Chance of cheaper accommodation on the Edinburgh Fringe?

TODAY’S Scotsman reports that one of the ideas to find favour in the Edinburgh Festivals Ideas Challenge is a campsite on the Meadows for Fringe-goers. The idea would have to get approval – and apparently the neighbours aren’t keen – but it’s being taken seriously.

The article is here.

One thing to remember if you’re a performer, as The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide points out, is you might live to regret cutting corners on accommodation. Living in a tent may sound like a great way to balance your budget, but after performing for two weeks and a couple of heavy rain showers, will it seem such a bargain?

Sad tale about Remarkable Arts

THE Scotsman reports today that Remarkable Arts, the company that ran an excellent programme at St George’s West on the 2011 Fringe, is in financial trouble.

The story is here.

The venue, which hosted companies including Fish and Game, David Leddy’s Fire Exit and Ontroerend Goed, won the Spirit of the Fringe award for the quality of its programme but, according to the article, the figures didn’t add up.

The story highlights the challenge of putting on high-quality art in the high-pressure environment of the festival. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy.

A meeting with the Fringe Office

THIS morning I had a meeting with Christabel Anderson, head of participant services, and Louise Oliver, participant development coordinator, at the Fringe Office. We discussed the possibility of me doing some kind of event at Fringe Central during the 2012 Fringe.

I wanted to know why Fringe Central tended not to run any given event more than one or two times. If the reason was there wasn’t a market for more than that, I would need to take that into account in programming my own event.

Christabel’s initial response was the number of events was mainly a reflection of the available resources in the Fringe Office. There’s only so much the staff can do and it can be difficult getting speakers at such a busy time of year. She also felt that the more performances you have of any given event at Fringe Central, the more you dilute your audience.

The same need not apply if I do this kind of show in another venue, but I should keep it in mind.

I also wanted to know why Fringe Central events were free. Was that because people wouldn’t pay? Again, if this were the case, I’d need to take it into account for anything I do.

Here, things are different. The Fringe Central programme is part of the service to Fringe participants who have already paid to be there. They are not public events, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to charge. In other words, being free tells you nothing about whether people would be prepared to pay in other circumstances.

As for me doing something at Fringe Central, she thought it would be best to consider doing one, two or maybe three events and promoting them accordingly.

Because it would be free, I’d have to regard it purely as a way of promotingThe Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide. If we were to do a jointly promoted event, I would have to cover the cost of room hire from the university, which is relatively cheap. One advantage is it wouldn’t require an additional entry into the Fringe Programme because it would be promoted as part of the events at Fringe Central, which in itself would be good publicity for the book.

My next task, then, is to come up with a specific proposal for an event.