“I will miss the camaraderie”: readers on the cancellation of the Edinburgh Festival | Step

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“We have £ 1,300 pocket”

We are a theater company in Sheffield and we plan our year on the sidelines. It’s expensive, but you feel so much more connected to the industry. We have friends whose entire careers have been made by a good marginal race. Our place was canceled the day before the public announcement, so we didn’t have to find out via social media (like some others have done). But they can’t reimburse us, so we’re almost £ 1,300 out of their pocket. Fortunately, we have other projects in Sheffield, but some of the money we would have used to make them is gone. Anonymous

“It will leave a big hole in our lives”

My husband and I have been going to Edinburgh in August for over 30 years – we plan to retire there. Edinburgh at the time of the festival is like nowhere else on earth – buzzing with fun and culture, filled with people from all over the world. We have seen so many wonderful sites, met so many lovely people. It will leave a big hole in our lives – and millions of others. Jean Allen




Joz Norris as Mr Fruit Salad

Find a bigger goal … Joz Norris as Mr Fruit Salad. Photography: Steve Ullathorne

“Suddenly my show was insignificant”

I had prepared a new solo exhibition, mixing absurd and burlesque elements with a story about the emotional upheaval caused by having to leave the apartment where I had lived for eight years. I would have brought it back to my favorite place, Heroes @ The Hive. As world events soared, it became clear that the fringe could not move forward due to public health and financial reasons. Suddenly, my show was insignificant – how could I speak of the emotional upheaval of the move when a much bigger global upheaval had happened? There is an idea in the series that keeps haunting me – the idea of ​​leaving an old life behind and wanting to half go back to it, but knowing that we can never. It now looks like a much bigger idea. I hope that a version of this show will survive and that I will find a place to play it in late 2020 or early 2021. I realized that if I keep doing silly and imaginative things to live, then it must be for a goal bigger than me. It must be useful in one way or another. Joz Norris

“It will take away a huge percentage of our custom”

I have been manufacturing and selling furniture, lamps and gifts in molten glass and wrought iron for 15 years in our workshops in Scotland with my husband. We exhibit at a fair for three weeks during the festival, selling to local residents as well as tourists. About 200 artisans and artisans of the event will lose a large part of their income. We have an online presence and some orders from regular long-term customers, but that will take away a huge percentage of our custom. Lisa Badger

“Maybe a fallow year is not a bad thing”

I love the festival, and it is always with great pride that the festival collection took place in my city. That said, it has become a monster, the one who started to see the corporate machine take over. A fallow year may not be the worst of things for the festival. Maybe bring it back to what it was – a showcase for talent, rather than a corporate event to make money. Nic Stuart




Maddy Anholt

“There are more important things to focus on now”… Maddy Anholt

“Forward and upward”

I was going to be on the sidelines of my fifth show, How to Train Your Psychopath, an hour-long comedy, in partnership with Women’s Aid on relationship control, directed by Ben Mallaby, Bafta nominee. We were in the process of obtaining a sponsorship agreement for a major brand and are planning to film a panel program and do a series of podcasts and a side tour, which would have included a month in Edinburgh at Underbelly. Now that I’m done crying in my pillow, I’ve started writing the show as a TV pilot script instead. From now on, there are more important things to focus on now. Maddy Anholt

“I will miss the camaraderie”

I am a resident of Edinburgh and have attended the festival every year since puberty. I never planned a vacation in August because the city has so much to offer. I will miss the atmosphere and the camaraderie and the conversation with strangers, which will lead to unofficial recommendations for the hidden gems of the bangs. Anonymous

“We will start discussions for the 2021 fringe”

I intended to return with a team of three to provide subtitles for the marginal performances. Last year, we captioned 50 shows and hoped to expand that. I booked our accommodation in November and got 50% of the rental price back. Still, it’s less than what I would have lost if I had gone on the sidelines, because our expenses always outweigh what we can charge. Now, I’m going to start talking about the places and the artists of Fringe 2021. Claire Hill

“All my work has been suspended or postponed”

My company defends creators in the theater. I had to bring three shows, which would have been an exciting undertaking. Last year, I produced Binge & Amy, Fringe First award winner, at Pleasance Courtyard. This year, I was to present Bobby & Amy again, as well as the theater company Push by Popelei and Sugar Coat, a theater performance. All of my production work has now been suspended or postponed to 2021. As an independent producer, it would be too risky for me to undertake projects, existing or new, until the virus has passed and we can understand new habits and new models of the audience who go to the theater. There is no doubt that the theater world will be greatly affected by this global crisis. Emma Blackman




Popelei Theater’s Push.

The Popelei Theater’s Push was scheduled for this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Photograph: The Other RIchard

“We depend on the financial and social fringe”

My husband is a taxi driver and his work on the fringe helps us get through the calmest months. My friends and I meet during the festival and for some it helps them to feel less isolated. We therefore depend on the financial and social fringe. The small group of residents who make such negative noises have no idea the impact on working class people. We are already in financial difficulties and are placing our hopes on the sidelines. Anonymous

“I lived in Edinburgh in my room for two minutes”

I was hoping to make my solo debut there. I decided to make a video, living what would have been my experience in Edinburgh, in my room in two minutes. It has found an echo in others who cannot present their shows this year. It was great to get this confirmation that you get from an audience, even when I am unable to do the concert live. Katie davison

Katie davison
(@KatieEDavison)

If you are disappointed that @edfringe is canceled this year, why not live it in 2 minutes like I did? #edfringe #the comedy #MakeYourFringe pic.twitter.com/2KRnGNPuaD


April 2, 2020

“I rely on income”

I have been working for a few years for a marginal site as a technician. It was the first professional job I ever got in theater and the way I acquired most of the technical skills I have. I’m counting on income to get me through school. If the theaters open by summer, I’ll try to find work in one; otherwise, I will try to find a job in retail. Anyway, I will feel lost this year without the bangs. Anonymous

“A chance to rethink the fringe”

I’m a passionate critic (I usually see around 40 to 50 shows), so spend most of August in damp, poorly ventilated cellars and back rooms with lots of strangers. These would be the worst places in the current climate. The cancellation may reveal the importance of festivals for the city and could also help rethink the fringe a bit. There are too many places right in the center of the old city – spreading out the places would alleviate congestion problems. I’m already looking forward to the 2021 bangs. Charlie Ellis

“My thoughts go out to all arts workers”

My play, Failure Studies, was to take place on the PQA website. My thoughts are with all of the arts workers who will be experiencing financial difficulties in the coming months. Hopefully the industry can find something (for example, shows on Zoom) to support them. PQA offered to keep the show for the 2021 fringe, and we accepted. I think there will be a spike in coronavirus-based programming next year. Marco Biasioli

“It broke my heart”

We came to celebrate my 50th birthday. It broke my heart to have to cancel hotel reservations and airline tickets. We are trying to decide between delaying our visit until next summer or going to Edinburgh for Hogmanay. Brian Farrey-Latz



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