As we’re all aware, the Edinburgh Festival fringe is just one of the many thousands of events that have been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. It’s fair to say though, the tremors of its cancellation will be felt more deeply and with longer-lasting consequences than most. The effect on all aspects of the entertainment and hospitality sectors is immeasurable and hits us all to some degree; to what extent we may only discover next August.

While we’re sad at the loss of revenue of all local business, and that the next comedy sensation is not going to be discovered tramping the stages of the Gilded Balloon or the Pleasance this year, our most heartfelt concern is for the places that make Edinburgh a better place to be all year round, and now find themselves threatened. A comedy club is for life, not just for August, and one of our very favourites is the Monkey Barrel, which has been a fantastic venue ever since it opened its doors on Blair Street in 2017.

Over the last few years, the Monkey Barrel’s Fringe programme has been among the very best, offering top-level acts with ethically sound pricing policies, and a devotion to promoting the local comedians that grace our stages throughout the year. They’re all thoroughly nice people too.

On Sat 29 Aug, from 7pm, join the team online for a marathon comedy Save Monkey Barrel Fundraiser, or you can obtain limited seats for a broadcast from the Monkey Barrel cafe. The event is rammed with comedy talent from Comedy Award winners and nominees, to the best up-and-coming local talent.

Big names who will be appearing are previous winners John Kearns, Sam Simmons, and last year’s recipient Jordan Brookes, along with past nominees like Spencer Jones, Elf Lyons, Mat Ewins, Jessica Fostekew and Tom Ballard.

Also represented are Wee Review favourites Fern Brady, Delightful Sausage, Tim Renkow, Olga Koch and Tony Law, and local luminaries like Donald Alexander, Richard Brown, Liam Withnail and Ben Verth. Hosting the event is the brilliant Barrel regular Amy Matthews.

Pay-What-You-Want tickets for the event are available at

You can also donate further for extras such as merchandise, meal vouchers, and the chance to get the first releases from Monkey Barrel Records. The first three vinyls are available now, feautring live recordings of 2019 Fringe shows from John Kearns, Olga Koch, and Ari Eldjárn.

For further info, see Monkey Barrel’s social media @BarrelComedy/