Growth of Edinburgh Fringe audience concerns event organisers in annual report


The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has vowed to adjust the way the event is advertised after concerns over the impact of its growing audience.

After releasing the annual Fringe review for 2019, organisers have acknowledged that a new strategy managing the city during peak periods needs to be taken.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “We still have work to do. Our world is changing rapidly, and at the Fringe Society, we’re changing how we do things.

“As I’ve said many times, we don’t have a growth agenda for the Fringe; our audience development strategy is based on the mantra of ‘one more show, not two more feet’, encouraging those already here to engage more with the festival.”

Last summer’s event attracted over three million to Scotland’s capital and was classed as one of the world’s over-tourism hotspots last summer.

As well as admitting that better approaches need to be taken to handle tourism constraints, the Fringe has also pledged to make the event more sustainable during the climate crisis.

“Maintaining the Fringe’s global outlook while minimising the festival’s carbon footprint is a challenge, but we will ensure that sustainability is embedded across all our activities,” McCarthy explained.

This eco-friendly approach has seen a reduction in the printing of Fringe programmes from 395,000 in 2017 to 350,000 in 2019, with a plan to invest in digital alternatives in the future.

“We have used technology to engage with artists around the world and reduce the need for travel, developing our online FringeCasts, a series of live streamed advice sessions for prospective Fringe artists,” McCarthy added.

“The series has massively improved our ability to reach participants abroad, with viewers tuning in from 51 countries and every continent on earth except Antarctica.”

McCarthy continued to explain that these improved approaches will require a lot of work, but by working on a shared agenda with Fringe venues, artists and fellow Edinburgh festivals, they will collectively make a difference to future Fringe Festivals.

Sticking by last year’s aim of strengthening community links across Edinburgh, McCarthy said they are “committed to finding a balance of deepening local roots and celebrating our position as one of the greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet.”

National Museum celebrates Chinese New Year

The National Museum of Scotland launched its new East Asian Exhibition today as part of a number of events across the Capital celebrating the Chinese New Year.

The exhibition follows Chinese New Year on Tuesday, and is part of a series of celebrations across Edinburgh which culminates with an official concert on Saturday 9th of February.

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The Exploring East Asia, Ancient Egypt Rediscovered and The Art of Ceramics open on the 8th of February, concluding the Museums 15 year long, £80 million redevelopment.

Bruce Minto, Chair of National Museums Scotland said:

“This is a truly historic moment in the life of a great museum. The transformation of this iconic Victorian building on time and on budget is an achievement of which the nation can be rightly proud.”

“Our outstanding collections help us to tell a vast range of diverse and fascinating stories from across the globe highlighting the many Scots involved in invention, innovation and discovery.  These stories have engaged our many supporters who have given generously to help us achieve our ambitions and to whom I am extremely grateful.”

The Celebrations aim to draw in more tourism from China. This comes as Edinburgh City Council decides to back a £2-a-night tourist tax.

Images credit: The National Museum of Scotland.


Committee discusses draft budget ahead of deadline

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Edinburgh City Chambers (Photo credits: Ross Cowper-Fraser)

The Edinburgh Council Finance and Resources committee met today to discuss the proposed Edinburgh City council budget.

The council must make £33 million in savings next year before the draft budget can be finalised in three weeks. Areas that could be effected are nursery teachers, Council workers, community police officers and leisure with reports in recent weeks of looming job cuts for up to 300 council employees.

Last night the SNP minority government reached a deal with the Greens to get the budget through the Scottish Parliament. For Edinburgh this deal brought the cuts down from £41 million to £33 million.

Councillors are also in discussions to introduce the UK’s first overnight “Tourist Tax”.

Green Councillor for Fountainbridge and Craiglockhart,Gavin Corbett, gave his thoughts on the deal and draft budget:

“It doesn’t get round the huge and difficult choices that the city council has, but if you ask me is 33 million better than 41 million of course it is.”

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Gavin Corberr, Green Councillor for Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart (Photo credits: Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Under the draft proposals £350,000 will be cut from Edinburgh Leisure and parks, museums and public toilets would all be effected.

A representative From UNISON said that the spending reductions could see 300 jobs lost a year with 1000 in total by 2022/23.

The Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) warned of a knock on effect to children’s education if full time nursery teachers are cut. Alison Murphy the EIS’s Local Association Secretary warned that Schools would be left playing catch up if early years education is disrupted. However members of the  committee were sceptical and noted that some of the best preforming councils in the country don’t have full time nursery teachers.

