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The Free Sisters

The Free Sisters (Fringe Venue 272)

139 Cowgate. Phone: 0131 622 6802

 Accessible Bar Food AirCon All ages until 8pm, then 18+ only

Described as “The Free Festival’s version of the Pleasance Courtyard”, the Free Sisters is located on the Cowgate, right in the middle of town. It is a huge bar and hotel complex, and Edinburgh's premier party venue - open from breakfast time until 3am daily. The venue hosts free Fringe shows in six performance spaces around the venue, including in a marquee and busking i...


For the Fringe, 'The Three sisters' is rebranded as 'The Free Sisters' to become the epicentre of all things that are free in Edinburgh.

With all of the professional signage, trussing and signage along the Cowgate, you would mistake the venue as another Underbelly - and with a large number of performance spaces running off of a large central courtyard, it is easy to see why the Free Sisters has become firmly established as the 'Pleasance Courtyard' of the free Fringe. It's busy, full of people all day, and a buzzing venue for Fringe shows.

The courtyard is packed all Fringe with Fringe-goers, tourists, locals and performers from venues all around the Fringe hanging out and trying to sell their shows, in a prime location right in the middle of the Cowgate that nobody visiting the Fringe can miss - from early morning with Kids shows, through all-day Fringe performances, until late at night with shows, partying and the late night club until 5am.

The venue is an oasis in the middle of the city during the day, and a party venue at night the Free Sisters courtyard is buzzing with outdoor bars, a barbecue and numerous other food concessions, along with two of the most unique performance spaces at the Fringe and a giant screen showing kids films in the morning, show advertising in the afternoon, and a mixture of music and sports in the evening.

ff of this courtyard is also access to the main bar, a hotel, and four performance spaces on the ground and second floor of the venue - and all of the spaces are disabled accessible.

is in the middle of a hub of other Free Festival venues, at Espionage, Cabaret Voltaire, The City Cafe and Dropkick Murphy's all of which are a couple of minutes walk from the courtyard. The Cowgate itself is within minutes of the Royal Mile, The Underbelly, Just the Tonics three main venues, C Venues and numerous other small venues all along the Grass market.

Performance Space: Maggie's Chamber

 

accessible.gif (3336 bytes)Maggie's Chamber feels very much like a basement Cabaret bar (even though it's actually on the first floor!) with a low brick arched ceiling creating a great atmosphere for comedy and cabaret, plus a large raised stage with velvet curtains and illuminated backdrop.  This space is available midday until 2am every day, and is absolutely gorgeous looking and feeling.

 - An large rectangular stage area, 4.5m x 3m and raised to 15cm. Small amounts of wing space utilising the sound/PA position and a backstage area. 

 - Capacity is 150 including standing, with up to 130 seats depending on layout. The room is set-up theatre style in rows of seats.

 - 4xFixed LED Par Cans and three small spotlights to Flood light the stage, or provide colour washes. Additional Lighting can be supplied by companies and fixed as required.

 - The room is supplied with an 4 channel mixer (2xXLR Mic, 4xphono/Jack and USB inputs ), MP3 Player cables, 2xMicrophones and 2xmic stands.

Audio Visual -

 There is a projector and screen available for use and fitted into the room.

Storage - 

There is a small storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups.

Bar - 

The bar in the room can be open or closed and will be staffed throughout the shows.

Performance Space: Maggie's Front Room

Maggie's Front room is located next  to Maggie's Chamber on the first floor of the venue, with it's entrance from a shared hallway. This space is available midday until 2am every day.

 - A small raised stage, 2m x 1m with additional area around the stage to perform on the flat floor. There is a large backstage area, and entrance/exit from the room performers can use while shows are in progress.   

 - Capacity is 80 people, seated theatre style. . 

 - 3xsmall spotlights to flood the stage area. Additional Lighting can be supplied by companies and fixed as required.

 - The room is supplied with a 4 channel mixer (2xXLR Mic, 2xphono/Jack), MP3 player connection,  2xMicrophones and 2xmic stands.

Audio Visual -

 A large LCD Screen is available for performers to used, positioned to the back/left of the stage.

Storage - 

There is storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups, and a locked  office which valuable items can be stored in.

Bar - 

There is a bar in the room which can be opened or closed during shows, and is staffed throughout the day.

Performance Space: The Gothic Room

gothicbar.gif (5516 bytes)The Gothic Room is located at the rear of the ground floor of the venue and is separated from the main bar with a thick curtain and Temporary Wall.

 - The stage area is raised to 0.5m,   and is 4m x 2.5m. There is no backstage area, but there is a fire exit/side entrances to the side of the stage performers can use as an off-stage area.

 - Capacity is up to 120, fully seated. 

 - 3xFixed Par Cans to Flood light the stage. Additional Lighting can be supplied by companies and fixed as required. Disco lighting is fitted and programmed, and this can also be used.

 - The room is supplied with a 4 channel mixer (2xXLR Mic, 2xphono/Jack), 2xCD Players,  2xMicrophones and 2xmic stands. 

Audio Visual -

 A large TV screen is available.

Storage - 

There is storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups, and a locked  office which valuable items can be stored in.

Bar - 

There is a bar in the performance space but it will not be open, the room is adjacent to the main bar of the venue.

Performance Space: The Wee Room (Formerly the Staff Room)

meet3sis.gif (4595 bytes)The Wee room is a small and intimate space on the 1st floor, with a different entrance to the Maggie's Chamber/Front Room. This space is a small rectangle, with bench and movable seating suited to solo shows or small comedy club shows. It is a small space suited to solo shows. It's fully air-conditioned.

 - The stage area is on the flat and small, around 1m x 1m. There is a no backstage area..

 - Capacity is up to 25, with 20 seats and 5 standing. Some shows have expanded to leave the door open to allow more people to view from the corridor.

 - 1xFixed Par Cans to Flood light the stage.

 - The room is supplied with a 4 channel mixer (2xXLR Mic, 2xphono/Jack), 2xCD Players,  2xMicrophones and 2xmic stands. 

Audio Visual -

 An LCD screen is available in the room.

Storage - 

There is storage space at the venue for props and equipment, stored in a shared room with other groups, and a locked  office which valuable items can be stored in.

Bar - 

There no bar.

The Free Sisters Images:

Maggie's Chamber - Performance

Maggie's Chamber -

View from back of Room

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Maggie's Chamber -

View of stage from

6th row back

Maggie's Chamber in Action Maggie's Chamber in Action Maggie's Front Room - View from Stage Maggie's Performance Maggie's Front Room - Looking at Stage Maggie's Front Room - Audience from side of stage Maggie's Front Room - Act on stage

Gothic Room - looking from the stage

Gothic Room - looking from the back Gothic Room - looking from side seating

Gothic Room - Performance

Gothic Room - Performance

Staff Room - Show in progress

Advertising on Cowgate for Venue

The Courtyard at night The Courtyard   The Courtyard   3s1.jpg (20771 bytes) table.jpg (62819 bytes) The Courtyard   The Courtyard  

The Courtyard  

Free Festival Launch Night in the Courtyard

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