AJ Bell Fringe on Friday: Fundraising target of £200k for Fringe artists and venues in sight as Courtney Act hosts final cabaret and Twitter takeover
26 August 2020
The final edition of digital fundraiser AJ Bell Fringe on Friday will air on Friday 28 August at 21:00, with drag queen, pop singer and entertainer Courtney Act hosting the 60-minute variety show.
Every penny raised from ticket sales will go towards Fringe artists and venues as part of a dedicated FringeMakers fundraising campaign, delivered in partnership with Crowdfunder.
At time of writing, FringeMakers has raised over £180,000, and we’re hoping this final show will help the campaign to reach its target of £200,000. The money will be used to help artists and venues return to the Fringe in 2021, and to mitigate some of the devastating impact that covid-19 has had on the festival and the wider arts sector.
The show will feature appearances from Briefs, Le Gateau Chocolat, Stiff & Kitsch, Megan Shandley, Kid X, Farr Out, Craig Hill, Michael Odewale, Helen Duff and Alfie Ordinary. In addition, Courtney will be taking over the @edfringe Twitter account throughout the show – interacting with viewers and commenting on the acts.
Speaking about the fundraiser, Courtney Act said:
“It’s incredible that we’ve managed to raise over £180,000 for artists and venues. Help us smash the £200k target by buying a ticket for AJ Bell Fringe on Friday, which is helping keep the arts going, as well as providing some much-needed fun.
“We can’t wait to share the final week with you. Join in and watch nine incredible Fringe acts and support artists along the way.”
Shona McCarthy, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Chief Executive, said:
“It’s been genuinely incredible to see how much support there is out there for Fringe venues and artists. If we can raise £200k to help creatives return in 2021, it would be such a boost to the sector, to the festival, and collectively, to our spirits.
“As we approach the final AJ Bell Fringe on Friday, I’d like to say a massive thanks to everyone who has pulled this show together. Thanks also to the audiences watching at home, who have donated to the campaign and who have shared some Fringe memories with us in this difficult year. We’re incredibly grateful also to AJ Bell for making this possible, and for offering us their generous support in these strange times.”
AJ Bell Fringe on a Friday is available to watch live from 21:00 on Friday 28 August, and will be available as to watch on demand until Monday 31 August.
About the acts
Alfie Ordinary: Brighton based Drag Prince Alfie Ordinary made his Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2019 with his International award-winning solo show ‘Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous’.
Briefs: Inspired by circus, drag, dance, burlesque, music, comedy and the ever-changing world around them, Briefs are dedicated to developing and touring their brand of award-winning, genre-defying, political party punk around the world.
Courtney Act: Boy, girl. Artist, advocate. Courtney Act is more than just the sum of her parts. She is a contemporary artist who embodies the zeitgeist of an era. One of the first artists to show their gender fluidity, Courtney broke out of the box in 2003 to make it through to the semi-finals of the premiere season of Australian Idol, and was in the top three of RuPaul’s Drag Race season six.
Craig Hill: One of Scotland’s best-loved comedians and hosts, Craig is an alumni of 20 consecutive Edinburgh Festival Fringes. Having started his career working in the box office of an Edinburgh fringe venue, each August he looks forward to performing his shows and meeting fans and finding new things to see – the Fringe is something Craig holds very dear.
Farr Out: Edinburgh's homegrown cargo bike courier delivery service. We deliver everything by cargo bike; surfing the city's notorious cobbles and climbing its hills in aid of local community, environmental consciousness and the joy of cycling.
Helen Duff: Award-winning, critically acclaimed, socially conscious clown, Helen Duff started performing comedy in 2014 with Vanity Bites Back, a clown cookery show about anorexia. Subsequent shows, Come With Me, When The Going Gets Duff and How Deep is Your Duff have discussed female sexuality.
Kid X: Charting a futuristic romance between a boy with a bionic heart and a famous rooftop selfie queen, KID_X collides circus and street dance with hypnotic video projections and an original electronic score.
Le Gateau Chocolat: A one-man, larger-than-life musical phenomenon, wrapped in dazzling sequinned lycra. The six-and-half foot tall, six-inch heeled, wig-clad wonder swings wildly from one end of the musical spectrum to another, from disco, opera, musicals and pop.
Megan Shandley: Megan is an actress, writer, comedian and singer from Edinburgh, and graduated from LAMDA in 2014. She has performed at several major UK comedy festivals and starred in short film 'Kingdom Come' that premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
Michael Odewale: An exceptionally smart young man with something to say, Michael Odewale’s stand-up covers everything from politics to pigeons. A fresh new voice known for delivering sharp, slick and beautifully executed content, his debut show #BlackBearsMatter achieved critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019.
Stiff & Kitsch: Stiff & Kitsch are the multi-award winning musical comedy duo behind the show Adele Is Younger Than Us, which sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016, 2017 and 2018. They returned in 2019 with their second official fringe sell-out Stiff & Kitsch: Bricking It.
The FringeMakers campaign is a Fringe-wide fundraising initiative that has been developed in partnership with Crowdfunder.
This new, zero-fee platform is designed to help Fringe artists and venues raise vital funds in the absence of a physical festival in 2020. Artists and venues keep 100% of the proceeds from tickets they sell, plus any donations made to their own campaigns.
Venues such as Just the Tonic are fundraising to be able to plan for, programme and deliver a full season of shows in 2021. Rewards include a personal thank you from Johnny Vegas. So far, they’ve raised over £3,100. Find out more at crowdfund.edfringe.com/keep-just-the-tonic-edinburgh-alive.
Underbelly are crowdfunding to support their artists, with rewards including a personalised signed cabaret photo from Eddie Redmayne, a Danny MacAskill and Duncan Shaw signed t-shirt and a cocktail party in the Abattoir bar. At time of writing, over £5,600 has been raised. Find out more and donate at crowdfunder.co.uk/support-our-artists.
Projects such as SHEDINBURGH are also fundraising through the platform. SHEDINBURGH is a new online festival and fundraiser presenting the Fringe theatre, music and comedy, all performed live from sheds across the country and streamed into people’s homes. Over £17,900 has been raised so far via crowdfunder.co.uk/shedinburgh. The festival is running until 05 September.
You can find more detail about all of the above and more by visiting the FringeMakers website.