August 11, 2008

Acts Put on Their Sunday Best As Thousands Brave Elements

By Alan McEwen

Tents packed out for popular Meadows event

THOUSANDS of people braved mud and rain at The Meadows to enjoy the Fringe Sunday extravaganza.

More than 150 acts were on the bill in tents and outdoor stages at yesterday's event, including comics, bands, actors, dancers and street performers.

More than 100,000 attended the event, organisers said today, which they described as their way of saying "thank you" to the city's residents.

Children and adults were given free tasters from many of the shows featured in this year's Fringe.

The ever-popular comedy tent attracted the largest crowds throughout the day with around 20 acts on hand to deliver laughs.

The cabaret tent provided an eclectic mix of performers, such as This Sketch Show Belongs to Lionel Richie and Return of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre.

Potted Potter: The Unauthorised Harry Experience saw youngsters in the Kid's Tent treated to a parody of J.K Rowling's novels.

And the Performing Rights Society (PRS) New Music Stage saw sets from bands including The Vibrants, Molloy and Punch and the Apostles.

One of the highlights of the day was up-and-coming Edinburgh band We See Lights, who have only been playing together since the start of the year, but have already appeared as support for rock legends The Police.

For the first time, organisers invited craft stall holders to the event, which has previously hosted a very successful farmers' market, which again offered a wide range of local produce.

Laura Jamieson, 23, postgraduate student, from Marchmont, said: "I only live round the corner so I've come every year. It was a shame about the rain but it was easy to nip inside one of the tents.

"I sort of dipped in and out of most of the shows so I saw some cabaret, comedy, music and theatre. One of the best things about the Fringe is you get the chance to see acts from around the world all in one place."

Rain fell periodically during the afternoon, but the outdoor performances continued despite the showers and sunshine often broke through the cloudy skies.

Malcolm Shields, 40, from Stockbridge, brought his daughter Meghan, seven, to the event. He said: "My daughter likes the street performers who juggle fire and things, which was a bit unfortunate for me because they performed outside when it was raining.

"It's great that this is held for free so it gives people the chance to check out different things which you might not necessarily have paid to go and see. But if you like something, you can go out and buy the tickets."

Jon Morgan, Fringe Director, said, "Fringe Sunday is always a hugely enjoyable day.

"Every tent has been packed all day long, which shows how popular the event is."

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