Assembly is the longest running of all the Edinburgh Festival Fringe "super-venues". In over 30 years of operation we have established a reputation for excellence. The Festival is one of the greatest arts and cultural showcases in the world, and shows and performers from our programme have gone on to become household names on television, as well as establishing great standing in the arts and entertainment industry.
Assembly was set up in 1980 by William Burdett-Coutts to produce shows of the highest quality on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 1981, William Burdett-Coutts and Roger Spence approached the Edinburgh District Council with the idea of converting the Assembly Rooms into a multi-space theatre centre as part of the Fringe. Their proposal was accepted, and during the time Assembly Festival was running the venue, it was described as "the National Theatre of the Fringe" (The Guardian) and "the jewel in the crown of the Fringe" (The Scotsman).
In 2005 Assembly's stable of venues grew to include Assembly Hall on the Mound. Assembly Hall's Main Hall is our largest performance space and has become one of the highlight venues for Assembly.
In 2011, due to the City of Edinburgh Council closing the Assembly Rooms for complete renovation and putting out tenders for its life once re-opened, the Assembly Festival operation moved from the Assembly Rooms to its new, vibrant home in George Square Gardens and the University. In George Square, we created four theatre spaces and brought to life three Spiegeltents, in addition to the three existing spaces at Assembly Hall. In 2011, we presented 120 shows during the month of August.
In 2012, Assembly grew once again with another new venue, our year-round home Assembly Roxy on Roxburgh Place, with three performance spaces. These, together with Assembly Hall and Assembly George Square, gave Assembly a total of 13 performance spaces during the Fringe. Of Assembly's 130 shows in 2012, highlights included world-class theatre seasons from South Africa, Russia and Australia.
2013 will see us bring to life a new performance space for Assembly; Checkpoint. We hosted pop-up performances a-plenty here at our newest venue on Forest Road last year and a delicious street food cafe, Ting Thai. This year, we'll be presenting an exciting programme of events inside this incredibly diverse and intimate space. Assembly Festival now has 14 performance spaces for our 2013 Fringe as well as our gardens, offering a wonderful space for socialising and soaking up the festival feeling. You'll be able to kick back on our deck chairs, keep your strength up with a variety of street food and relax with a drink at one of our bars.
Assembly Roxy Downstairs
2 Roxburgh Place