Media: Zeitgeist - Media types get set to head for Edinburgh in pursuit of significant Fringe benefits

If it's August, it must be time for the Edinburgh Festival and its unfeasibly large appendage, The Fringe. Its capacity to inspire or even surprise has declined over the years but this is still where the UK's media industry heads each summer in search of new ideas.

In the handful of venues that matter, The Fringe has become a bit like Pop Idol for stand-up comics - except the lighting is dodgy and the audience is drunk and more than a little lairy.

The pick of the bunch (of the performers, that is, not the audience) gets a TV contract for 2005 and, as night follows day, a clutch of advertising cameos in 2006.

Those commissioning editors you may spot running up serious tabs at the bar think they're hard on the heels of the zeitgeist. Actually, the horrible truth is they are the zeitgeist.

What is it: An outlet for leftfield, innovative talent. Past festival

discoveries include Steve Coogan and The League of Gentlemen

When: 8-30 August

Where: Hundreds of offbeat venues around Edinburgh