Artist stays on beach after being unable to find accommodation during Festival

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An artist has set up home on a beach with his piano after failing to find a place to stay during the Edinburgh Festival.

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An artist sets up his piano and camps on the beach during the Festival.

An artist sets up his piano and camps on the beach during the Festival.

Charlie Wiseman, 50, has moved into a tent on windswept Portobello beach while he performs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

READ MORE: Portobello piano man ordered to leave the beach

The cash-strapped director said he was struggling to find somewhere to live - and has parked his piano on the sand as a protest against the festival becoming too commercial.

The move comes almost two years after Edinburgh’s council chiefs evicted his piano tuner pal Ben Treuhaft from the same spot.

Charlie, from London, said: “I’ve been planning it for over a year. I could not afford rent during the festival.

“I’ve always been working with disadvantaged people and was just left out of pocket.

“I heard about Ben having lived on the beach and rang him up. He was very sympathetic and even gave me one of his old pianos.

“I will stay in the small tent and keep an eye on the piano. It’s for visitors and performers.”

It's not the first time someone has camped out in Edinburgh with a tent as seen here from Ben Treuhaft staying in Portobello

It's not the first time someone has camped out in Edinburgh with a tent as seen here from Ben Treuhaft staying in Portobello

Charlie set up a tent on the beach on Thursday evening and yesterday morning (Fri) got a friend to deliver the upstanding piano.

The instrument will get its own tent and anyone visiting the beach has now been invited to play.

In 2014, Ben Treuhaft spent almost five months living on the beach with a piano after his fed-up wife kicked him out of their home.

The professional piano tuner lived there throughout the summer, where he played the keys for curious visitors.

But after five months he was forced to pack up his belongings, including the piano, because he lost an appeal against his long-standing eviction.

Edinburgh council chiefs said living on the beach breached the city’s management rules which prohibit camping within one mile of a public road.

Ben described the bizarre act of using pianos in public spaces as “pi-anarchy”.

And Charlie, who is performing a theatre piece called OwlTime at the C nova venue as part of the fringe, said he was inspired by the stunt.

He said: “Somebody has already come by and asked if he could stay with his tent.

“The piano is for visitors but we’ve also got a concert pianist coming from London on Monday.

“We wanted to raise awareness of the Fringe becoming some massive commercial set up.”

Charlie’s play OwlTime is about a young refugee in the Calais Jungle who sails to sea in a bid to rescue children from drowning.

Edinburgh City Council has been approached for comment.