Summerhall celebrates its ninth successful festival fringe with a rise in ticket sales and footfall

At the end of our ninth successful festival fringe, Summerhall presented brilliant work by theatre makers and artists from around the world from its home nestled on the Edinburgh Meadows.


In her first year as General Manager Rowan Campbell commented:

“This has been another incredible year – hosting brave and bold work that makes a statement about the world we live in and the people – and lived experiences – that inhabit it. Artists presenting their work at Summerhall have won multiple awards and our ticket sales are up on previous years.  

“We are most proud that we have succeeded in creating a space on the Fringe for an artistically-led programme of innovative, bold contemporary performance; a space with a sense of community where artists and staff support each other; and a space with a commitment to fair employment, sustainability, diversity and accessibility. We look forward to building on that for our tenth Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2020. We have an amazing, dynamic team who work here, so I’d like to thank our staff, artists and companies for their work, time and commitment to Summerhall.”


Theatre, performance and live music at the venue has covered everything from the political, to the history of art and artists, sex, sexuality, immigration and the plight of being a human in 2019 – austerity, closing borders and the mental health epidemic. In this context of right-wing ideology and discourse, Summerhall is continuing to work with partners to support work which needs to be seen and to make connections across the world.  In 2019 we were able to support artists who would not otherwise have brought work to the festival – Rachael Young was supported by the inaugural Eclipse Award and Leyla Josephine through the Autopsy Award. Countering the isolation and separation symbolised by Brexit, Summerhall has announced new projects with La Manufacture in Avignon and with Dublin Fringe, as well as continuing our reciprocal awards with Melbourne Fringe and the Vault Festival in London and continuing to host international seasons such as the Swiss Selection Edinburgh, the Taiwan Season and the From Start to Finnish Showcase


With work from across the world – of over 150 shows (Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Taiwan, the USA and New Zealand as well as from Scotland and the rest of the UK) – Summerhall saw a total of twenty key awards won by companies presenting work throughout the building and within partner programmes at Roundabout, Rose Bruford, CanadaHub, The Army @ The Fringe.


Footfall and ticket sales are up on previous years, with Swallow The Sea Caravan, the COMA container and Extinction Rebellion (XR)’s basement exhibition adding an interactive feeling to Summerhall.


After the rousing sounds of Cate Le Bon closed our Fringe Programme on Sunday 25 August, Summerhall heads into the rest of 2019 by hosting Edinburgh’s first ever Kung Fu Film Festival in September; Summerhall Lab artist development programme in October; Summerhall Scratch (a chance for a mixed bill of artists to be paid to try out an idea in front of an audience), on 7 November. And our live music programme, Nothing Ever Happens Here… kick-starts its year round programme with the adventurous, innovative Dutch band The Ex on their 40th Anniversary tour taking to the Dissection Room stage in mid-September.