As the Free Fringe (FF) gets bigger and bigger and continues to grab the ‘Official’ Fringe (OF) by the scruff of its neck and give it a good kick up the arse, it’s interesting to see the ‘official’ print media arriving a bit late to the party. For the last couple of weeks they’ve steadfastly ignored the FF concentrating on reviews of shows on the ‘other one’. But as we head into the last week and we enlightened people – and we are many – have laughed, cried, marvelled and generally felt smug at picking out the-next-big-thing, and probably the most beautiful thing being is that we can post up comments and reviews as soon as – giving an instant tasting guide to the vast smorgasbord that is the FF. We haven’t felt the need to pick up anything as Dickensian as a magazine or a newspaper. Such is their irrelevance they are giving them away for free now. So how do they make their money? Well, from advertising of course – ads for established comedians playing the OF, ads for OF venue sponsors. Fair enough if it’s a full page ad for something like Aperol (although that is not a classic Spritz recipe – post to follow) we know where we are but when we stray into ‘infomercial’ territory with interviews and articles about David Baddiel (oh, I’m famous – look at me, don’t look at me..)or the latest YouTube phenomenon that Avalon have staked their pension fund on – it all looks a bit sad and tired. “I know”, say these guys, “Why don’t we review the Free Fringe? I believe it’s very popular and we may just be able to find ‘the-next-big-thing’!” Some chance guys – you wouldn’t know the zeitgeist if it came up and gave you the old leather-glove-double-slap!
p.s. Here’s a good example of being out of touch – a (free) copy of The (festival) List gave the mind blowing piece of advice to visit Leith for general feeding and watering respite from the Festival. So far, so good – but while they recommend the nobbier and more expensive watering-holes down at The Front I pride myself on already having given you tips on eating and drinking cheaply and well mainly on and around The Walk. Please refer to my earlier Edinburgh Guide posts. Slainte!