Labour Councillor for Portobello and Craigmillar, Maureen Child, was critical of the consultation process and felt it wan’t representative of the Edinburgh Public:

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Maureen Child, Labour Councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar (Photo credits: Ross Cowper-Fraser)

“If your looking after a vulnerable person you don’t have time to take part in consultations.

“We will have to radically change some of these services, and will have to expect more of our citizens to step up.”

Berlin Tour Guide

Berlin is a city full of history, art and a bustling nightlife. No matter who you are, it is guaranteed to entertain you.

It is hard to ignore the city’s historic past. Whether you’re visiting Checkpoint Charlie or walking through the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe, or The Nikolai Quarter, Berlin’s oldest district, the city’s past will follow you wherever you go.

Berlin’s streets is full of colourful artwork.

Experience the best Berlin has to offer with a variety of different things to do. How about taking a bus tour through the city and catching some of the infamous city sites including The Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building, or heading up the TV Tower for dinner and spectacular views over the city? Take a walk and view some unique artwork that you’d only find down the dark alleyways of Berlin.

Feel inspired by the paintings at East Side Gallery, Berlin’s international memorial of freedom, and the longest open-air gallery in the world. With over 100 different paintings by artists from across the globe, the memorial documents important times of change and a brighter hope of freedom for all of Germany.

Nightlife in Berlin is a definite highlight. Visit beer gardens, basement clubs, Bavarian halls and rooftop bars, such as Monkey Bar – which gives you panoramic views across the west side of the city. Berlin nightlife is everything and more, as long as you’re ready partying until the early hours and beyond.

Take a trip up the TV Tower for amazing 360° views.

Last but not least, Berlin hosts a wide variety of food, from the traditional German Bratwurst to tasty Asian and Italian cuisines. So whether you fancy brunch along the canal, some fresh fruit from the market or a burger from a trendy joint beneath the U-Ban tracks, the city can cater for everyone and anyone’s taste.

Whatever you do, Berlin will not disappoint you. It is a vibrant city that is bursting with life, history and culture, and provides the ideal city break for all – young and old.

Top 10 tourist attractions in Edinburgh after the Fringe

As autumn rolls round, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival rolls out, and you’d be forgiven for feeling as though there’s nothing to do in the city, when there isn’t anyone bugging you on the Royal Mile to go to their free show. But never fear, as we are here to show you what you can get up to in the city all year round:

  1. Arthur’s Seat

    Arthur’s Seat offers a relaxing climb to one of Edinburgh’s best views, giving you a chance to see the city from a whole new perspective.

  2. Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

    The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh is a brilliant way to escape the bustle of the city, explore the wonders of plant life from around the world in this wonderful greenhouse hide away.

  3. Mary King’s Close

    Edinburgh is renowned for its old architecture and history, making Mary King’s Close the perfect place to visit for a taste of old Edinburgh and a touch of beauty.

  4. Scottish National Gallery

    The Scottish National Gallery hosts a range of different exhibits throughout the year, offering a gift shop and cafe looking over Princes Street Gardens. This is the perfect place to break for lunch, a touch of culture and a relaxing atmosphere.

  5. Camera Obscura

    Camera Obscura will change the way you look at the world. Informative but fun, this is the perfect family entertainment during a busy day.

  6. Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Castle is in the heart of the city, looking down from its plateau of volcanic rock. An adventure awaits inside with Edinburgh’s history wound into the very fabric of the walls. It’s a wonderful chance to learn about Scotland on the whole and escape the chilly Scottish weather.

  7. The Edinburgh Dungeon

    For those who enjoy the dark and frightening The Edinburgh Dungeon, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore Edinburgh from underground while keeping your heart and mind racing.

  8. The Scotch Whisky Experience

    On a cold day, the Scotch Whisky Experience is a perfect chance to warm up and relax. This experience is worth every penny and will teach you everything you could ever want to know about whisky while letting you enjoy some too.

  9. National Museum of Scotland

    The National Museum of Scotland offers new exhibits throughout the year and attracts people every day from all over. However you’ll never feel crowded in this amazing space while you explore the wonders of the world from the deep seas to the history of the automobile.

  10. Calton Hill and the Scottish National Monument

    A chance to escape the city and see Edinburgh in another completely different way. Calton Hill and the Scottish National Monument are an easy stroll out of the city centre.

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