Here’s hoping for an end to Covid Fringe frustration - Karen Koren

Edinburgh has been looking at its summer best over the past few weeks. It’s just a shame that there is so much hesitation in opening up again and we can’t enjoy the capital city as it used to be.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 7:00 am
The Gilded Balloon has been a mainstay of the Fringe since 1986
The Gilded Balloon has been a mainstay of the Fringe since 1986

In order to go to a café, bar or restaurant you have to check in with your mobile phone, have your temperature taken, sanitize your hands and even write down your name and address - and then you are in.

Once there, you have to work out how to order something on your phone and pay for it. Some of us are just not meant for so much technology in one go.

Inevitably, my daughter Katy will snatch the phone from me and do it for me. I would, however, prefer to take my time and make it happen myself, but if I’m buying someone a drink they have to be patient!

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

We have been trying to programme Fringe shows at the Gilded Balloon for August and feeling frustrated at no proper explanation of what can happen.

One minute we think we can do something at two-metre social distancing, then one-metre, then we can book some shows - or can we?

On Tuesday the First Minister announced that after 19 July indoor and outdoor will be one metre distancing and then on 9 August there will be no distancing. I have to admit that it seems too good to be true. Let’s hope it happens

Running since 1986, we’ve had our ups and downs, particularly the fire that devastated our Cowgate base in 2002.

It’s too late now to programme a fully functioning Fringe. However, we do have time to book a small number of really good shows for August and I know that with the distancing decreasing, the performers will be very keen to get back to presenting live shows again, as are we very keen to put them on.

I just can’t help feeling that something is going to get in the way.

We all work hard getting a good programme together and then they cancel at the last minute, because there isn’t enough of the population vaccinated or the Delta or some other variant has spread.

This is how we have lived for the last 18 months or maybe even longer now. Please just let us get back to some kind of normality.