As the Edinburgh Fringe comes to an end, one of the festival’s largest producers, Coventry’s City of Culture Trust, has gone into administration, owing them over £1.5 million.
Assembly Festival, an Edinburgh Fringe producer, says they are surviving on a short-term loan after the Coventry City of Culture Trust commissioned them to develop a pop-up space and fell into administration in February, owing them £1,476,550 (£419,000 includes VAT).
Assembly put on 140 concerts and hosted up to 500,000 guests through the Assembly Festival Garden in Coventry over two summers in 2021 and 2022 as part of the City of Culture celebrations.
“I will post a set of accounts for this 2022 year with a loss of over £1m, and that is a major hit for any company… it will mean the end if we don’t get that money,” he stated.
This could be problematic for the Edinburgh Fringe as a whole, as Assembly is one of the ‘big four’ producers, accounting for approximately a fifth of the festival.
“Here in Edinburgh, I believe we will have sold 360,000 tickets to this festival,” Mr Burdett-Coutts remarked. And the entire attendance at the Fringe will be little more than two million. So we’re approximately 20% of the way through the event.
“Put it in context, we’re the scale of Wimbledon or bigger than Glastonbury. So, you know, there would be a major hole if we didn’t continue.”