Comment: A balancing act fit for the Fringe itself

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There is no denying the Ladyboys have become almost as much a part of the annual festivals season as the Tattoo and the fireworks.

They may not be everyone’s cup of tea but you can’t argue with the ticket sales which make them the Fringe’s most popular act.

And if their threat to up sticks and move to Glasgow over higher fees was carried out, there is no doubt the Fringe would be poorer for their absence.

It is hard to argue though against the council trying to maximise the benefit to the city and its residents from the success of the festivals.

There will always be warnings about “killing the goose that lays the golden eggs” and other cities are bound to queue up to offer cheaper alternative venues to a top show like this.

But there is an inevitability about the council looking for something closer to market rates for a commercial operation using publicly-owned land.

There is the proper maintenance of the Meadows to consider. Ensuring the Meadows are returned to a proper state after the marquees leave for another year remains an issue and one which costs the city’s council tax payers to put right.

Edinburgh is blessed with fantastic open spaces and ensuring that they can be used by the majority for special events like these, while retaining amenities for local residents, is a balancing act fit to grace the Fringe.

It is something the city council seems to have got about right by ensuring some of the bigger shows are rotated round the city and strict time restrictions are 

Applying a similar measure of common sense to the new arrangements has got to be the way 

No-one is going to be happy at having to pay more, but let’s hope a compromise can be found that brings the Ladyboys back to delight crowds again next year.