Cowgate's new fiasco

Fringe drops venue over unpaid acts

Comedians are being warned to steer clear of Edinburgh’s Wilkie House venue this Fringe, amid a growing row over unpaid fees.

Festival organizers have refused to endorse Cowgate Central as an official Fringe venue as performers who played there last year, remain out of pocket.

The news comes in the week the venue’s co-ordinator resigned – also blaming owner Thomas McAleer for failing to pay him.

McAleer has been involved in disputes over money since this time last year, when a comedy club at the site pulled a series of comedy gigs and failed to compensate performers. And performers during last year’s Fringe complained of irregularities in keeping box office information.

Fringe director Paul Gudgin told The Scotsman he was "very disappointed" to have to drop the venue from the Fringe roster.

 "It is a great shame because it is a good performing space - but not if people are not getting paid.

 "We have been in contact with at least ten performing companies which have still not been paid by Mr McAleer from last year.They also have trouble getting a response out of him for information about whether he intends to pay.

 "So I am refusing to recommend him to performers this year and his venue has been removed from the list which goes out to performers to choose from."

Meanwhile co-ordinator Paul Meadow, who quit claiming unpaid wages, told the newspaper: "I was pushed to the end of my tether so I had to leave  as he just wasn’t paying me.”

Scotsman story >>


Published: 1 Apr 2005

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