How to raise money for the Fringe | Sonia Aste has some ideas...

How to raise money for the Fringe

Sonia Aste has some ideas...

Edinburgh: Go Big! Go Bold! Go Bankrupt!

How to RAISE Money for the Fringe

Edinburgh is almost here. Millions of comedians are putting the finishing touches to shows while ‘last-minute mavericks’ are writing their first joke. Who writes a whole show with so little time left? Don’t worry, they will tell you. And tell you. And tell you.  

Still others (like me) will be focused on important details: 

‘Does my bum look big in this … flyer?’

‘Was it a good idea to share a studio apartment with 12 other comics and a fire eater?’

‘Will a month long sickie be too obvious?’

It’s all part of the Edinburgh adventure! 

But first comes the Pay-Up-Process. Also known as: ’Say goodbye to financial freedom’ or ‘I’m in deep shit’. 

This is not about setups, punchlines or gags. It’s about paying what I agreed to… in December 2017? Way back when I thought I had it made.H ad I not been booked for Christmas and New Year?

Between accommodation, festival fees, accommodation, travel, accommodation, marketing and accommodation … I owe a small mortgage. Did I mention accommodation is expensive? 

I’m not alone. I’m sure loan sharks could hang around preview nights and offer their services. I would not be tempted. Performing your show with a broken knee-cap is not what your support crew – which you’ve badgered to be there with complimentary tickets – have come to see.  

This is why financial advisors are important. They will tell you that paying back debts with ‘future bucket collections’ is not financially sound. They will also advise that owing money to a Scot is a serious business. Better pay pronto because they make the Cosa Nostra  look like Peter Pan. 

It’s for this reason I’m sharing a little  nugget of know-how.  I may not be rich (In fact I’m in the red since doing stand-up), but I can guarantee foolproof methods of raising cash. This is because in my past life I worked for various start-up companies. And although they flopped quicker than a bad pun I learned the skill of what is called ‘take the cash and dash’. 

I’m not going to lie. It’s a tough gig. No one’s laughing – except bank managers when you ask them for (another) loan. So first rule: avoid all bank. Except for:  


This is your first point of call. Haven’t talked to them in ten years? Well swallow your pride. You should not be in this business if you still have any. Remind them it’s because of their terrible parenting skills you have very low self-esteem and feel the need to seek approval from strangers every night. 

Of course you might have parents like mine who remind you their self–esteem is even lower and ask you for a fiver.  In which case go to step 2.  


From an elderly rich, childless couple who want someone to share their life’s last moments with and take care of them. Be careful not to waste your time. It’s important to check their financial situation first as they might have already left their inheritance to a cat foundation.  


Also known as begging with style. The word ‘funding’ makes people think it’s backed up by hotshot investors, when in reality it’s just YOU and a webpage. But you must be quick. This method will soon be linked to pyramid schemes and scam emails. 


Another foolproof method is to set yourself up as a charity. Tell your friends and acquaintances you’re doing a month long run in Edinburgh. They’ll think it’s some kind of ultra-marathon – which is correct. 


Ha ha ha … I could not resist this little joke. 

Note: if your family has jewels to sell you might want to read another article. Something like: How to apply for the Antiques Roadshow.


Ask your friends. The ones that work in the corporate world. Those that have the kind of jobs your parents wanted Y to have. My friend Daniela is now a partner in a prestigious consultancy firm.  She actually agreed to invest in my show! Drawback was she asked for a ROI (return on investment). My flyers with ‘pay what you want’ didn’t quite cut it.  


By this I mean credit cards. Use the domino effect: you pay the old one with the new, and that one with the newer one. Plan carefully so by the time you die the debt is gigantic. As the old saying goes: ‘You can’t take it with you’ and that includes debt. 

If all fails – do what I did and go to your GP for a check-up.  Thank goodness I have two healthy kidneys. I might have to sell one to get to Edinburgh. 

Sonia Aste will be performing Made in Spain at Sweet Venues Novotel at 17:40 during the Edinburgh Fringe. Her website and she tweets @soniaaste

Published: 30 Jun 2018

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