Partnership between Fringe Society and local university forms part of efforts to double number of affordable rooms available to performers for the 2024 festival.
Stuart Caie/Creative Commons
The Edinburgh Fringe Society has teamed up with the city's Queen Margaret University (QMU) to provide accommodation for up to 500 performers as part of a new ‘festival village’ for 2024.
The university's student village, which is around six miles from Edinburgh Old Town, accommodates a total of 800 students. The arrangement will mean some 500 rooms being made available to performers during August, dependent on how many students opt to remain on campus over the period.
Single lockable rooms will be available as part of three- and six-bedroom flats, priced from £269.50 a week - around £40 a night.
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For the 2022 festival the Fringe Society secured 1,200 rooms for performers for £280 or less a week, but Chief Executive Shona McCarthy admitted at the time that this wasn't enough to meet demand, setting out an intention to double that number by 2024 and to triple it by 2027.
The Fringe Society says the partnership with QMU is one of several measures it is pursuing in response to the rising cost and decreasing availability of accommodation in the city, working in tandem with the fringe community of venues, producers and artists.
As well as accommodation, performers staying at the campus will have access to an onsite café, free outdoor yoga classes, rehearsal space, printing and wifi facilities, parking and storage, plus Fringe Society services and events for socialising and networking.
The campus is located on the outskirts of Edinburgh, near Musselburgh, and has regular train, bus and night bus connections to the centre of town.
"We are very excited about the prospect of a festival village at the Queen Margaret University campus – not just for the accommodation it offers, but for the opportunity it presents artists to find their Fringe community, to meet and connect with each other and add another layer of value to their Fringe experience," McCarthy said.
"We are grateful to the team at QMU for working with us on this imaginative collaboration as we explore longer-term opportunities to work with both the academics and the students at QMU.
“While encouraging, we know this development won’t magically solve all the accommodation issues faced by artists and venues.
"However, alongside our other ongoing efforts to secure accommodation options, while also lobbying on artists’ behalf with local and national government, it represents a very positive step in the right direction.”