The home of the haikulator



Sentence Generators
My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman

The Musical!
Incredible Productions


Previous Posts

Hi, we’re calling from Some
An Open Letter To HSBC
Pay What Now?
Hearing the music
When to quit
I am not as other men
Tonight I was funny
Attack of the Drones
Notes on your set

Blog Archives

October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
August 2009
September 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
October 2011
December 2011
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
May 2014
July 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
July 2016
August 2017
January 2018
August 2018
September 2018
July 2019
August 2019
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
December 2020
January 2021
July 2021
September 2021

Monday, August 20

History Repeating

History is unreliable. Stories through the telling take on a truth of their own, quite different to the objective facts of the time. Often this is gradual, though sometimes it’s a very deliberate act of one’s own psychological survival to quickly recreate the narrative with yourself as the valiant hero.

Let’s just say it’s been an eventful few months.

Sitting there, as a weird lighthouse in the sea of my life, is the Edinburgh Fringe. My relationship with it is deep and complex, but always lovely. I’ve never had a single year where I regretted being there for the reasons I went there. I’ve always had sensible expectations and always met or exceeded them... or so the story goes.

This year’s trip is, if records are to be believed, my 17th. The Fringe itself has been running in some form or other since 1947, meaning this is the 72nd. I’ve been to more than a quarter of them!

My wife has just finished her 8th Fringe. I’m the sole reason she started coming to them...  I think it’s fair to say she’s as fully invested as I am!

The festival seems to be a constant across time, with the same venues reappearing out of the mist each year, only to disappear at the end of August as though they were never there... but it is changing. The biggest change is the market.

Audience expectations move year on year. This year, the expectation is that you can pay for free Fringe show buckets using cashless payment. The “kids” have different sensibilities and different ideas of what a festival entails.

Most importantly, though, the market in Edinburgh is heading towards its own ultimate destruction. If you had a decent touring show, you’d be better touring it. If you’re making one, then Edinburgh is still a good place to rough it into shape... This means there are some, but not too many real diamonds hiding in the programme. There are plenty of great shows, though... but the economics of doing a show in a saturated market, where a huge phalanx of performers is competing for the same audience and accommodation as you, means you need to run several shows. Each performer staging multiple shows saturates the market even further, growing the number of venues, the number of other show spots to fill, consequently the size of the supply, while the demand is not growing at nearly the same rate.

At some weird future extinction event, there will be one performer running around 500 venues, doing a few seconds in each, chased by an audience of 3, who have each paid 35 quid per show minute for the privilege, while a bunch of young people drink themselves to death in astroturfed concrete car parks at 20 quid a pint, served in reusable bendy plastic cups.

I’ll probably still be going to the Fringe when that happens.


Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2020 Ashley Frieze