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Old 08-29-08, 09:04 PM   #1
asher Tea
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Default Edinburgh Fetival petition

To all street performers who have performed or will perform at Edinburgh Fringe. The Edinburgh Fringe is now being driven toward being a "buskers" festival with paid retainers and big acts being given preference over smaller acts.
This year the performers there decided that this new direction damages the heart of what the Edinburgh Fringe is about.
The start of this new direction was a 50 pound rego fee for all individual street performers at the fringe
The 50 rego fee needs to be abolished and some of the performers this year had meetings with the new high street managers to make sure this will not happen again. However there was no clear statement that this will happen.
So we need to rally as many performers as possible to resist this change in direction of the fringe. Please sign on your email or just email asher@ashertea.com as I am compiling a database of Edinburgh Fringe performers to keep us all in the loop about the desicions of the new high street management. Thanks
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Old 08-30-08, 01:20 AM   #2
Isabella
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Not to in any way take away from your cause - I'm not there and I don't know the situation. But I am genuinely curious and want to know more.

Why is it bad to have the festival become a busker-like festival? I've performed at festivals where I pay to play, festivals where I turn up and do my show, and festivals where I'm brought in, paid a retainer, and given specific slots. I generally prefer to get a retainer, get put up, etc - it tends to translate to better treatment, better shows, and more money. Why is this bad at Edinburgh? What would be bad for the artists about being regulated/scheduled/etc?

Thanks!

Allison
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Old 08-30-08, 10:24 AM   #3
asher Tea
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The reason turning Edinburgh from a place where street performers can arrive and work wherever the lottery or their choices take them to a booked buskers festival is twofold.
Firstly Edinburgh has always been a Fringe Fstival that street performers arrive at like any other pitch in the world and perform based on the luck of the draw. There is a sense of equality between all the acts as we are all on the same playing field, no act is valued or treated better than any other. Importantly there is the oppurtunity for newer acts to collabarate and grow in a great environment alongside bigger shows. So the first reson is about cultural sensitivity and respecting what the heart of Edinburgh is about, its a Fringe Festival where street performers can come and perform together.
The second reason is the homogenisation and commerciallisation element. Having a Busking festival usually means big acts with sharp pr will be valued over more eclectic unusual shows. This is usually partnered with more corporate branding and more control in the hands of the management about the content of the festival and the acts there.
The fringe has always worked so well like this it doesn't need to change, the locals and long term performers love it the way it is and I beleive that it should be preserved as a breeding ground for new acts, variety and of course for us to make a bit of coin. It does that in its form at the moment, bigger doesn't mean better and if it aint broken, why fix it?
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