THE days of throwing some coins into a Fringe performer's hat could be coming to an end.

This year the annual festival is to experiment with cashless donations to performers on the city's Royal Mile during the Fringe.

In an age where contactless payments are becoming more common, the Fringe is to run a trial of such payments for performers on their new stages in the centre of the city this August.

The Fringe is currently considering two options for the payments: a standardised amount which people can then tap with their cashcards on some kind of payment device, or a system with a "degree of flexibility" so the audience can pay what they want.

The festival also wants to somehow relate the new cashless payment system to the traditional "passing around of the hat" that usually follows a live performance on the Royal Mile.

Oliver Davies, the head of marketing at the festival, said: "The idea this year is to trial in on four of the stages this year, and roll it out more widely after we see what we get back from it.

"There will be a transactional fee which we are working with the provider to drive down as much as we can, and again its the kind of thing that if we develop the programme, if we can reduce that figure down even further, then brilliant."

Money will be collected into one pot, and then given to performers afterwards, he said.

He added: "We are trying to get a good mix. Because it's a trial we want to get a variety of different pay points.

"So we are going to try and mix it across the landscape, on The Mound as well as the High Street, so that will give it the details we need on how to roll it out."

This year the Fringe is also introducing a number of Sensory Backpacks, for children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Each backpack contains a fidget toy, earplugs, a photo story describing the street events, a map, and a list of relaxed performances at the Fringe.