Gilded Balloon closes its year-round Edinburgh venue | ‘To say we’re gutted is an understatement'

Gilded Balloon closes its year-round Edinburgh venue

‘To say we’re gutted is an understatement'

The Gilded Balloon has permanently closed its year-round Edinburgh venue after three years.

Coronavirus has been blamed for the axing of its basement space beneath the Rose Theatre, as well as the financial hit from the cancellation of this year’s Fringe.

In a statement posted online, the venue said: 'Due to the ongoing restrictions in place in Scotland, we’ve made the heartbreaking decision to permanently close Gilded Balloon Basement.

‘To say we’re gutted is an understatement, but we’ll cherish the laughs and memories we had in our wee Basement for years to come.’

Venue chiefs Karen and Katy Koren have renewed their crowdfunding effort, recruiting a raft of top comedians to share festive jokes to draw attention to the cause.

They said: ‘If we’ve helped to put a smile on your face at this time or any time during the year please consider supporting us by donating in the Gilded Balloon so that we can keep entertaining you all in 2021’

Shappi Khorsandi, Greg McHugh, Jo Brand, Maisie Adam, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Lost Voice Guy are among those who will be taking part in the Christmas Cracker campaign.

Gilded Balloon received £150,000 from a Scottish Government  ‘resilience fund’ earlier in a year, in a bailout scheme that also award £250,000 to Underbelly and £100,000 to Pleasance, but closed the door to other grants.

The company has had to lay off half of its permanent staff, and decided to end the lease on the Gilded Balloon Basement to cut costs.

A summer appeal raised £17,771 from more than 450 grassroots supporters – and new donations can be made here.

• Intimate London venue 2Northdown has also launched a crowdfunding drive to try to raise £8,000 to remain open post-pandemic. Donate here.

Published: 9 Dec 2020

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