For the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe free shows will return to The Counting House venue on West Nicolson Street, following a one year hiatus with the venue being programmed under a paid show format.
This is fantastic news for us and Fringe performers, and in 2017 the Counting House will be better than ever.
The Free Festival had built up the Counting House as a Fringe venue from 2007 until 2015, making it one of the Fringe’s leading show hubs, with the venue hosting a number of high profile shows for free over the years, including: Luisa Omielan, Richard Gadd, Joel Dommett, Janey Godley, East End Cabaret, Cariad Lloyd, Austentatious, The Malcolm Hardee Awards, Cabaret Whore, Rachael Parris and many more.
With the return of this venue to free programming, this brings the four performances spaces of the Counting House back to be being spaces that performers are not charged to use, and are also free for audiences to watch shows with a collection at the end.
Alongside the Counting House rooms, the ground floor Pear Tree venue is being refurbished to take over the area that had previously been the Blind Poet Bar, giving a further ground floor performance space for shows, alongside the famous Pear Tree’s free Courtyard music stage.
Free Festival director Alex Petty says: “This is fantastic news for us and Fringe performers, and in 2017 the Counting House will be better than ever. In partnership with the venue owners and manager Brian Dobie, we had already improved what could be offered to free show performers and audiences, and we certainly plan to do even more now in 2017. With the Counting House now alongside its owners other venue, The City Café, and our fantastic hub venues at The Three Sisters, Cabaret Voltaire and Espionage – with more new venues for 2017 at The Golf Tavern, Cuckoo’s Nest and Joker & Thief we will really be able push things forward for free performers and audiences at all of the venues, and include many more shows. I think the 2017 Fringe is looking like it’ll be an exciting year.”