Edinburgh resident Emma Campbell, 29, has this week complained about how “annoyingly busy” the streets of her city are with “idiot tourists”, as the world’s largest arts festival takes place on her doorstep.
"Man, I’m fed up with this, I’m seriously considering moving to another city, just to get away from all this hassle in August", said Campbell, who currently has bought no tickets and has not planned on seeing any theatre, comedy, music or dance showcases at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, "it’s just a pain in the arse".
"I mean seriously, just try walking the Mile right now", explained Campbell in reference to the lively street full of performance artists and promoters trying earnestly to hand out flyers to literally hundreds of free shows. "It’s really inconvenient", said Campbell about the world-renowned cultural festival that has boosted Scotland’s economy by £261 million in past years.
Campbell, who can only be said to have seen one show in the history of the Fringe, when a friend bought tickets to see Alan Carr in 2005, has said that she doesn’t actually mind the festival per se, but that it really disrupts her commute to work. The 15-minute walk from her flat to the offices of Dempsey & Mulgrew Solicitors where she works, briefly crosses the Royal Mile, which now causes her a delay of approximately 2 minutes, as she is forced to sidestep “useless fucking tourists gawking at posters”.
It’s not just local office workers who are being inconvenienced by the culturally enriching festival, café owner Jenny Dunn has her own reasons to complain. “I’m rushed off my feet all day now, I can’t get a moment’s rest”, explained a frustrated Dunn, whose business experiences a 230% increase in revenue during the month of August, that helps them maintain profitability throughout the year, “I just can’t understand Americans at all, one guy asked for eggs ‘over easy’. I just gave him 3 eggs, then charged him double”.
Comedian Sam Wilde joined in the grumbling regarding the Fringe, the young performer puts on a one-man improv show in an Edinburgh pub year-round. “There has not been an empty seat at any of my shows this month, each has been filled with some terrifying stranger”, stated a visibly stricken Wilde, “How can I predict how all of these disparate people will react; they could shout out anything. Literally anything”. During one improv “game”, when Wilde asked the audience to suggest an historical setting for a scene, he was forced to walk off stage in tears when someone suggested “Ancient Rome”, a civilisation that apparently he was unfamiliar with.
A spokesman for Edinburgh city council has sparked rumours that this year may be the last for the world’s largest arts festival, though apparently the reasons for the termination have nothing to do with tight budgets, nor they are related to the current financial climate. “Have you any idea of the amount of organisation that goes into putting this festival on every year? Honestly, it’s not worth the effort”, said the spokesman, “The amount of queries and complaints we have to deal with, it’s more like the Edinburgh Whinge Festival”. The council have said that their main focus next year will be the getting the tram system up and running, and they doubt they will have time for any of their other responsibilities.
There are rumours that Glasgow city council may be forming a bid to bring the famous Fringe festival to Scotland’s most populous city. An anonymous source in the council has stated however, that the West End Festival is already becoming “too much like hard work” for them.