What do you think - or hope - the Edinburgh Fringe will look like in ten years' time? | We ask comedians their views...

What do you think - or hope - the Edinburgh Fringe will look like in ten years' time?

We ask comedians their views...

We asked comedians: What do you think - or hope - the Edinburgh Fringe will look like in ten years' time? This is what they told us…

I think that as more and more performers are getting discovered online and via other methods, it will be less attractive to new artists looking to make a name for themselves and will only be financially viable for big names. I hope I'm wrong.
Michael Kunze: Infinity Mirror, Laughing Horse at Three Sisters, 11am

I love the Fringe, absolutely love it. I hope it keeps going, every cog of the machine is important. The paid venues are important. the free venues are important. I hope it is still there and it is a place where the arts are celebrated, careers are made, cherished memories are created and... mid fringe meltdowns are documented in social media
George Zacharopoulos: Wonderland, Pleasance Dome, 8:30pm

You know the Thunderdome in Mad Max. But owned by the Pleasance. So the Pleasence Thunderdome.
Becky Fury: Identity, Laughing Horse @ Bar 50, 7.45pm

I hope it looks like it used to, from what I understand. The biggest arts festival in the world, where anything goes and you can see limitless shows, while also being able to afford to put oneself up.
Avital Ash Workshops Her Suicide Note, Monkey Barrel at The Tron at 10:05 pm

It will be AssemblyAI, GBAI, UnderbellAI, and PleAIsance learning models just handing out virtual flyers to each other.
Chris Grace: As Scarlett Johansson, Assembly George Square, 1:40pm

Assuming the climate apocalypse doesn't take us all out in ten years, I hope it might be thoughtfully limited in scope, because for all the talk of sustainability it seems to just keep getting bigger. I am shocked that the good people of Edinburgh continue to put up with the strain, despite the benefits.
Abigail Paul: Involuntary Momslaughter, Greenside Riddle's Court 6:35pm

A municipally/federally funded arts festival that is far more accessible to artists of any income and is more welcoming to non-English and disability-inclusive work!
Zoe Brownstone & Dom McGovern: Tied For Second, Just The Tonic Subatomic  4:30pm

More funding, less elitism and located in Glasgow.
Ruth Hunter: The Ruth is on Fire, The Banshee Labyrinth, 5:10pm

I hope I won't have to do it to boost my profile.  I'd like to go as a punter with no bitterness within my heart.
Alison Spittle: Soup, Monkey Barrel Hive, 1:35pm

Beautiful, barely contained chaos. And maybe better wifi coverage
ComedySportz, Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters1.45pm

I hope it is able to return to a more accessible more alternative arts festival but I suspect that the big producers will just control more and more of the market share until it completely prices out those who cannot afford to be placed in their venues.
Alexander Richmond: One Man 12 Angry Men, City Cafe, 2.25pm

A statue of me will have been erected near Cowgate and passers-by will Rub its nose for good luck, like Greyfriars Bobby.
Ian Smith: Crushing, Monkey Barrel at The Tron at 1.35pm

I think digital comedy will only grow and grow. Online comedians will get bigger. Especially due to its low cost. Akin to how Netflix was going to kill cinema. Which means the Ed Fringe will probably become lots of separate things. It will have to evolve
Jaz Mattu Emerges, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, 3pm

It will either be a capitalist Dickensian nightmare, or every summer the city will fill with tourists sharing the same piece of trivia that it used to play host to the biggest fringe festival in the world before it was corrupted by greed.
Nathan D'Arcy Roberts: Present/Tense, Gilded Balloon Teviot at 4:20pm

I hope there are some big shake-ups that see proper regulation of accommodation and funding to support performers, particularly those from underrepresented groups, making the festival more accessible and maybe even meaning it’s possible to make money (imagine!!) I hope it’s feasible to come up for a week as a new performer and try some stuff out to engaged comedy audiences. I also hope it loses some of its mystique and stops being the epicentre of the comedy calendar. I think that will do it some good. Other festivals like Brighton and Glasgow offer much better deals for performers, and a diffusion of the pressures of the festival and of audiences and performers across the UK will surely help.
Kathy Maniura: Objectified, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 4.40pm

