Edinburgh Fringe to have contactless technology to tip street performers

23 July 2018, 08:30 | Updated: 23 July 2018, 08:32

Edinburgh Fringe

The Edinburgh Fringe is to become the first festival to allow people to use contactless technology to tip street performers, it is understood.

Artists entertaining at specific spaces along the Royal Mile will be equipped with special readers to take fixed-amount payments during the 25-day cultural event.

It comes after feedback which noted a drop in the number of people carrying cash.

Scott Hutchison, who performs as Super Scott, said: "Until now I've relied on cash contributions from audiences and I have definitely noticed a dip as the number of people carrying cash has decreased.

"The introduction of iZettle Readers at the Fringe is really exciting, futureproofing street performance and offering audiences an additional method of payment when showing their appreciation."

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has partnered with fintech company iZettle to become the world's first contactless tap-to-tip festival, according to organisers.

Six tap-to-tip stations will be set up in the Royal Mile street events arena for the 2018 Fringe.

It has been planned to extend the partnership over the coming years to cater for more of the festival's street performers.

Andy Meldrum, street events manager at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: "Our street events are open to anyone and attract performers from all over the world."

He added: "Artists rely on the generosity of the general public who stop to take in their shows when passing through our street event arenas.

"Whilst cash contributions have worked for street entertainers for hundreds of years, we need to respond to the changing circumstances, which are affecting street performers all over the world.

"Our partnership with iZettle is set to ensure our performers continue to get the support they deserve."

Readers will be available at Virgin Money street events.

The 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run between August 3-27.