Festivals, Cultural and City Events

Prize Partnership Celebrates Best of Fringe

The University is now the official partner of a major Edinburgh Festival Fringe prize.

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The University has been unveiled as the official partner of a major Edinburgh Festival Fringe prize.

The Scotsman Fringe First Awards have celebrated the best new writing at the Fringe since 1973. Previous winners include Stephen Fry, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Rowan Atkinson.

The three-year partnership recognises the vital role that arts critics play in the life the Fringe, University leaders say. It is the first time the University has supported the awards.

We are delighted to be in a partnership with The Scotsman’s Fringe First Awards, which celebrate the work of the world’s most creative performers. We are proud that creativity and culture plays a role across the University. The arts matter to us and we recognise their importance in our world.

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor 

Experienced critics

It will allow The Scotsman to continue to commission the professional reviews on which the awards process relies.

The Fringe Firsts Awards’ prestige is built upon the expertise of a large and experienced team of critics. Between them, they see more than 700 Fringe shows in August.

The winners of this years’ awards will be presented with their prizes in three ceremonies at the end of each week of the Fringe.  

Supporting arts

The University’s students, staff and venues have been a key part of Edinburgh’s festivals since they were founded.

In 2018, some 1.2m people bought tickets to see Festival Fringe shows in University buildings, out of an estimated 2.8m bought tickets overall.

The University’s partnership with the Fringe First Awards is one way that it assists Edinburgh’s festivals, which are a vital part of the city’s cultural life. It also supports the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.


The opportunities that winning a Fringe First provide can be career-changing. We are delighted that the Fringe First Awards will be in partnership with Edinburgh University for the next three years, demonstrating both organisations’ enduring commitment to the festival and to the arts.

Frank O’DonnellEditor of The Scotsman

Related Links 

The Scotsman - Edinburgh Festivals Coverage