Press Info

Below is the press release for this year’s Balham Free Fringe. Please do contact us on if you have any more questions.

There is also a high-res version of our poster. Click here to download.


THE BALHAM FREE FRINGE: A Weekend Festival Of Free Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Previews!
29th – 31st July 2016

The Balham Free Fringe festival returns to The Bedford for its sixth consecutive year, with over 60 hours of totally free comedy shows across three stages! No tickets, no entry fee – just turn up!

Every year comedians write new shows for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and to make them perfect they do lots of work-in-progress gigs.  That’s what the Balham Free Fringe is: a weekend of brilliant, nearly-ready shows.  The audience gets to see great comedians for free; the comedians get to use the audience like gorgeous comedy guinea pigs.

From stand-up to sketch, from silly to political, and from newer acts to famous TV names, we’ve got something to match single every comedy taste.

Acts on our bill include:

  • The mighty TREVOR LOCK!
  • Radio 4’s DANIELLE WARD!
  • Comedy Store regular CAREY MARX!
  • The Now Show regular PIPPA EVANS!
  • Host of London’s popular political comedy club Lolitics, CHRIS COLTRANE!
  • Question Time regular KATE SMURTHWAITE!
  • Alternative Comedy Memorial Society founder JOHN-LUKE ROBERTS!
  • Edinburgh Comedy best newcomer nominee GARETH RICHARDS!
  • Soho Theatre seller-outer RICHARD GADD!
  • And many, many more.

The full schedule is available at

Almost every show over the weekend will be going to Edinburgh thanks to PBH’s Free Fringe, an organisation that allows comedians to have their venue for free, in exchange for letting in the audience for free.  It is a movement against the bigger venues that charge performers thousands of pounds just to perform!

The weekend will be a fundraiser for PBH’s Free Fringe. Every single show is genuinely free, with a collection at the end so people can pay what they think the show was worth. Last year we raised over £1,000. We’d love you to come and help make it our biggest year yet!

PBH’s Free Fringe founder Peter Buckley Hill says:  “The Free Fringe is now the biggest single organisation putting on shows at the Edinburgh Fringe.  In 2014 we had 465 shows in 38 venues over the 23 days of the Edinburgh Fringe, all free of charge to the public. London shouldn’t be left out.  If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, come to Balham.”


  • The Balham Free Fringe will take place at The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, SW12 9HD.
  • PBH’s Free Fringe was formed by Peter Buckley Hill in 1996.
  • In 2015, PBH’s Free Fringe will promote over 7900 shows in 38 venues at the Edinburgh Fringe from the 8th – 30th August
  • Past performers at PBH’s Free Fringe have included Stewart Lee, Robin Ince, Josie Long and Simon Munnery.
  • Sean Lock on PBH’s Free Fringe: “The true spirit of the Fringe!”