Much like any artists’ venture, money always comes into question. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is no different. Many companies come to Edinburgh only to lose money, despite how popular their show may be. Danny Braverman, performer of Wot? No Fish!! quips, “People are much too financially optimistic in Edinburgh, which is why they get burned. On the Fringe, you have to assume the hell scenario.” Edinburgh may not necessarily be financially a success but it is the gamble on garnering a reputation that could possibly generate a future income. The Fringe would not work without performers and creators being willing to pay for the entirety of their stay and offering their labor for free. This self-exploitation is why it is so important for transparency in the accounting of these shows. In the end it is about taking the gamble on what you may miss out on by not coming to the fringe, be it exposure and accessibility to theatre awards and grants, versus how much it will break the bank.
For additional reporting on this topic, check out this article from The Guardian: