Line-up for first Edinburgh Festival Fringe virtual variety show revealed

Scottish comedy stars Daniel Sloss, Fern Brady and Craig Hill are to appear in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe's first virtual variety show.

The cover of this year's planned Fringe programme was designed by pop culture artist Butcher Billy.
The cover of this year's planned Fringe programme was designed by pop culture artist Butcher Billy.

Fringe fans will also be able to see festival favourites like Michael Odewale, Suzi Ruffell, Jayde Adams, Sadia Azmat, Courtney Act, Briefs, Magical Bones and Bernie Dieter in the online cabaret.

Nine acts will be taking place in the 90-minute showcase, which will get underway at 9pm every Friday in August and will cost £9 per ticket.

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The full line-up will be unveiled two days in advance, with all proceeds ringfenced to help venues, companies and performers who would have been involved in this year’s Fringe withstand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Netflix comedy star Daniel Sloss, who first appeared at the Fringe when he was just 17, will be appearing the Fringe's first virtual variety show.

The virtual variety show is being created under a new “FringeMakers” campaign which has been developed by the Fringe Society, which normally runs the festival box office and programme, and the Crowdfunder platform to bring together fundraising efforts online. It is hoped more than 100 different campaigns will eventually be up and running next month.

The tickets for “Fringe on Friday” are already being sold by the Fringe Society and venues running their own fundraising campaigns, including Summerhall, Gilded Balloon, Monday Barrel, the Pianodrome, Zoo and the Pleasance, who will be able to keep all ticket income they generate themselves.

Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: “The closer we get to August, the more we’re all feeling the physical absence of the Fringe in Edinburgh.

“For so many creatives across the festival, this loss is compounded by the severe financial impact of the Fringe not going ahead as planned.

“With help from our partners AJ Bell and Crowdfunder, FringeMakers is a way to support those artists and venues and to help fund their future. They are the festival and we need to rally around them.

“As a thank you for donating, audiences will be able to access a cabaret show capturing the spirit of the Fringe. It’s great to see this snapshot of the festival come to life and the line-up is truly a reflection of the wonderful talent this festival is known for.

“This will complement the vast array of digital offerings Fringe artists and venues have been working on over the past few months.

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“I’d encourage everyone who loves the Fringe to engage with the shows, donate to individual projects and help ensure the artists and venues that make your Fringe every August return stronger in 2021."

Simon Walker, head of projects at Crowdfunder, said: "It's clear that venues and the arts industry have been hugely impacted over the last five months and as a result the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will this year look like no Fringe before it.

“It's fantastic to be weaving Crowdfunder’s technology into the Fringe 2020, where it's being used to provide support to Edinburgh's venues and Fringe performers by connecting with audiences and raising much-needed funding."

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