The figures are these – 2.2 million tickets, more than 3,500 shows, but overall sales down around 25 per cent.
William Burdett-Coutts, the artistic director of Assembly, told the Guardian it had missed out on £7m of revenue, and blamed rising accommodation costs for the lower ticket sales.
Mr Burdett-Coutts, welcome to Edinburgh, I see it is time for you to reap what the Fringe has sown.
He suggested, as way of a solution, a legal loophole to kick people out of their homes for six weeks, to allow Airbnbs to operate outside of regulation that is not yet enforced, and a price cap.
And by people, of course he means students, who are in fact people and who often feel like mere cash-cows for both the private rental sector and the city itself.
Edinburgh has faced an accelerating housing crisis for at least a decade, with rents being pushed skyward, and many two-bed flats now on the market for upwards of £1,300 across the city.
If you’re happy with your kitchen being crammed into a corner or a sofa next to your fridge, you’ll pay around £1,100.
Students struggle to find places to live as landlords price-gouge, make them compete with each other for a place to live or force them into extortionate privately-run student accommodation.
The lack of supply in Edinburgh was partly driven by the explosion of short-term lets, sparked by a need for cheap Fringe accommodation.
This accommodation was already way above normal rental rates pre-pandemic and an easy way for a landlord to make as much as they would for a month in just a week.
For Mr Burdett-Coutts to make the suggestions he has demonstrates beyond doubt that he and other Fringe bosses have no idea what is driving high prices during August.
It is not government’s job to ensure tourists have cheap places to stay in August and worsen a housing crisis residents continue to suffer.
Capital residents deserve affordable homes and it’s time Fringe bosses remembered that.