A lot of stuff arrives in Edinburgh in August. A lot.
Thousands of performers, a rainforest of flyers, all the bad weather that Scotland has been holding back in reserve especially for this occasion.
Mainly though it’s just vanload after vanload of kit. Enough garishly painted wood and plastic to make you weep. Poorly-built low budget sets, workmanlike soon-to-be-going-on-tour sets, breathtakingly complex European theatre sets, tables and chairs (like they don’t have tables and chairs in Edinburgh…), doors, microwaves, bookshelves, books, toy guns, fake guns, real guns, small glow in the dark statues of the virgin Mary – EVERYTHING has made the journey to Edinburgh.
Now generally there are about 3 options for this awkward voyage:
1) Try and fit everything in your car. Last year at Forest we had one company turn up with a metre square piece of turf wedged in the back of their tiny hatchback, along with four performers, as many umbrellas, a projector, a watering can, a colander and a Cyndi Lauper CD.
2) Rent a van. OH GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BUDGET… DO YOU THINK WE CAN ALL SLEEP IN THIS VAN.
3) Find someone else who has a van.
Unsurprisingly option 3 generally tends to be a favourite, but that really requires that you know enough people with the resources to have a van that you can be squeezed into.
So we were thinking. Surely there has to be another way?
All those disparate groups desperately trying haul as much as possible into the back of their dirty grey Vauxhall corsas. All those folk optimistically posting on gumtree and facebook for fellow travelers. Maybe we can help.
As part of Forest Fringe this year we’re planning on programming an entire weekend of Bristol based work. Part of the joy behind such a thing would be that hopefully all the companies coming up together for that weekend could figure out a way to share the load and hopefully save themselves some money.
So why not try and do that on some larger scale?
Here is our plan. If we can get as many people as possible to say where they are from, what they need to get to Edinburgh and when they need it there for – maybe we can all start to organise ourselves into car and van shares. Maybe we’ll even find some brilliantly benevolent people who have vans or trucks or ferries they don’t need for the summer. WE CAN BUT DREAM. And of course if there are considerably less half laden vans winding their way up the A1 towards Edinburgh then everyone benefits, really.
Forest Fringe will certainly be looking for some friends to share a van up to Edinburgh with and I’m sure many of our companies will be too. So don’t be shy – let us know.
This is just a beginning. If you think this sounds like a good idea we'll definitely find a better way of organising it.