. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ only
A Free Festival venue since 2011, and a fully refurbished Irish bar re-opened in late 2010, Finnegan's Wake is a large music bar with free music and bands in the evenings, and during the day Free Festival show performances in their back room area. The venue contains a popular and intimate performance space, and is exceptionally well located next door to our Espionage venue, moments from the Royal Mile and Grassmarket, and very close to The Underbelly
Types of Performances possible at Finnegan's Wake
Comedy Theatre Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Finnegan's Wake
The Back RoomAn intimate performance space with a capacity of 40 people, ideally located in Edinburgh so that the room should be full at every performance!
Click Here for full Finnegan's Wake details, tech specs and room layouts
The Free Sisters Fringe Venue 272   Accessible Bar Food Air Conditioned
139 Cowgate. 0131 622 6802. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 8pm, then 18+ only
The biggest free venue in Edinburgh, quite often referred to as “The Free version of the Pleasance courtyard”, The Free Sisters is located right in the middle of the Cowgate, with numerous performance spaces, bars, outdoor areas, food stalls and even a hotel. It’s the epicentre of free fringe shows, where people come to watch shows, hang out or party away, with a huge variety of performance spaces to choose from.
Types of Performances possible at The Free Sisters
Comedy Theatre Childrens Courses Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Free Sisters
Maggie's ChamberUpstairs 140 capacity (100 seats) venue, with raised stage, full PA system and lighting, and small backstage. Ideal for cabaret shows and the room can be set with small tables or theatre style. Projector and Screen available.
Maggie's Front Room A smaller room adjacent to Maggies chamber, with a 70 seat capacity cabaret style, small stage on the flat and full PA system.
The CourtyardA flexible outdoor stage, suitable for music, busking and street performance
The Gothic RoomLocated at the back of the main downstairs bar, with raised stage, lighting, PA and a capacity of 80
The Wee RoomA small and intimate 25 capacity room ideal for comedy shows and intimate solo theatre or music
Click Here for full The Free Sisters details, tech specs and room layouts
The Hanover Tap Fringe Venue 259   Bar Food WiFi
112 Hanover Street. 0131 225 2022. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ only
A Free Festival venue since 2006, The Jekyll is decorated in a gothic style with skeletons and other macabre items 'hanging around' the walls, making it a truly original and atmospheric venue well loved by performers. Located on Hanover Street in the New town, the Jekyll is moments away from the Assembly Rooms and just off of Princes Street, Princes Street Gardens and the Mound.
Types of Performances possible at The Hanover Tap
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Hanover Tap
The Wee Tap60 Seats in an L-shaped room, with a flat stage. A cosy and modern space. A room which is always popular with crowds and performers.
Click Here for full The Hanover Tap details, tech specs and room layouts
Harry's Southside Fringe Venue 264   Bar Food WiFi
42 - 44 Buccleuch Street. 0131 662 0974. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
One of the longest serving free venues in Edinburgh, since 2006, Harry's Southside(Previously Southside Social and The Meadow Bar) has been completely refurbished with a much larger bar, and a brand new performance space. It's a popular city centre, student and community bar with an intimate upstairs performance space, well loved by performers. The venue is close to all southside/Teviot venues.
Types of Performances possible at Harry's Southside
Comedy Theatre Spoken Word Cabaret 
Performance Spaces in Harry's Southside
Upstairs70 Capacity, rectangular room, with small stage.
Click Here for full Harry's Southside details, tech specs and room layouts
The Mockingbird Fringe Venue 441   Bar WiFi
72-74 Newington Road. 0131 466 2041. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
Crags Bar is a very busy bar, on busy main road Newington Road (that leads onto South Clerk Street). It is the area of Edinburgh used by a lot of tourist for accommodation direct and is a straight route into the Royal mile. The performance space is a cosy basement bar space and is close to our other venue, Clerks, as well as being near to the Queens Hall, Summerhall and other southside venues.
Types of Performances possible at The Mockingbird
Comedy Theatre Courses Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Spoken Word Cabaret 
Performance Spaces in The Mockingbird
Upstairs55 Capacity Upstairs Room
Click Here for full The Mockingbird details, tech specs and room layouts
Moriarty's Fringe Venue 332   Bar
161 Lothian Road. 0131 228 5558. MAP
Age Restrictions: 12+ to 6pm, then 18+ only
A cosy downstairs room, new to the Fringe in 2015 and very busy all day. Not far from the main Fringe areas of the Cowgate and Grassmarket, and some of Edinburgh's main theatres off of Lothian Road, it's and also at the heart of city bars and going out - the venue is used by locals, people on a night out and Fringe-goers alike, and the shows have a huge amount of support from the bars owners and staff
Types of Performances possible at Moriarty's
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Moriarty's
CellarCosy downstairs Bar with capacity of 50 and small stage area
Click Here for full Moriarty's details, tech specs and room layouts
The Newsroom Fringe Venue 93   Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
5 - 11 Leith Street. 0131 557 5830. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ only
A Free Festival venue since 2009, The Newsroom has benefited from a complete refurbishment over winter 2012. Located right on the junction of Leith Street and Princes Street the venue is in an ideal location seconds from Waverley, North Bridge, The Royal Mile and Princes Street
Types of Performances possible at The Newsroom
Comedy Theatre Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Newsroom
The Downstairs Bar A large corner stage, and a 65 capacity seated basement room, with enough space for another 20 people standing. Refurbished winter 2012
Click Here for full The Newsroom details, tech specs and room layouts
The Pear Tree Fringe Venue 257   Accessible Bar Food WiFi
38 West Nicolson Street. 0131 667 7533. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 6pm, then 18+ only
The Pear Tree is located underneath the Counting House, and has a huge and popular outdoor courtyard, seating over 200, and next to a large indoor bar. This venue forms a large complex with the Counting House, Ushers and Pear Tree Venues that is a real Fringe Hub moments from Fringe Central, The Gilded Balloon and the Pleasance Dome.
Types of Performances possible at The Pear Tree
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Pear Tree
Pear Tree Indoor Stage100 Capacity, Rectangular room - mixture of cbaret and theatre style seating
The Courtyard StageLarge covered outdoor stage overlooking busy 300 capacity courtyard area, suitable for bands and other performances suited to this. Complete with power, lighting, video projection and full PA.
Click Here for full The Pear Tree details, tech specs and room layouts
Ushers Fringe Venue 442   Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
38 West Nicolson Street. 0131 667 7533. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 6pm, then 18+ only
Ushers is located underneath the Pear Tree and Counting House, with an intimate Performance space. This venue forms a large complex with the Counting House, Ushers and Pear Tree Venues that is a real Fringe Hub moments from Fringe Central, The Gilded Balloon and the Pleasance Dome.
Types of Performances possible at Ushers
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Ushers
The Cellar70 Capacity, Rectangular room - raised stage
Click Here for full Ushers details, tech specs and room layouts
The Wee Pub Fringe Venue 297   Accessible Bar WiFi Air Conditioned
1 Currie Close, Grassmarket. 0131 220 1246. MAP
Age Restrictions:
Measuring just 4.5m by 5.2m, The Wee Pub gives a whole new meaning to the traditional pub snug. Located next to Biddy Mulligan’s on the Grassmarket, and with a connecting hallway to the next door bar, this is small bar with a stage for music only, through the day.
Types of Performances possible at The Wee Pub
Music 
Performance Spaces in The Wee Pub
Main RoomSpace for solo/duo musicians
Click Here for full The Wee Pub details, tech specs and room layouts

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