Edinburgh, Scotland- Every year, a colossal celebration of the arts in the form of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes a hold of the Scottish city of Edinburgh bringing in tourists, performers and comedians from all over the world. One may think the shows are the only focus, but these shows can take the form of a sport-like competition.
“There are over 10,000 different shows at many different venues. It’s really exciting,” Fringe Festival promoter Brendan Ryan said.
With the plethora of shows for viewers to attend, it makes for stiff competition between the different companies. As a way to get people into shows, some companies have promoters hand out free tickets.
“It’s really annoying when people hand out free tickets because I’m trying to sell tickets to a show. And usually the free shows aren’t as good,” said Ryan.
Free tickets are not the only thing for promoters to have to worry about. The competition ripens the chance for tension and conflict.
Another promoter, Rosa Brownless said, “I’ve had a person promoting a different show come up to me when I was telling someone about a show and say, ‘You know you shouldn’t go to that one. This show is way better.’ They get really feisty.”
Promoters often engage creative and ingenious tactics in order to gain the attention and interests of passers-by. Some sing or perform a dance, and others wear outrageous attire ranging from fantasy characters to just pulling their pants down around their ankles.
Companies such as IMWP pay individuals to go out on the streets to promote their shows by passing out fliers and leaflets. However, to some working the festival, money is not important.
“For me, it’s not important. It’s just the experience of it,” said Brownless.
Staff members such as Megali Guerif come from various places outside of Scotland. Guerif is from France and has the perk of attending the shows he promotes for free.
The Fringe Festival began August 3 and end on August 27 in Edinburgh.