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The Counting House BallroomVenues for Performers 2019

All of our venues and performance spaces for the 2019 Fringe are listed below.

We are running most of the venues we ran in 2018 plus some new ones - with a number of venues changing names to keep everyone on their toes...

New Venues: The Brass Monkey and Picardy Place - plus The Golf Tavern is returning as a Fringe venue.

Renamed Venues: Harry's Southside is now Sofi's Southside; Moriaty's is now The Raging Bull; Ushers is now 32 Below.

For each of our venues below you can click through to a separate page with all of the specifications for each performance spacee. 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! 

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::

Bar 50Please do not confuse us with other free venue promoters that expect you to bring your own equipment, build your own rooms and are often in inappropriate areas of public bars without a separate performance spaces, in some cases not really venues at all. All our rooms are dedicated performance spaces for Fringe shows, set-up and managed for the month, you don't have to accept a poor venue if you want to do free shows.

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

32 Below (Formerly Ushers) Fringe Venue 442   Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
32b West Nicolson Street. 0131 667 7533. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 6pm, then 18+ only
32 Below is located underneath the Pear Tree and Counting House, with an intimate Performance space. This venue forms a large complex with the Counting House, 32 Below 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 32 Below (Formerly Ushers)
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in 32 Below (Formerly Ushers)
The Cellar70 Capacity, Rectangular room - raised stage
Click Here for full 32 Below (Formerly Ushers) 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
UpstairsA small, rectangular 25 Capacity room - new for 2019
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
Bier Keller, Picardy Place Fringe Venue TBC   Bar Food Air Conditioned
14 Picardy Place. 0131 556 1289. MAP
Age Restrictions:
Picardy Place is located opposite the Omni Centre and Playhouse theatres, and close to other New Town venues including The Place, Newsroom and The Stand in a busy part of town. Offering a room with space and a high ceiling, very much suited to cabaret, circus and comedy.
Types of Performances possible at Bier Keller, Picardy Place
Comedy Theatre Childrens Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Bier Keller, Picardy Place
Courtside50-80 Capacity venue, in an entirely covered courtyard with high ceiling and seperate Bar
Click Here for full Bier Keller, Picardy Place details, tech specs and room layouts
Brass Monkey Fringe Venue TBC   Food
14 Drummond St. 0131 556 1961. MAP
Age Restrictions: 18+ Only
The Brass monkey is a cosy bar, very centrally located just off of South Bridge, near the Festival theatre so within very quick walking distance from Cowgate, Bistro Square and the Pleasance. The performance space is a unique, cosy space with huge sofas for people to lounge on while watching shows.
Types of Performances possible at Brass Monkey
Comedy Theatre Childrens Musicals and Opera Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in Brass Monkey
The Cinema RoomA cosy 38 Capacity Room (including standing) on the ground floor
Click Here for full Brass Monkey 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.
Nineties25 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 32 Below and The 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
Dropkick Murphy's Fringe Venue 289   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 Golf Tavern Fringe Venue 114   Bar Food WiFi Air Conditioned
30-31 Wright’s Houses (Next to Brutsfield Links). 0131 221 5221. MAP
Age Restrictions: All Ages until 8pm
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 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   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
The Place Fringe Venue 532   Bar Food WiFi
34-38 York Place. 0131 556 7575. MAP
Age Restrictions: All ages until 6pm, then 18+ only
The Place is located two minutes from the Stand in a perfect spot on very busy York Place in the New Town. Previously a Stand venue, the large room and courtyard provides a great space and surrounding area for Fringe shows and audiences, close to several new town venues and our other venues at Picardy Place, Newsroom and The Hanover Tap.
Types of Performances possible at The Place
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Place
The Baird60-70 Capcity Room, in Rectangular Theatre style room
Click Here for full The Place details, tech specs and room layouts
The Raging Bull (Formerly 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 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 The Raging Bull (Formerly Moriarty's)
Comedy Theatre Events and Tours Music Musicals and Opera Nightclubs Cabaret Spoken Word 
Performance Spaces in The Raging Bull (Formerly Moriarty's)
CellarCosy downstairs Bar with capacity of 50 and small stage area
Click Here for full The Raging Bull (Formerly Moriarty's) details, tech specs and room layouts
Sofi's Southside (formerly Harry's) 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, Sofi's Southside(Previously Harry's Southside, Southside Social and The Meadow Bar - they love a name change here!) was completely refurbished in 2018 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 Sofi's Southside (formerly Harry's)
Comedy Theatre Spoken Word Cabaret 
Performance Spaces in Sofi's Southside (formerly Harry's)
Upstairs70 Capacity, rectangular room, with small stage.
Click Here for full Sofi's Southside (formerly Harry's) 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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