SCOTLAND’S biggest music promoter is to pull the plug on the festival it has staged as part of the Edinburgh Fringe for the past 12 years.
DF Concerts, which also organises T in the Park, has blamed the lack of a major sponsor for the decision to shelve The Edge Festival, which had seen upwards of 60 gigs staged across the city at its height.
Previously known as T on the Fringe, the event had been graced by acts as varied as Snow Patrol, Razorlight, Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand and Nancy Sinatra since its inception.
It had become swiftly established as the major pop and rock music strand of the Fringe, replacing previous events such as the Flux Festival.
However, despite staging the biggest events in the history of the Fringe, the festival had been dramatically downsized since the withdrawal of sponsor Tennent’s in 2008.
Although DF Concerts has pledged to go ahead with gigs during the Fringe in at least four venues, the lack of a full festival is likely to be a major blow to the Fringe, which is going head to head with the London Olympics for its first ten days.
DF Concerts has not announced shows in Edinburgh this August, even though a string of promoters have put shows on sale earlier than normal.
In 2007 it was thought T on the Fringe had generated ticket sales in excess of 130,000 – around four times the figure for the first T on the Fringe in 2000 – when Pulp, David Gray, Toploader and Ian Brown were among the headline acts.
However, when The Edge was launched in 2008, outdoor arenas such as Princes Street Gardens and Meadowbank Stadium were shelved in favour of indoor venues such as Cabaret Voltaire and the Liquid Room.
One insider said: “The lack of a major sponsor was a major drawback for DF Concerts. If you don’t have the big bands playing, the profile of the event isn’t as high for all the other bands playing at the smaller venues.
“Some of the T on the Fringe events at Princes Street Gardens and Meadowbank were among the most memorable ever staged in Edinburgh, but it’s been five years since any of them were held in Edinburgh.”
A spokeswoman for DF Concerts admitted a major sponsor had been needed to help pay for major outdoor concerts, but insisted the promoters would still be staging gigs by bands who had enough pulling power to draw a crowd without having to be promoted as part of a festival.
Dave Corbet, promoter at DF Concerts, said: “We will still be bringing a large number of shows to Edinburgh this August.
“However, we believe the strength of individual artists is greater than a number of shows grouped together under The Edge Festival banner. We look forward to announcing the full line-up in June.”