August 19, 2012 by Lindsay Sharman
Jayde Adams has written a very amusing blog about the Edinburgh Festival, so I thought I’d link to it here and then wade in with my own thoughts. These thoughts might have been influenced by the out-of-date crab pate I ingested two hours ago.
So, Jayde’s blog is here – http://www.jaydeadams.co.uk
Good, innit? I give it 4 stars. It lost a star due to the stabs of crab-related gut pain I experienced while reading it. Next time, Jayde, I suggest you bear in mind the intestinal comfort of your audience. Oh, and here’s a review, you may quote from it in order to lure people into reading your next blog –
Jayde Adams’ blog is more b-lol than b-log! Jayde calls herself Master of None….more like Meister of Fun! If you only read one thing this festival, then this comes a close second! I ROFLed until crab came shooting from my nose!
Christ, I’m sweating buckets.
Anyway, Edinburgh. I really don’t know what I’ll do next year. I know what I want – a decent venue on the Free Fringestival*, but there’s no guarantee I’ll get one. Especially as I suspect a lot of the bigger names are going to start using it, often in addition to whatever they’re doing on the paid stages, which will push out some of the relative newcomers. There’s already a precedent for this; there are performers this year with shows in the big venues (average cost to the performer apparently 14 grand) who also have a show or shows in a free venue (average cost; about 200 quid). Why would the big boys and girls perform in both arenas, you ask? Well, it is entirely possible to make money on the Free Fringestival, indeed, profit is almost guaranteed if you have a decent venue and time-slot. Do not underestimate the power of the bucket** (said the vicar to the fnarrrrrrr). Plus, audience numbers are down for paid gigs and up for free ones; audiences are being a lot more cautious about where they spend their money. Thus the performer benefits from having a free gig that can be used to direct people to their other show at the paid venue. In this way, they utilise the Free Fringestival as another marketing tool, one that is significantly cheaper and more effective than sticking a massive picture of your wacky phizzog on railings throughout the city.
Humph, I don’t like the sound of this.
This is speculation, of course, no-one knows if the bigger names will take over all aspects of the comedy festival. But it’ll certainly be interesting (as in, potentially depressing***) to see what effects the low audience numbers for paid shows, and the high audience numbers for free shows, will have on next year’s Festival landscape.
* “Hey dickhead, you’ve misspelled festival! Durrrrr!”
“Look, fucknuts, the venues that you don’t pay to rent at the festival come under the umbrella of either the Free Fringe or the Free Festival. They have a very complicated history which I can’t be arsed to go into. They’re the North and South Korea of comedy, that’s all you need to know. Now bog off.”
** At the Free Fringestival, performers collect money in a bucket at the end of the show. In this instance, I have also utilised an old joke by relating ‘bucket’ to female genitalia and invoking vicars. I am hilarious.
*** “Ok, fascist-face, how is the success of the Free Whatever a BAD thing?”
“Jesus! I’m not saying it’s a bad thing! I’m saying that it’s bad if people exploit an essentially socialist mechanism for personal gain, thus worsening the lot of the little person. Look at the historical precedents, people!
Those who can pay, should pay. Those who can’t, should be helped. Then eventually, some of those who originally couldn’t pay, will be able to pay. So it’s not even socialist, just a workable, fair commercial model.
Ps. Just in case no-one really understood this; I love the free Fringestival. I love Edinburgh. And I think North Korea gives the planet character.