Comment: A festival shouldn’t just be for well-off

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The Evening News has so far highlighted the issue of pricing at Edinburgh’s Christmas in a number of articles.

Underbelly – the organisers of this year’s event – are understandably keen to point to the large number of people attending the attractions in the city centre and the large number of positive comments on Edinburgh’s Christmas Facebook page.

It now emerges, however, that the online comments may not be a fair reflection of the range of views held by the people of Edinburgh and the Lothians.

A letter from Katie Campbell, which gently criticised the increased costs, was hidden from the page after it attracted hundreds of messages of support.

Other readers have also complained their negative comments were removed.

We posted Ms Campbell’s letter on our Facebook page and asked the public whether they agreed with what she said. Or whether they believed Edinburgh’s Christmas festival was better than ever.

In just 24 hours, more than 6000 people said that prices were too high, with more than 800 comments, 90 per cent of them negative.

This is the biggest response the News has ever received to a story, surpassing even the reaction after Sir Chris Hoy won his record-breaking sixth gold at London 2012 or Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph.

It is clear, therefore, that readers are exercised by this.

It is the duty of a newspaper to reflect the views of its readers.

We would not be doing our job if we did not highlight that many ordinary families believe that prices are now too high.

A festival – particularly one that is supported by the city council – shouldn’t just be for the well-off. Christmas should be accessible for each and every family in this great city.