The whole town is covered in actors pretending be corpses handing out flyers. It the only flyering technique thats allowed anymore.
Anna Leong Brophy and Emily Lloyd-Saini, Egg: Absolutely Fine, Pleasance Courtyard, 4:50pm

I hope it will be a bit more socialised where promoters making astronomic profits would kick a bit more money towards shows they backed that didn't sell, so the talent isn't left holding the bag
Ciaran Bartlett's Machine Gun Of Filth, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 10:30pm

More performers doing shorter runs
Laufey Haralds: Pip, Gilded Balloon, Patter Hoose 4.20pm

I guess a Fringe that has discovered a viable replacement for flyering. It is the next step, but for the non-famous shows, flyering is still their main source of audience - online marketing just becomes more convoluted and difficult every year.  QR codes on the Royal Mile are a neat idea but, on a crowded street, it's easy to miss -- you can't hand someone your webpage. I don't have a solution, but I think a Fringe in ten years time, where smaller shows can still get audiences without a forest-worth of flyers would be nice.
Biscuit Barrel: The 69-Sketch Show, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 3.40pm

Affordable for comedians from all over the world to have the opportunity to attend. More shows register and more comedy punters attend. A fringe fund that is easy to access is set up and managed so that suitable comedians who can't afford to attend have the opportunity to apply
Joe White: Ethiopian and Still Not Hungry, The Gilded Balloon Teviot 9pm

I think it will look exactly the same. When the nukes finally come for us, it will be the cockroaches and the Leeds Tealights left, flyering alongside each other, ashen faced, shouting 'it's free to get in but not to get out!' into the insipid fog of the wasteland.
Amy Matthews: I Feel Like I'm Made of Spiders, Monkey Barrel at The Tron 3pm

I hope the 2033 Fringe will be the type of place where weirdness thrives and you don't need to sell an organ to afford to put on a show.
Colleen Lavin: Do the robots think I'm funny?, Greenside Riddles Court Clover Studio, various times

I’m not convinced it will look vastly different – at least not the Old Town side of things, as it feels like that has reached saturation and can’t get any bigger, and there are no more broom cupboards to turn into venues. It also feels unlikely to get any smaller, as if any of the promoters drops out/leaves a venue, I’m sure some hopeful will quickly take their place. Performers will probably be forced to spread further out – both in terms of accommodation  and venues, although whether the industry everyone pretends not to be trying to attract will follow them there, I’m not sure.  Obviously I’d like to see it become more affordable and therefore open to a wider demographic – but I’m not sure I can see an easy path to that, outside of grants and charitable funding. Another thing that would improve the Fringe would be steps to make it more family and child friendly to perform – for example the Fringe Society could assist with childcare/creches for the time around performers’ shows each day. Similarly, there is a long way to go in terms of making it more accessible to people with disabilities – both in terms of performing and attending as audience members
,Matt Hutchinson: Hostile, Assembly George Square 2.30 pm

Either totally diverse and accessible, or much smaller with other fringes elsewhere rising to prominence.
Tamsyn Kelly: Crying In TK Maxx, Pleasance Courtyard 8:40pm

The current model will not exist. It will have to evolve, possibly shrink. I hope it becomes a true Fringe festival again; a place where artists can afford to come up, try their luck, get loads better and find their audience. I don’t think it will ever be the kingmaker for true newcomers that it once was.
Paddy Young: Hungry, Horny, Scared, Pleasance Courtyard 9:35pm

Well, I hope it can get back to those years where you can't move in that city because of the sheer amount of people there coming to watch shows. Unfortunately, it's not only the price of accommodation and the economy. More and more people are staying home to rather watch a movie on TV
Schalk Bezuidenhout: Keeping Up, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 5pm

Published: 11 Aug 2023

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