It’s another glorious day in old Edinburgh town, gonna be hot today, maybe I should escape the Fringe madness for a couple of hours and go down to Portobello beach, soak up a few rays. For the Fringe acts this is the day it gets real – the giddiness of arriving in Edinburgh, previews, first weekend going wild, the packed houses of the 241 days, that’s all done now. Of course, apart from the initial Yay! We’re in Edinburgh! the PWYC (pay what you can) shows and the Free Fringe hit reality sooner, especially as folk (myself included) will have been making the most of the cheap offers, but now the pendulum swings the other way. The free Fringe shows puts the punters in charge of how much a show is worth, do they pay a tenner for a show that turns out to be rubbish or see a show that may turn out to be really good and worth every penny of that tenner? Or fiver or fifteen pounds if you’re really flush.
Today is also the day the Half Price Hut usually opens for business, sadly it’s no longer on the Mound and open until nine o’clock in the evening so that revellers can decide on a whim to take in a show as part of their evening. Instead, this year the day’s offers will be posted online and must be bought by six o’clock at the Fringe Box Office – am I the only one that thinks this is rather rubbish? For starters, the Fringe was going to make itself more popular with locals, hmmm, be at work, get home, eat, maybe a change of clothes, catch the bus into town and have already decided what you want to see, all by quarter to six?? (There will be a queue at the box office, let’s face it) Sorry, if you have a day job to go to and don’t live in the very centre of town you can forget HPH-ing for a fun evening.
The Hut’s old location also gave flyerers somewhere else to hang around, ready to give punters that extra push towards their show, the Royal Mile is packed enough as it is. There were obviously staff rotas for up until nine previously, so why not until nine now to help manage the crush there’s going to be late afternoon? Anyone who’s been on the Royal Mile in the last week knows it’s back up to peak capacity already in the afternoon; the times and place may deter some from bothering to get HPH tickets. I get that the old Hut was past it’s sell date and the Fringe don’t have the funds right now to get another one, but surely there’s a business in Edinburgh or Scotland that would like the publicity and prestige of putting up the dosh for a new hut? We need a new hut and laserboard, next year will do.
End of unexpected rant. Normal service will resume next post.