Leader: ‘The impression is of going to extremes’

MOST people would consider Edinburgh to be a reasonably liberal-minded city.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 10th March 2012, 12:00 pm

After all, we have seen years of shock Fringe productions, every one apparently intent on outdoing the last in the taste and decency stakes. After a while, like it or not, they pretty much cease to cause any controversy or concern.

But many may consider the latest addition to the city’s festival calendar a step too far – especially as it will fall out with the usual protection of Fringe madness.

The Festival of Erotic Art, which is being planned for June, has presumably been created with the knowledge that there will be a reasonable demand for tickets for a three-day event.

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Organisers of course insist it is all about the art, but admit the programme includes the likes of bondage workshops.

We have no desire to prevent people getting up to whatever they like behind closed doors but in our view that is where this should probably remain.

Valid concerns have already been raised about some of the events and the potential for children to be exposed to advertising, discreet or not.

Some of the reaction is, of course, predictable but in this case the description of some of the planned shows does create an impression that they will be pushing the boundaries to the extreme.

We would hope the authorities will be closely monitoring the events and act quickly to call a halt if any step over the mark.

At the same time, we must be careful not to be overly prudish and in the process stifle any genuine creativity. What causes offence today, after all, may well look timid in 20 years’ time.

But it is clear that some elements of this event will be extremely distasteful to the vast majority of people. The best we can hope is that those living in the areas where events are taking place will be left blissfully unaware of what is happening behind closed doors nearby.

That may just about be tolerable, but it is hard to see this addition to Edinburgh’s festival calendar as being a positive step for the city.