Scotland’s stunt cycling icon Danny MacAskill has promised fans he will stage his ‘biggest and best’ live show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer - including nerve-shredding new tricks and “audience participation.”
The 33-year-old street trials star has vowed the Drop and Roll Show he will be staging in a circus big top will be on a “different level” to any of his previous live performances.
The Skye-born YouTube sensation, whose videos have been seen by more than 350 million people around the world, has also revealed he is about to release a new film he has spent two years making in Scotland.
He and Highlands trials star Duncan Shaw have been taking their Drop and Roll Tour all over the world for the past five years. But MacAskill has promised that the Fringe incarnation will see the pair “really push it” in the huge Circus Hub arena arena on the Meadows, including recreating some of his best-know film stunts for the live show.
He said: “Duncan and I have been talking about doing shows at the Fringe for years, but the opportunity has never really come up before this year. It’s one of the coolest things that happens in Scotland every year - it’s an amazing international festival.
“Duncan studied here, I lived here for a years and it’s the 10th of my first video, Inspired Bicylces. I’ve got such a strong connection to Edinburgh - it feels like a real homecoming to be involved with the Fringe.
“It’s also a pretty cool opportunity to do something bigger and better than we’ve ever done before. It’s going to be an awesome experience.
MacAskill will perform alongside an international line-up of acrobatic, burlesque and cabaret stars inside the Circus Hub’s big top.
He said: “We’ll be taking some elements that work from the show we’ve taken around the world, but will be making them bigger and better.
“It’s a good opportunity to come up with new stuff. Hopefully after 25 days of it we’ll actually be quite good by! I’m sure the first few shows might be a bit chaotic. We want to really push it as riders.
“We normally have to keep the show at a level where we can do it in wind, rain or shine. But as we’re taking it indoors for the Fringe it means we can maybe tackle things specifically for this show and really up the level of what we get up to.
“I want to bring in more elements from some of the videos I’ve done in the past and also put some riding in there that’s right on the limit - tough stuff that is impressive to watch.
“We’re also planning to have some audience participation going on. We’ve got a good under-writer working with is! It’s definitely going to be dangerous, but also a lot of fun and really family-friendly.”
MacAskill’s Fringe debut will coincide with the 10th anniversary of his first film, shot around Edinburgh, which propelled him to stadium.
- a far cry from the days when he used to get frustrated with the huge crowds which descend on the city. He has told his fans to watch out for the pair perfoming stunts around the city to help drum up interest in the show.
He added: “I moved to Edinburgh in 2006 and obviously the festival was on every year. I have to admit sometimes I used to find it more of a hindrance than enjoyable. The city was full of people and places like Bristo Square had a big tent in it. Now we’re going to be the people who are in the way.
“We’ve got a fair bit of time to be having fun around the city. We’ll be out and about on the bikes for sure.”
MacAskill was living at the top of Leith Walk and working as a mechanic in a bike shop Morrison Streer when he and his flatmate Dave Sowerby set out to film a series of stunts over the winter of 2008-9.
He said: “We only planned to film for two weeks, but we ended up taking about six months to put the film together. My plan for that year was to leave my job and do shows in schools. Two weeks after I stopped working the film went online. It went completely crazy.”