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Photography: Ben Meadows at Edinburgh Fringe

Photographer Ben Meadows gives a candid view of his experience at the Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival, and shares some of his evocative snaps.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Andrew O'Niell live at the Edinburgh Festival
Andrew O’Niell live at the Edinburgh Festival. All photography by Ben Meadows.

Things don’t always go to plan (as I know only too well…) but disasters can be turned around for the best! When photographer Ben Meadows set off to cover the Edinburgh Fringe he was not expecting his job to be cancelled. But he didn’t let the bad news put him off, and took this series of evocative portraits of the comedians taking part in the infamous comedy festival. Here he describes what happened…

Sara Pascoe at the Edinburgh Festival
Sara Pascoe at the Edinburgh Festival.

This year was my first Edinburgh Fringe, a place where success and disaster go hand in hand. Well, that’s how it was for me. I photograph a lot of comedians and a promoter had asked me to come to Edinburgh but then cancelled as I was half way to the festival. At the time this seemed terrible but when I arrived I realised it was small potatoes compared to what it takes to survive at the Fringe.

Joz Norris Performs at the Edinburgh Festival
Joz Norris Performs at the Edinburgh Festival
Joz Norris performs at the Edinburgh Festival.

Dan Clark said on Facebook, “Thanks to everyone who came to my shows. I loved every minute of being on stage and loathed the other 23 hours of the day“. This did kind of sum up my Edinburgh experience but after a spanner being thrown in the works I got back in touch with people I knew were in town. They were completely understanding and helped make the trip to the Fringe a success.

Dan Clark Edinburgh Fringe
Dan_Clark_Ben_Meadows 2
Dan Clark at Edinburgh Fringe.

I loved watching and photographing Edinburgh acts Dan Clark, Sara Pascoe, Andrew O’Neill and Joz Norris as well as being around the buzz of the festival. Edinburgh is a completely unique city and I learned that, whether you’re a comedian or a photographer, being treated badly by promoters and management is not unique. Looking back it was an accurate glimpse into the experience of the performers and I can now understand why they flock to this city every year.

I’ve caught the Edinburgh bug, roll on next year.

All photography by Ben Meadows, courtesy of Camera Press.

Are you a photographer? Do you have a project you would like to share on Amelia’s Magazine? Then get in touch via my art email and send me some examples of your work and a small piece of writing about the project.


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