Edinburgh Fringe comic slams rising costs of appearing at festival

Eva Bindeman played 13 shows at the Fringe last year.
Eva Bindeman played 13 shows at the Fringe last year. -Credit:Eva Bindeman

A comic says she is "unsure" if she will attend the Edinburgh Fringe again due to rocketing prices.

Eva Bindeman, 35, travelled to the capital in 2023 for 13 dates of her comedy show, but following the experience, she was forced to "sit and think" this year on whether attending the 2024 event was the right decision for her, reports Edinburgh Live.

She said soaring prices during the cost of living crisis along with the average costs of accommodation, posters and the organisation of flyers, all mean it would be "insanity" for her to go through the same experience again.

However, Eve said the experience did push her to become a better performer and that being a part of the Fringe is a worthwhile experience. But she feels "frustrated" that it almost feels like a luxury to be a part of now.

A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said they are there to help artists at any part of their career with "year round support".

Eva said: "I feel like I was a bit naïve with the Fringe really. I was able to stay on a friend's sofa so I was covered on the accommodation front, but it was just cripplingly expensive to be there.

"The cost of living has gone up as well so comedy is a really hard thing to be doing right now. Each year the cost just leaps and it doesn't feel like it's got the same investment.

"The prices are wild, I think I spent £1,000 last year on posters and that was for one large poster near my venue, one smaller picture outside the venue and six posters around the city. Everything just sat on me quite awkwardly and there are no cheap ways of doing it now and I just feel uncomfy going back.

"This year, I had to sit down and think about what it would actually do for me as a performer and place a value on that. Even with staying with a friend, I couldn’t justify the cost of it all".

Eva works in childcare for her day to day job and said that while she was at the festival, she really felt the cost of missing out on that income. At the Fringe, she performed 11 shows in total at The Mash House as part of Just the Tonic.

"Most comics have day to day jobs to get by, so without that, as well as covering my rent in England while I was in Edinburgh, it was hard," she said.

"There are no opportunities for paid gigs there down there either really. You're losing out on work, gigging more than you have ever gigged for before but for minus money, you’re not able to gig around the country while you are up there because Edinburgh sucks in all of the gigs in surrounding cities too. There is nowhere to pop out to for paid work," Eva said.

She added that it was a "real joy" to perform as part of the festival - and wishes she was able to attend this year but just can't justify it.

She said: "Performing for an hour every day was a joy, and you do get better. You are able to flyer, the experience pushes you and I did become a better performer.

"Absolutely people should still go and be a part of it but for me it pushed it into a real luxury that would be insanity in my life right now. It’s really frustrating because this February I just won the Leicester Mercury Award for comedy so this would be the year to go and promote myself but I just can’t justify it".

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