It’s almost August and that can only mean one thing, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back! A whole month of arts, theatre and the official Comedy-Christmas of the UK. The festival has kept growing with new attendees coming every year, so we thought we’d put together some tips on how to survive the festival and how Jumping Jack can help you get the most out of it.
You’re going to want to make the most of your day and not spend time going back to your hotel or hostel to recharge your phone, so a Little Jack portable USB battery pack is a must-have. Even if your phone usually lasts a full day without charging, you’ll likely be using your device a lot for maps and directions to get from venue to venue, which is a well-known battery drain. Better safe than sorry! This is especially true if you’re like us and use your phone’s calendar app to track your timetable for the day.
The weather in August can be a fickle beast, so you’ll need to be prepared for every eventuality. It doesn’t matter if the sun is beaming in the morning – there’s a good chance a downpour will drench you before you get home. That’s why a water poncho is an essential piece of clothing for your trip, albeit not the most stylish one. Unfortunately, we don’t sell ponchos here at Jumping Jack, but it’s too much of a necessity not to list! The same goes for ultra-comfortable walking shoes. Soft soles, maybe even memory foam on the inside. Somehow, Edinburgh resembles an M.C. Escher painting in that every direction is uphill so you don’t want to skimp on anything that can take the toll off your poor feet.
Despite the likelihood of rain, you’ll still want to dress light. Some venues at the festival are notoriously hot and sweaty so you’ll definitely want to have the option of taking off your coat (do this before the show starts!) and staying cool. Even if you feel chilly when the lights first dim, half an hour in and you’ll be wishing you could just crawl into a freezer for a while. No matter what, though, you’re going to get a bit sweaty by the end of the day so, for the sake of your fellow audience members, wash every day!
If you’re feeling confident that it’ll be a good day and don’t want to bring a poncho or a coat, you’re probably also not going to bring a bag – so where are you going to place your Little Jack portable phone charger? Luckily, we have several devices – especially the Stick and Wallet – that are perfectly pocket sized. If you need a bit of a top-up on your phone but are self-conscious about having charging cables sticking out of your pocket, here’s a secret tip for you: keep your phone in one pocket and your Little Jack in another. Then, if you have a long enough charger cable (most USB cables that come included with your phone should be just about long enough), slip the cable behind your waist through your belt loops and connect your phone to the Little Jack. Convenient, comfortable and you won’t look like you’re wearing a futuristic version of wallet chains from the 90’s!
So you’re all prepped. You’re dressed for the day, you’ve washed, you have shoes that feel like walking on marshmallows and you have your Little Jack battery pack. Now… relax. It’s tempting to try to squeeze in as many shows as possible but sometimes you just need some time to decompress and take in the shows you’ve seen. St Andrew Square is a scenic piece of greenery that’s close to many venues – including the famous The Stand Comedy Club – and so is ideal for taking a half hour to chill out. If the weather’s good it’s always great to grab a burger, sit down and recharge for a while using the Little Jack Adventure’s built-in solar panel, safe in the knowledge that you’re using a renewable energy to top up your power bank.
Don’t forget to eat and drink lots too. Staying hydrated is extremely important and it’s not smart to survive the festival purely on a diet of chocolate bars while walking to the next venue.
If you miraculously still have some time to spare, why not trek up to Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat? This is a beautiful and scenic tourist attraction all year round and if you’re in the city anyway it’s well worth a hike.
Finally, the two greatest tips of all for an audience member. First: Don’t heckle! Unless an act specifically says it’s okay, hecklers aren’t “helping out the show” – they’re interrupting it. Second: make sure your phone doesn’t go off during the show. As you sit down, it’s good to get into a routine of making sure you don’t have any alarms set, turning your phone onto silent and often even switching it off altogether. Most Edinburgh shows, especially comedy shows, are an hour long – so it’s a great chance to plug your phone into your Little Jack charger, slip both of them into your bag and disconnect for a while to enjoy some live theatre and comedy.