Artists due to take shows to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe are struggling to get accommodation deposits refunded, with some branding it "ridiculous" that companies and landlords are holding on to fees despite the event’s cancellation.
Stephanie Silver, an actor, writer and producer, paid £2,000 upfront for accommodation in a hostel to provide her accommodation during August. She had planned to take a production to the fringe with her company Glass Half Full Theatre.
Following the cancellation of the fringe last month, she was told the deposit was "non-refundable".
After complaining, the hostel said she could move the booking to 2021, but would still not refund her deposit.
She told The Stage: "I have to just hope I can afford it next year and that the world’s okay.
"It’s annoying as I could do with having that £2,000 back while the world is so uncertain.
"It’s ridiculous a company like that, which surely has insurance, is putting individuals like me out of pocket."
Comedian Josh Glanc booked a flat in Edinburgh for the month of August, paying a £1,250 deposit to secure the booking, only to be told by the property’s landlord that it was non-refundable because, while the fringe is cancelled, the flat is still available in August.
He said: "It’s not right. It’s an unprecedented situation - governments and businesses around the world are helping people in these situations and this landlord is profiting and getting money for nothing.
"Hotels are offering people refunds on non-refundable bookings, big businesses and small businesses are doing what is morally right in these situations, and I think it’s really incredible this landlord isn’t."
Glanc added: "I don’t know the personal circumstances of the landlord and they could very well be suffering financially as a result of Covid-19, but that shouldn’t make them opportunistic and seek to be unjustly enriched."