When's the best time to start looking for accommodation in Edinburgh?
Obviously, the sooner the better (I guess February is a good time to put out some feelers) but remember your first priority is to get your venue sorted (which practically speaking will probably be from March onwards). Once you’ve sorted your venue, sorted out personnel for your show and secured most of the funding then you’re ready to contact us. New properties do come up all the way up to the start of the festival but prices don’t necessarily drop and the choice gets more limited.
On average from £3400 – £3800 for the month for centrally located and a good standard. Generally, work on a budget of £850-950 per double bedroom in a 3-5 bedroom shared apartment.
Are there any areas you'd particularly recommend staying in? Any to avoid?
Marchmont is a great area for performers with a large stock of suitable (larger) flats . A short walk across the Meadows (a nice park area) and close to Southside venues. It is likely to be a 10 – 20 min will to your venue, but it is out of the ‘heat of the festival’ (eg. it can be a bit oppressive staying in the noise and chaos of the Old Town unless you really like it!). I wouldn’t say there are many bad areas, but make sure you carefully research the locations of some ‘cheaper flats’ that will require you to catch a bus to your venue each day. (i.e. can add up in terms of cost, hassle and time taken). All our flats are very centrally located so this isn’t really a factor if you book with ourselves.
Tips for getting on well with your landlord?
We are an agent who acts for 100+ landlords each festival and you won’t ever have to deal with a landlord directly. I like to build rapport with all guests staying in our properties and would encourage a good working relationship so as to avoid any issues - Tips! Please be honest about the number of people staying (as the number is listed on the contract agreement), remember that these are often people’s homes so try to minimise any noise disturbance (especially late at night), treat the property with respect and leave it clean and tidy at the end of the letting.
How do you choose a flat? What questions should you ask your letting agent?
First ask yourself the questions, how many people are in our group, where is our venue in proximity to the flat, what is our budget for the month, how many bedrooms / bathrooms does it need to have, does it have wifi / parking? Sort out your priorities for a property first and then discuss options available with the letting agent. N.B. We would always advise going through a letting agent and have heard many horror stories of people booking directly with ‘would be’ private landlords on Gumtree type websites. I’ve come across several groups who’ve been stung putting deposits down on non-existent flats and many others that have found the properties to be very different in the flesh from the photographs provided.
Remember damage deposits are usually £400 - £500 per flat, so make sure that you get this back at the end of the letting by following the checkout instructions and doing a thorough clean up at the end of your stay. Be organised. Suggest that everyone in your group should clean up their own bedroom and then be assigned tasks for the communal areas. Anyone departing early? Make sure they to do their share as problems often occur when people drift off leaving just a couple of people to clean a 4 bedroom flat on the morning of departure.
Where's your favourite place in Edinburgh during the Fringe?
In terms of shopping, it has to be The Red Door Gallery at www.edinburghart.com for all things creative (fun cards, art prints, shiny jewellery and design led products). I’m a little biased though as The Red Door Gallery is also owned by me. N.B. The Red Door Gallery on Victoria Street is also the place that all performers pick up their keys for their flats upon arrival in Edinburgh.
In terms of beer garden chill out, I like to go to Summerhall Place which is a great arts based venue with outdoor / indoor drinking areas and a tasty bar menu.
Best place to relax?
If it’s not raining, then take a walk in Holyrood Park (a mini Highlands experience in the city) and if you’re a little more active (which occasionally I am), it’s exactly 3 miles running the tarmac circuit around Arthur’s Seat.
Favourite place to get a bite to eat?
Off the Grassmarket and just down from The Red Door Gallery / our offices, ‘Hula’ is a great little juice / coffee / sandwich place and takeaway ‘Oink’ for ‘pulled pork’ deliciousness.
Jason Redman is a Chartered Surveyor and Art Gallery Owner who has been running a niche accommodation agency called The Festival Partnership for the last 15 years. “My business specialises in letting flats to performers over the Fringe and we now have 1000+ successful lettings under our belt. We understand that where you live over the month of August (whilst performing) is a very important part of the whole festival experience and we want our guests to be happy with their accommodation during their stay. I believe in the personal touch and like to chat to people over the phone before they make a decision. Having worked with 100s of festival performers, I have good insight into what people are looking for and can offer some great advice and opinion on the merits of one property / location over another. During your stay, I am on call 24/7 to handle any issues that might occur in the property. Our success is providing great flats and one to one customer service. You can find The Festival Partnership at www.edinburghfestival.net or please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org"