‘What if Michael McIntyre was charging £50? Is it then OK to pay £25 for Stewart Lee?’ - Comedian James Everett adds his voice to the Fringe ticket price debate
A LOT of people are very critical about what the Edinburgh festival has become.
Various laments are blogged about the capitalist, power-hungry conglomerates suppressing the celebration of theatre and new writing with anodyne and/or famous stand-up comedians.
And yes, they have a very good point. However, 20 years ago and beyond, Edinburgh was all we new and emerging artists had to showcase ourselves. That is no longer the case. There are far too many to list here but visit www.artsfestivals.co.uk for a whole host of alternative arts festivals throughout the UK.
It may seem that the Edinburgh festival, like Frankenstein’s monster, has turned on its very makers seeking ruthless revenge for being born, but in doing so has spawned dozens of other gentle offspring. Edinburgh will either eventually eat itself or continue to evolve. Either way, disparaging blogs won’t change this festival for the better – only the artist’s willingness to accept it will.
Stewart Lee for one is proudly announcing that tickets to see him at the Fringe are half the price of what you’d pay to see Michael McIntyre. Personally I feel that if you’re using multi-millionaire comedians as a barometer to measure the value of your show, then you’re encouraging the very ethos you’re apparently against. What if Michael McIntyre was charging £50 instead of £30 – is it then OK to pay £25 to see Stewart Lee?
Ironically you often find that those raging against the money-grabbing mentality of the festival are using this platform as a form of self-promotion, casting something of a shadow over the poignancy of the remarks. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all that my show is at the Pleasance Courtyard every night. Tickets are a third of the price of what you’d pay to see Michael McIntyre.
• The Sitcom Double Bill, Pleasance Courtyard, 10:20pm, until 27 August.
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