Edinburgh Fringe Festival calendar management tips and traps


The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has some help adding your Fringe bookings into Outlook with some tricks and traps they don’t mention.

Overall The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has an excellent site and apps with an online calendar for each customer and a feature to download booked events into Outlook.  It would be fantastic except that there’s non-Fringe events as well, so you can’t use your personal Fringe calendar alone.

My Booked Shows to Outlook

EdFringe has a really useful option to download your booked shows in a machine-readable format you can import into Outlook.  There’s some ‘gotchas’ in their system but overall it is worthwhile.

Importing booked events might seem messy and excessive but it’s more reliable than hand-entering every gig you’ve booked.  Most people go to a lot of Festival shows, anything that saves time is very welcome.

Go to My Booked Shows and scroll to the bottom for ‘Download Booked Shows’.

That link downloads an .ics file you can add into Outlook for Windows or Mac.

The .ics calendar entries are well formatted with the name of the show, location, start time and duration.  The notes include a link to more info.

Big tick to the Edfringe web team for that, too often the details in a .ics are poorly formatted or missing entirely!

As usual with .ics imports there are problems and things you have to fix.

The Fringe sites .ics contains ALL your booked shows including:

  • any in the past
  • any you’ve already added to your calendar, maybe from a previous .ics download.

(Could the Fringe consider adding a ‘Download this purchase’ .ics file at the end of each ticket checkout?)

Removing Duplicates

You might like to open the .ics in a text editor and remove any duplicates before importing into Outlook.  Delete items by selecting from BEGIN:VEVENT to END:VEVENT.

Zoe Lyon’s ‘Entry Level Human’ is a very good show, worth checking out.

You don’t have to do that, the alternative is to delete duplicates after importing into Outlook.

ICS file into Outlook

Import into Outlook by double-clicking / opening the .ics file or use the Import feature on the Outlook Windows/Mac menu.

If you double-click, Outlook makes a new calendar from the ics file.  Using the menu process you’re asked if you’d like to include the events in an existing calendar.

As you can see, we’ve downloaded multiple Fringe calendars as we’ve booked more shows, so more calendars are accumulating. Grrrr.

My method of dealing with the Fringe’s .ics file is to move all the items into my own Edinburgh or personal calendar.  Open the ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ calendar created by the .ics and look at the dates in bold indicating the dates which have appointments.

Select each event and drag it to the calendar you want.

The result should be an empty ‘Edinburgh Fringe 2018’ calendar you can delete.

List View

Another and faster way to do the same thing is use the lesser known List View at View  |  Change View

This gives you a simple list of the events in that calendar.

Select some or all the events and move them to your preferred calendar with a ‘drag n drop’.

List view makes it easy to see if there’s any entries left in a calendar.

In the end, the extra calendar made by importing the Fringe’s .ics file is empty, you can delete it.

Share Planning Calendar

This sends an email to someone you know. The message has a list of all your booked shows (past and future) plus any shows you’ve tagged as ‘Saved’.