ARTYFACTS: Edinburgh Festival: Politics of Festivals

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Edinburgh Festival: Politics of Festivals

The Festival of Politics held a panel session on 'The Politics of Festivals'. The panel was a group of Edinburgh worthies and teh questions centred around:

Why Festivals?
They need organisation.

Are small Festivals better?
Yes and no - we can have festivals of many sizes.

Has politics been sidelined in this year's Fringe and Fetival?
Yes. Not sure if this is the apathy of writers, organuisers, or a sign of the times.

Is the 'homecoming' theme too cheesy for a major international festival?
Yes, it is cheesy, but there's something to be said for it. There seemed to be a lot of discussion about Robert Burns, who is even more cheesy.

Is the Fringe being swamped by comedy?
Ruth Wishart felt that this was true, as did Tommy Shepherd, from The Stand. The cartel of comedy promnoters from four major veneues has, in a sense hijacked the fringe, and turned it into a comedy-fest, with formulaic comedy acts, squeezing out theatre.


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