Charles Pamment Edinburgh Fringe Festival – The Old Fringe Club

Edinburgh Fringe – Thoughts on the Fringe.

It’s a wonderful experience your first Edinburgh Fringe, it’s the one that gives you the bug to come back year after year. I remember mine well, way back in the early 90’s. I don’t think there were quite as many venues then, well, they’re wasn’t and actually some of them were in very different places. In fact one of them, the Gilded Ballon now on Bristo Square was located in Cowgate, the current site was in those days the famed ‘Fringe Club’.

The Fringe Club was a great place, like Fringe Central today, it was only for performing companies, it didn’t really have shows, but was a 3 storey building with lots of stuff going on all day and every night until silly o’clock – much of it was eternally fringe, all a little bit experimental, performers testing out their shows on make-shift stages watched by other performers giving advice, an array of voluntary workshops, open mic rooms and several bars on one of the floors that were packed until the early hours. It was a vibrant, busy place not driven by household names but driven by passion and creativity.

The fringe misses that, the current Fringe Central is a fantastically useful but its not necessarily a great social environment and its doesn’t have 500 people in it every night discussing their current show, new ideas and plans for the future…perhaps the fringe needs that back.

Charles Pamment – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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