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The Counting House BallroomVenues

All of our venues and performance spaces for the 2017 Fringe are listed below.

We are running all of the venues we ran in 2016, and have three new venues - The Golf Tavern, The Joker and the Thief and The Cuckoos Nest. Also, we are very happy that the Counting House and Pear tree have returned to being Free Venues,

Please note - the Counting House & Pear tree details linked below will be updated in the next day or so. 

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 25 to over 300, 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 Edinburghh

If you have any questions on our venues, by all means email us on info@freefestival.co.ukClick 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
47 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
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
Music StageA stage for Music Performers and DJs in the Main Bar, operating through the day
UpstairsA cosy 30 capacity room, with small stage area - ideal for solo shows
Click Here for full Cabaret Voltaire details, tech specs and room layouts
The Cellar Monkey Fringe Venue 293   Bar Food WiFi
15 Argyle Pl. 0131 221 9759. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
A new venue for Free Festival 2014, but also an old venue – this was a previous venue when it was the cellar room of the Argyle Bar. In the intervening years, and a new owner, the venue has been transformed into a modern and stylish bar suitable for shows, 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 Cellar Monkey
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Cellar Monkey
The Cellar70 Capacity, more with standing. Low ceiling and cosy performance space, with wing space (this takes up some audience seating space if used)
Click Here for full The Cellar Monkey details, tech specs and room layouts
The City Café Fringe Venue 85   Bar Food WiFi
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 late 2010, and 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
City Two - Basement Bar 100 capacity, with 80 seats located below the main bar, with large raised stage, low ceiling and a full PA system and lighting.
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 50 seats, ideal for solo performances.
Click Here for full The Counting House details, tech specs and room layouts
The Crags Bar Fringe Venue TBC   Bar WiFi
72-74 Newington Road. 07703 372 089. 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 Crags Bar
Comedy Theatre Courses Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Spoken Word Cabaret 
Performance Spaces in The Crags Bar
Upstairs55 Capacity Upstairs Room
Click Here for full The Crags Bar details, tech specs and room layouts
The Cuckoo's Nest Fringe Venue TBC   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.
Minus OneAn open bar space and music stage, ideal for solo/due music performers - and a room also utilised in previous years as the starting point for tours, scavenger hunts etc
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.
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 MarqueeA 50 Capacity Marquee, located in the Courtyard of the venue. Ideal small performance room. With full PA/Lighting
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
Ghillie Dhu Fringe Venue 410   Bar Food Air Conditioned
2 Rutland St. 0131 222 9930. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 6pm, then 18+ Only
Shows are held in the huge audotorium, a dramatic vaulted Georgian hall above the main bar. Suitable for any types of performance, one-off events and show, this venue will mix free and paid shows and we welcome interest from promoters to discuss how they would like to use this amazing space. The venue is located at the end of Princes street, in the west-end of Edinburgh.
Types of Performances possible at Ghillie Dhu
Comedy Theatre Childrens Courses Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Spoken Word Cabaret Launch Shows Chat Shows 
Performance Spaces in Ghillie Dhu
AuditoriumA large 300+ Capacity ballroom, large stage, back stage, high ceiling - open for free and paid shows
Click Here for full Ghillie Dhu details, tech specs and room layouts
The Golf Tavern Fringe Venue TBC   Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
30-31 Wright’s Houses (Next to Brutsfield Links). 0131 221 5221. MAP
Age Restrictions: All Ages until 6pm
Located on the edge of the Bruntsfield Links is the Golf Tavern. Founded in 1456 the Tavern was previously known as the Golf Hotel, and is well known as the home of Edinburgh's City centre Golf course. Located close to our venues The Cuckoo's nest and Moriarty's, this forms part of our new West End venue hub, which has become a popular area of town in the last few years.
Types of Performances possible at The Golf Tavern
Comedy Theatre Childrens Courses Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Golf Tavern
Upstairs70 Seated Capacity (plus standing room) space, very flexible large rectangular room with full PA, raised stage and backstage/wings area
Click Here for full The Golf Tavern 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
The Joker & The Thief Fringe Venue TBC   Accessible Bar WiFi
71 Elm Row, Leith Walk. 0131 556 3274. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
The Joker is a newly refurbished small bar on Leith walk - a cosy little pub with loads of character and a nice selection of booze to boot. Located close to our West End Venues - The Newsroom and Phoenix, and near the hub of venues at the top of Leith walk, near the Omni Complex and Playhouse Theatre. This venue only has a single room but is only open for show Audiences while shows take place.
Types of Performances possible at The Joker & The Thief
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Joker & The Thief
Main Bar45 Seated Capacity (plus standing room) space, very flexible rectangular room with full PA, no backstage
Click Here for full The Joker & The Thief 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: 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 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
Music Events and Tours 
Performance Spaces in The Pear Tree
Performance Space (Indoor Space, Name TBC)80 Capacity, Rectangular room - full details TBC - will be similar to old Blind Poet Venue
The Pear Tree 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
Southside Social 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, Southside Social (AKA The Meadow Bar) is back after two years break and a change of ownership. It's a popular city centre 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 Southside Social
Comedy Theatre Spoken Word Cabaret 
Performance Spaces in Southside Social
UpstairsA cosy 52 seat room, with small stage and area that can be used as an off-stage space.
Click Here for full Southside Social 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
The White Horse Fringe Venue 296   Accessible Bar Food WiFi
266 Canongate (The Royal Mile). 0131 557 3512. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 6pm, then 18+ only
A Free Festival Venue since 2011, the White Horse is stylish Royal Mile Bar, Cafe and Bistro with a clientele mixing fringe-goers and locals that was fully refurbished in early 2011. A free venue for a number of years before Free Festival started to run it, it is a well like intimate space, in a prime location right on the royal Mile.
Types of Performances possible at The White Horse
Comedy Theatre Music Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The White Horse
The Back Lounge An intimate 60 seat performance space, located on the same level as the main bar, ideal for stand-up comedy, music, cabaret and theatre
Click Here for full The White Horse details, tech specs and room layouts

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