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Cowgatehead is the name given to a multi-storey building situated on Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland, which is used each August as a venue complex for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest open access festival.[1]

The building is currently operated during the Fringe by Peter Buckley-Hill as part of his Free Fringe programme. However, the building was the subject of controversy during the 2015 Fringe when Buckley-Hill and Freestival, previous operators of the building, clashed over who had contractual rights to programme the venue.[2] The situation was eventually resolved in Buckley-Hill's favour, although the controversy, referred to as "Cowgateheadgate",[3] left many comedians without a venue for the Fringe, and out-of-pocket for costs already incurred.[4]

Performers to have appeared at the venue included Viv Groskop[5] and Miranda Hennessy.[6]


  1. ^ "Cowgatehead". Edinburgh Guide. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  2. ^ Fleming, John (24 May 2015). "Venue chaos at the Edinburgh Fringe yet again". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  3. ^ Peacock, Robert James (3 June 2015). "Thoughts on Cowgateheadgate". The Wee Review. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  4. ^ Nawaz, Aatif (8 June 2015). "Left homeless by the Cowgatehead fiasco". Chortle. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Viv Groskop's I Laughed, I Cried". Broadway Baby. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  6. ^ Peacock, Robert James (24 August 2014). "Hennessy and Friends:Murmurs". The Wee Review. Retrieved 31 March 2017.

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