Call for more discounts
Disrupted residents ‘should get a Festival dividend’
Edinburgh residents feel they also have to juggle their lives during the Festival (pic: Terry Murden)
Edinburgh residents should be given discounted tickets for Fringe and Festival events, the Scottish Conservatives have said, as the event continues to grow and become more lucrative.
Lothians MSP Miles Briggs said the city’s residents deserved the “festival dividend” not only as a goodwill gesture from organisers, but to compensate for a busier city and increased disruption.
Some individual venues already offer reduced-price tickets to residents on providing proof of address, but there are now calls for this to extend to the whole Edinburgh International and Festival Fringe.
This year was another record-breaker for Fringe organisers, with a 5% increase in ticket sales to more than 2.8 million.
Mr Briggs said while those living in Edinburgh are largely in favour of the festival and the benefits it brings, many were complaining of increased inconvenience.
He added it was important to keep local people on board, and by offering cheaper tickets this could be a way of continuing the good relationship.
Mr Briggs said: “It’s great news that the fringe and festival continue to go from strength to strength and put Edinburgh and Scotland on the map as home to one of the world’s best spectacles.
“It’s getting bigger and better, and people who live in the city are pleased to see that continue.
“However, there’s no question that – as more people flock to the city – the level of inconvenience and hassle increases for those who live and work here.
“It’s important we retain the goodwill of residents, and one way of doing that would be to offer discounted tickets across the board to those who can prove they live here – almost like a festival dividend.
“I have written to both festivals to see if they will consider putting this in place for next year.
“The success of these events is commendable. And while they continue to grow, it’s important we examine the opportunities and challenges they pose to people and businesses.
“We need an honest dialogue on how to get the balance right.”