The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has published details of a new app that will be available just before this year’s Fringe in August.

The society, which recently said the event faces an existential threat due to rising costs, made the controversial decision to drop the app last year after admitting it did not have the funds to spend £100,000 on updating it.

Since the start of 2023, the Fringe Society has been working with Australian-based agency equ about developing a new app for this year’s festival. The society said it has also started exploring potential additional features for Fringe 2024 and beyond.

The new app will include navigational features to support audiences in exploring the festival. Users will be able to view and search full programme listings, book tickets on the go and use a ‘nearby now’ function in the same way the app worked until Fringe 2019, to find shows starting soon.

Based on feedback from audiences, artists, participants and venues following the 2022 Fringe, the new app will also include new features which were not available previously.

Following a move to full e-ticketing in 2022, e-ticket QR codes will be stored in the app’s planner area, which will then be integrated with users’ day-by-day show schedules. Users will also be able to add tickets for multiple shows in one transaction.

Users will have the option to enable notifications when their next show is about to start and will also have a new ‘Shake to Search’ function which will provide users with a random show suggestion by shaking their phone.

The development of the 2023 app has been made possible through support from Scottish Enterprise, as well as new sponsors Playbill and Synatec.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said, “We recognise the app is a key tool for Fringe artists, with many audiences using it to explore new ideas and performances they may not have yet experienced, and the ‘nearby now’ functionality is particularly useful for performers who offer free shows within the programme.”

The new app is designed for use in August and will be available to download in late July.