First Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows go on sale for this summer

The first shows planned to be staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer have been revealed.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:27 am
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 2:30 pm

Four days of stand-up comedy are to be held at the Corn Exchange over the first weekend of the festival.

Scots stars Daniel Sloss and Craig Hill will be playing four gigs each, while German stand-up favourite Henning Wehn will also be appearing at the venue.

They are being staged by live entertainment giants Live Nation, which revealed it was also working with other performers and artists for this year’s Fringe.

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Shows will be staged in two rooms at the venue for socially-distanced audiences of up to 400, with more tickets expected to be released depending on the restrictions on live events at the time.

They are the first Fringe shows to be announced since registration of shows was launched on 5 May.

The Fringe Society, which oversees the running of the festival, has scrapped plans to publish a printed programme, but is keeping registration open until the end of the festival.

Many venue operators have held off confirming programmes and putting tickets on sale due to uncertainty over what social distancing restriction will be in place in Scotland when the festival is on.

Daniel Sloss will be appearing at the Corn Exchange this August.

Ian Corburn, who runs the comedy arm of Live Nation, said: “We’re really excited to be opening up the Corn Exchange to the Fringe and looking forward to working with other promoters and artists to bring some certainty for Fringe performers in such uncertain times, all while providing a much-needed, great night of live entertainment.”

Audiences of up to 400 at indoor events are envisaged in Scotland by the end of June. Guidelines for events later in the summer are due to be published early next month.

Under the current guidelines for live events, which have been allowed to resume in Scotland from this week, venue operators have been told to enforce two metre social distancing. Venues in England are being allowed to operate at half-capacity.

The Corn Exchange, which dates back to 1909, was turned into a new events venue for the city in 1999 and was regularly part of the “T on the Fringe” music strand of the festival. It normally has a capacity of 1000 for all-standing concerts.

Fringe favourite Craig Hill will be staging four shows at the Corn Exchange. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

A spokeswoman for the Fringe Society said: “It’s hugely positive to see live performance returning to Edinburgh, and as Scotland gradually opens up, we’re looking forward to seeing more live entertainment return safely.

"As more plans are being made, we’re urging the Scottish Government to review their current 2m stance for theatres and venues, so that more performances can viably take place.”

Sloss who will be supported by Geordie stand-up Kai Humphries, famously made his debut at the Fringe when he was just 16 years old and made the final of the annual “So You Think You're Funny?” competition the following year. He has gone on to film shows for HBO and Netflix.

Hill has been of the most popular Scottish stand-ups at the Fringe since his debut solo show in 2000, performing at the Gilded Balloon, Underbelly and the EICC.

Wehn is well known in the UK for his appearances on panel shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats, Have I Got News for You, Room 101, Would I Lie to You? and QI.

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