Fringe venue crowdfunders you can still support
- Arusa Qureshi
- 27 August 2020
Here's how to donate to your favourite venues to help keep them going beyond 2020
While it's certainly been one of the strangest Augusts in recent memory for the majority of people, for artists, venues and industry workers in Edinburgh, it's been a particularly brutal month without the Festivals. As we come to the end of August, we can only look ahead to next year and hope that things return to some form of normalcy, with Edinburgh once again bustling with arts and culture from all over the world and performers able to create and showcase work once again. But before that can happen, we have to ensure that the people behind the scenes – the venues, the staff and the freelancers – are given enough support now so that they can return next year in their full Fringe glory. Here are some of the venues that have launched crowdfunders for this very purpose, and with August almost over, there's still time to contribute if you're able to do so, to help keep these institutions going beyond 2020.
The folks at Assembly launched a festival of fundraising for freelancers, with the goal of supporting the highly skilled freelance theatre makers and live event specialists whose livelihoods have been devastated by the pandemic. But what has made this all the more special is the efforts of General Manager and all round legend Dani Rai, who has been hula hooping in a different location in Edinburgh every day of the Fringe to help raise funds for the campaign. Follow her Twitter thread to see photos of the places she's been spotted with her hula hoop, with locations ranging from George Square to Edinburgh Zoo.
Donate to Assembly.
Another Edinburgh comedy institution, Gilded Balloon have done what they can this month to help keep the spirit of the Fringe alive. Their online programme has had exciting new shows, compilations of the best performances from over the years and weekly Zoom conversations with famous faces. They even planned an immersive festival-themed treasure hunt around the city, which could be played by teams of up to four people at any point throughout August. Gilded Balloon have been crowdfunding to make sure that their various venues, staff and freelancers can weather the storm through 2020 and come back stronger than ever, but with just a week left on the crowdfunder, now is the time to donate if you can.
Donate to Gilded Balloon.
Comedy favourites Monkey Barrel are known for putting on excellent comedy in their Blair Street venue all year round, with particular attention given to nurturing up-and-coming talent and emerging acts. To help keep the venue alive and thriving, the team have announced the Monkey Barrel Marathon Comedy Fundraiser, which takes places online on Sat 29 Aug at 7pm. Tickets are available on a pay-what-you-can basis, with performers on the line-up including Fern Brady, Jessica Fostekew, Sam Simmons, Spencer Jones, Lou Sanders and many more.
Donate to Monkey Barrel.
It's been odd not being able to spend evenings in the Pleasance Courtyard this month, drinking pints while celebrity spotting as we all like to do. The Pleasance launched their crowdfunder to safeguard their return to the Fringe next year and they've pledged that 30% of everything they raise will go directly to emerging theatre-makers and comedians, with a dedicated fund to help debut shows reach Fringe 2021. Additionally, you can enter their extra-special raffle to be in with a chance of winning the Pleasance Golden Ticket, which gives the winner a pair of free tickets to every single show at the Pleasance during next year's Fringe.
Donate to The Pleasance.
With the recent news that The Stand venues in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle are all under threat of closure, a number of high profile comedians have thrown their weight behind the campaign to keep the iconic comedy venues open. The Stand have been keeping audiences entertained at home during lockdown with their weekly Saturday Night Live at The Stand livestreams, having had performers like Jojo Sutherland, Susie McCabe, Lauren Pattison and Janey Godley and plenty more on the bill. The grand finale is this Saturday, with host Mark Nelson joined by Billy Kirkwood, David Kay, Ross Leslie, Michael Redmond and Jo Caulfield; Frankie Boyle has also recorded an exclusive excerpt just for the show.
Donate to The Stand.
Summerhall is a firm Fringe favourite, not only for its incredible atmosphere in August but also because the team consistently programme some of the very best shows around. With no Fringe programme this year, the venue was hit hard, leaving a giant gap in their year-round programming. While they met their initial target with their crowdfunder, the goal has been extended to provide the venue with as much support as possible as they return to their regular schedule. There's just a few days left on this one, so be sure to get in there quick!
Donate to Summerhall.
What's August without the giant purple Underbelly cow? With the various Underbelly venues, hubs and bars missing this summer, it's definitely made the city a whole lot quieter. But the team at Underbelly are determined to have things back to normal next year, so they're raising money for artists through their crowdfunder, helping to make up for lost ticket sales. There's also some pretty impressive rewards on there if you donate, including a personalised and signed Eddie Redmayne photo and a shirt signed by Danny MacAskill and Duncan Shaw.
Donate to Underbelly.
It would have been ZOO's 20th anniversary this year, which is especially gutting for the venue. But they're determined to return next year and have launched ZOO TV, which features a new handpicked selection of both live and recorded work each day in August from world-class theatre and dance companies. All productions have been made available free of charge, with audiences invited to donate funds that go directly to performing artists and companies.
Donate to ZOO.