Major Edinburgh Fringe venue to offer customers the chance to directly donate to acts

Fans will be able to contribute a little bit extra to give acts further support
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Major Fringe venue Gilded Balloon has today announced a brand new ‘Support the Artist’ scheme, introduced for 2023. Designed to extend the support offered to performers faced with growing costs at the Festival, Gilded Balloon’s Support the Artist initiative will allow customers to add an additional £2 to each ticket, going directly to the artist.

Available via Gilded Balloon’s website and in-person at the venue’s box offices, the opt-in scheme will allow fans to contribute a little extra to go directly to performers, helping acts with the costs associated with bringing a show or act to the Fringe. So far, over 80 shows on Gilded Balloon’s roster have opted into the scheme, which is completely optional for both acts and customers to participate in.

With Summerhall also introducing a Support the Artist initiative earlier this year, Gilded Balloon were keen to follow suit and ensure they could offer a version of the scheme to their own artists during Fringe. Asking audiences to be part of the initiative, customers across both Gilded Balloon and Summerhall venues can add the additional £2 to as many tickets as they would like at the point of purchase.

Gilded Balloon is renowned for operating an open-door artists services policy during the Festival to offer support and advice to all acts across their 175+ programme - whether advice on marketing support, ticket sales or just a friendly chat in what can be an overwhelming time for performers.

In a bid to help offset living costs during the Festival for staff and acts, Gilded Balloon also offer discounted food and drink to staff and artists throughout their three venues, plus artists from any Fringe venue can receive 25% discounted food and drinks at Gilded’s Patter Hoose bar from 10pm onwards each night - making it the perfect place for a post-show catch-up amongst artists across the Fringe!

Directors of Gilded Balloon, Katy and Karen Koren said, “We’re thrilled to launch our new Support the Artist scheme to give back to our incredible performers who are faced with mounting financial challenges. Each year, costs associated with bringing a show to the Fringe grow and grow, and coupled with a cost of living crisis for everyone in the UK, our acts are feeling the pressure more than ever.

“We’ve always been passionate about supporting new and emerging talent at Gilded Balloon, through the likes of our So You Think You’re Funny? new comic competition, but acts across the board require our support this year with everyone facing new difficulties with accommodation, living costs, marketing and tech support and much more.

“Of course, venues are facing their own challenges with difficulties sourcing staff and rising hire costs, but for us, the Festival is all about the acts and our Support the Artist initiative, alongside Summerhall’s own scheme, is a small step towards supporting them more directly. We share a similar ethos to Summerhall in that we want to do as much as we can for our artists during what is a challenging time for everyone in the industry. We hope fans and customers will join us in giving where they can and we’re delighted that so many Gilded Balloon acts have opted into the scheme.”

No venue split or venue fee will be taken from Gilded Balloon’s additional £2 Support the Artist fund, with only a 4% credit card fee being deducted as necessary due to payment providers.

Gilded Balloon have also joined forces with Equality Network as their new charity partner for 2023, working with the organisation to raise funds on the venue’s iconic ‘Pink Wednesday’ with discounted tickets, fancy dress competitions and food and drink promotions. The venue’s artists, staff and fans are set to support the Scottish organisation, dedicated to advancing equality and human rights for the LGBTI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community in Scotland with a percentage of ticket sales sold on Pink Wednesday donated to the charity.

With over 175 shows across three venues including Teviot Row House, the National Museum of Scotland and Patter Hoose, Gilded Balloon’s 2023 programme covers comedy, theatre, cabaret, drag, magic, kids shows and much more. Highlights include: Rhod Gilbert’s highly-anticipated return, Jack Docherty’s brand new show ‘David Bow and Me: Parallel Lives’, RuPaul stars galore with Baga Chipz, Victoria Scone and Anita Wigl’it, plus something for all the family in The Slightly Annoying Elephant, as award-winning home of puppetry Little Angel Theatre bring David Walliams’ best selling kids book to life.

Tickets are now on sale here.