A Flyerer Writes: Just Like That - Fringe 2016 is Over!
And just like that, the Fringe is over for another year.
It’s been a frenetic and involved August for me. If you’ve been following these blogs, you’ll know that I’ve been working as a member of a Street Team over the Fringe, handing out flyers and helping punters with their queries. And now, on the last Sunday in August, the last shows are performed, the last flyers are dispensed, the last pint is pulled, and the last week is over.
I’m sitting on the sofa I’ve slept on for the past 5 weeks; it’s my first proper day off in over a month. In a few hours I’ll be going to a wrap party for our team. An open bar and a room full of people intent on letting off steam, not to mention a chance to say my goodbyes to the comedians I’ve promoted for the last month.
Now that the Fringe is over, performers and staff are making their next plans – the younger group heading back to university, we slightly older people sowing the usual crop of CVs into the wild, and the older and more experienced lot returning to their jobs and families.
Across the city, the dust is settling and teams of people are tackling the dismantling and removal of the many temporary structures which filled every last nook and cranny over this month of culture. The big purple cow is being taken down, the boards and platforms in the squares are being pulled up, grass seed is being sown in an effort to repair the tortured and treaded turf which has borne the brunt of myriad footsteps. Banners and posters are ripped down, some to be kept by the more sentimental performers, others to be resigned to recycling.
There’s still a few shows left, a few stubborn hangers-on who have wangled an extra day or two from their venues, and no doubt they will be rewarded by an influx of audience members who are looking for just one more fix before they head home. Soon however, those shows will be joining their counterparts in de-constructing set and packing up costumes.
I give it a week, maybe two, before Edinburgh feels ‘normal’ again. Some of the so-called temporary structures are very heftily built – the Famous Spiegeltent is a wood-and-canvas contraption with a wooden dance floor, proper foundations and opulence galore inside; certainly more than a day’s work to dismantle.
But in a matter of days, Edinburgh will be Fringe-less again. Still a bustling city, still brimming with theatre and art, but not in the same disturbed-ants-nest sort of way. Like a paradise bird briefly ruffling its feathers, so Edinburgh showed its fantastic and dazzling colours for a month of the year, and now we’re all settling back, sipping a cold one and starting to plan for Fringe 2017.
To repeat something I said at the beginning of this year’s Fringe – I can’t wait.