Edinburgh Fringe launches put-up-a-performer campaign to tackle living costs

Edinburgh Fringe FestivalThe crowd on Edinburgh's Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Picture: Jane Barlow / PA

A campaign was launched today to persuade the people of Edinburgh to put up a performer to help drive down the soaring cost of appearing at the Fringe.

Organisers want to “reach out” to local residents and encourage them to “see a whole new side to the Fringe” by allowing participants to stay in a spare room.

However they say are targeting home-owners interesting in “sharing a unique experience” with the creators of the Fringe, rather than people looking to make any financial gain.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The crowd on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Picture: Jane Barlow / PA

The campaign is being launched a year after Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy warned the event was at risk of becoming unaffordable for artists and needed a city-wide effort to re-balance its “delicate ecosystem.”

She also announced that both Queen Margaret and Edinburgh Napier universities have agreed to offer accommodation to artist and participants “below the market value” this August.

The society hopes to capitalise on the large local audience for the festival by persuading people to offer to share their home to an official artist or participant at “minimal cost.”

Latest figures show that around a third of people in Edinburgh attend Fringe shows each year, with around 600,000 tickets sold locally, out of more than 2.8 million admissions across the festival.

The Fringe Society has struck up an official partnership with TheatreDigsBooker. a website which aims to find easy, safe and affordable accommodation for touring theatre professionals. Around 100 private home-owners have already registered with the TheatreDigsBooker site, which has rooms available for £500 a month in August.

For more details, visit the website