One comedian's perspective from inside the biggest Fringe festival in the world
Meet the Canadian ex-pat who is holding his shows in a bus!
For the month of August, Edinburgh, Scotland explodes with a half million tourists for the world's largest Fringe Festival. The streets swell with people. Patios and food trucks erect everywhere. There are venues all around with thousands of shows from every discipline.
"I've never seen a festival take over a city so completely," says Canadian expat Chris Betts.
"Every music venue, back room, shed, park, tent and phonebooth has a show in it."
Chris Betts is a Canadian comedian who's done the Edinburgh Fringe for six years and has made a name for himself in the UK, where he's now based, with his sharp wit and relaxed stage presence.
"I'm grateful to have been a part of it," says Betts.
"And not long after doing it I was able to go full time as a comedian."
Betts' style is equal parts confident, thoughtful, ridiculous and mischievous, and has made appearances at comedy festivals all over the world including Edinburgh Festival Fringe, SXSW, Rotterdam Comedy Festival and the Zulu Comedy Festival.
"I'm doing my shows at the Blundabus this year which is a double decker bus where the bottom deck has been turned into a bar and the top deck into a venue with proper seating, lighting and sound," says Betts.
"It's a Fringe favourite, you never know what you're going to get when you get on the Blundabus."
Previously at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Betts has been known to hold marathon shows that are three hours long, such as "Social Animal" and "Bewilderbeast," and this year he's planning to do two shows back-to-back, "Chris Betts vs. The Audience" and "Dumb But Fair."
"I don't think anyone's ever done that at the Fringe before for the whole month so that's pretty cool," says Betts.
As a Canadian performer at Fringe, Betts recognizes that he's not alone.
"There are a ton of Canadian acts over here and we've got a good reputation in the comedy circuit so it can help to sell tickets," says Betts.
"Plus it seems like there are more and more Canadians coming to the festival as audience members so they're normally on the look out for us."
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival runs for the month of August. For more info on where you can find Betts, you can take a look at the listings on their website.