Fringe After Dark

Where to go for the best after-parties, general debauchery and late-night chaos at the Fringe

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 5 minutes
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Jazz Emu's Pleasure Garden
Photo by Dylan Woodley
Published 31 Jul 2023

The Edinburgh Fringe is a hotbed of discovery, whatever genre you’re most interested in. But beyond the cutting-edge theatre and boundary-breaking comedy, it also presents an incredible opportunity to just have a bit of fun. And what better way to celebrate the Fringe atmosphere by spending a few hours at some of the most unhinged, wacky and unpredictable shows in the city? Here, the folks behind a few of these madcap extravaganzas tell us why theirs is the place to be for some late-night fun at the Fringe.



Jazz Emu’s Pleasure Garden is a concept forged in the furnace of late-night musical chaos, but delivered with a glossy sheen of Musical Precision. Featuring Jazz Emu’s live band The Cosmique Perfectión permanently onstage, the show encourages (read: forces) its High Profile esteemed guest comedians such as Catherine Cohen, Spencer Jones & Lara Ricote [check Assembly website for daily line-ups] to use the band in some way during their set. No preparation, no rules; what results is a deliciously spontaneous conflagration of minds, both comedic and musical. Our standing audience, however coy on arrival, is guaranteed to leave having danced or – at the very least – having gyrated vociferously. (Jazz Emu)

Stamptown, photo by Dylan Woodley

Stamptown is the place to be during August because it’s the greatest show on Earth. Pulling together the most exciting and eclectic performers from an infinite number of artistic disciplines, this show boasts stacked line-ups with international entertainers from all walks of life. While the show features a lot of recurring characters, we take pride in making sure you not only never get the same show twice, but each one is wilder and more unbelievable than the last. It’s a raunchy, sexy, full-on trainwreck. Everybody comes because they’re ready to have a good time, and if we do our jobs right, the whole crowd gets laid. (Zach Zucker)

The Piggy Time show has been a staple of the alternative comedy/clown scene in Los Angeles since 2017. It’s variety and mayhem and features performers who embody an actual 'fringe' spirit. Not just London-based stand-ups trying to get on Taskmaster. The show is filled with performers and acts who are trying to push into new territory that can sometimes be hard to categorise. It’ll be the funniest mess you’ll see all Fringe. There is no press allowed at the show. (Mr Chonkers)

The Kaye Hole, photo by Darren Thomas

The Kaye Hole is the place where every artist comes after their shows. It's more than a room, a venue, a show. It's a party, a celebration, a secret vault where we all let go. Where the world ends and the future begins. Either that or it's a late night line-up show with a pumping bar and no shit acts. You decide! Either way you gotta get in first. My favourite thing about The Kaye Hole is telling the best acts from the Fringe to get angry, get drunk, get naked and get onstage. Anything can happen and everything does. And who knows who you might see! I had to sneak Alan Carr in under a sheet one year and this year only promises to get bigger and better. But... you'll never know if you don't come... (Reuben Kaye)

Comedians’ DJ Battles – I don’t think there are enough spaces at the Fringe specifically dedicated to (a) dancing and (b) arguing all night about who’s got the best music taste. In service of especially the latter, comedians and other special guests will be given briefs such as “three songs by artists beginning with C” (Like 'Sugar', 'Call Me Maybe' and 'Gangsta’s Paradise') and their choices will be played, celebrated and then rigorously assessed by judges and audience. Will also include stone cold disses, high quality visuals and the inevitable neon sign. An immeasurably – but also measurably – great time. (Ivo Graham)

Comedians’ DJ Battles, image courtesy of Assembly

LATER – You might’ve seen Roundabout at Edinburgh Fringe before… it’s a big yellow performance space that pops up in the Summerhall courtyard in the month of August, hosting some of the best in new writing. Well, LATER is an opportunity for us at Paines Plough to bring in the hottest acts at the Fringe for a special one-off late-night performance. The acts are announced later than the rest of our programme via our social media channels, but what we do know is that you’ll be capping off your day at the Fringe in one of the festival’s most-loved spaces, where the tickets are cheap and the faces are friendly. And yep, you can bring your drinks in. (Manwah Siu, Marketing & Audience Development Manager at Paines Plough)

I remember going to Late’n’Live in the early years of my comedy career and seeing 2023 household names doing material or pulling stunts that they now hope you never hear about. It’s a show where comics can breathe, try something different, play with an idea or just let loose. For the audience it’s a place to see your favourite comics do something unexpected and discover acts you never knew you were missing. It’s been at the forefront of the late night shows for decades and there’s a reason for its cult like status. (Jay Lafferty, Late'n'Live MC)

Late’n’Live, image courtesy of Gilded Balloon

Not Another Quiz Night – We want people to start the night playing a quiz and end the night dancing on tables. We guarantee a unique show every night with surprises at every turn. People have the chance to win prizes, meet our ‘celebrity characters’ and play some wonderfully weird bonus games, all with a properly competitive quiz running throughout. It’s a super-fun formula that has kept us sold out to over 100 guests every month in Soho. With a DJ playing banger after banger and the drinks flowing until the early hours, there really isn’t any other place to be this Fringe! (Jake Bhardwaj)