Free Fringe running out of room says founder

Dramatic rise in Free Fringe applications. Picture : Ian Rutherford
Dramatic rise in Free Fringe applications. Picture : Ian Rutherford
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THE founder of the Free Fringe movement has warned the event is in danger of running out of room.

With two months to go before the deadline to get into the official Fringe programme the number of applications to stage street shows in 2014 are 60 per cent up on last year.

Peter Buckley Hill, now the biggest promoter at the festival said there were already a record number of 50 performance spaces last year.

The dramatic hike follows mounting concerns over the cost of using “pay-to-play” venues at the Fringe, and two of the three Edinburgh Comedy Award winners at last year’s festival appearing in free venues.

Mr Buckley Hill, who was honoured at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards five years ago for his contribution to the festival, said the Free Fringe was now reaching capacity.

There had already been a staggering increase in the number of free shows from just over 100 in 2008 to 465 last year, when ­almost 8,000 performances were staged.