Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Moan about the Edinburgh Fringe or "What the hell happened to Fringe Sunday"?

My intention tonight was to write a blog about attending the Annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival with kids. I had resolved to give insider hints and tips and to dispense sage words. However, five minutes spent pondering the wonders of the Edinburgh Fringe and reliving the last fortnight stirred something dark within me and so instead I offer you, the reader, a quick rant on coping with the Fringe in Edinburgh, on coping with the chaos and mayhem that it causes.

Don't get me wrong, the Fringe is great, we go every year. We also attend all the various other festivals happening in and around the same time: Mela, the Book Festival, the International Festival, the Film Festival. Because of this we end up bankrupt by the end of the summer. You see the Fringe is an absolute rip off and the ticket prices are obviously designed with foreigners in mind. The unknowing tourists cue up at the box office in the capital city of Edinboro (like Malboro) obediently (which is a farce given the tens of thousands of people buying tickets and having to stand in a poky close with these tens of thousands of people to pick them up is an ordeal!) and before they can actually work out the exchange rate - BANG!- hundreds of British pounds are consumed in one fell swoop by the plooky undergraduate ticketing staff. For the inhabitants of Edinboro, we are bombarded with programmes in the run up to the events only to figure out that in order to actually see a handful of the shows that you would want to see, you would actually have to remortgage your house or at the very least rent it out for the duration to some God awful visitor and live in a cardboard box with your kids and flat screen TV. This, my friends is the source of my rant. If my kids want to go and see some balding dickhead shout into the crowd "I can do science, me!" and blow up a portaloo nicked from the nearest housing development, I have to pay for a ticket. This year some of these wastes of money have cost me £15 a time. Never mind the fact that I am probably reading that days edition of the Guardian at the time. Once upon a time there was a free event, an event that let the inhabitants of Edinburgh, who are already burdened with paying Council Tax and extortionate rents for the privilege of living in said city, experience a taste of the Fringe. Greed and ineptitude followed as this event was cancelled year after year, citing a lack of sponsorship and blaming the recession. Despite Edinburgh City Council bailing out the Fringe numerous times, Fringe Sunday is no more, a big two fingers to anyone who can afford to go to as many shows as they want.

We probably spend enough to afford a short break somewhere on tickets to shows every year and will we love it, the constant hoards of incredibly rude and hurrying visitors gets on my nerves... Don't get me started on this years Book Festival and the hoards of arrogant middle class parents and their equally socially inconsiderate children!

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