Show will go on
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is indeed an extraordinary, unique and, above all, complex beast that not even the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has the power to control.
It is something that Edinburgh, Scotland and the whole of the UK should be intensely proud of.
Furthermore, I would argue that under the guidance of Kath Mainland, we are witnessing a veritable resurgence of the relevance of the Fringe Society in the context of guiding the Fringe for the future.
However, being such a multi-headed hydra of venue producers and performers, it is of a scale that makes it impossible to truly manage and therefore will forever be endowed as much with its bickering and doom-mongering as it is with its risk-taking and creativity.
And I would argue that this is just part and parcel of how it will and should always be. The Edinburgh Fringe is not dead. Indeed, it can’t die; nobody is able to take that decision. It just reinvents itself as new people come in with new ideas and inspiration.
Therefore, I would disagree with Tim Cornwell on the premise of his piece (Perspective, 7 August). In order for the Fringe to remain relevant we absolutely must always question it, doubt it, challenge it. The fact that it is always faulty to someone is the very essence of the spirit that makes it great.
Indeed, it is so great that, as the greatest form of flattery, it has spawned a legion of other fringe festivals around the world, including Brighton Fringe, where I now work.
Drawing on the spirit of the open access ideal, in only seven years Brighton Fringe has grown to become the largest arts festival in England, second only to Edinburgh in the UK.
That is the power that an independent, indignant and flamboyant festival can have.
It sticks two fingers up at the hoity-toity arts establishment and goes it alone.
It even transcends the geographical location, it is a group of people coming together with similar, but also vastly different, views in a chaotic, creative mess that has spawned many of the most successful performing artists of the past 20 to 30 years.
All I would say to suffix this is that with the continued growth of the other fringes, and they are growing strongly (Brighton grew by more than 14 per cent this year), there will inevitably be more pressure put on Edinburgh to keep coming up with the goods.
Of course it will continue to do so but it will always be in different and unexpected ways. That is why I love it – whether it be in Edinburgh, Brighton or Adelaide, in fact, anywhere.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West