Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 17:37 UK

Lady Boys welcome tent compromise

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

The Lady Boys of Bangkok
The Lady Boys of Bangkok has been the top-selling Fringe show for the past four years

The Lady Boys of Bangkok have welcomed a city council ruling allowing events to spend up to four weeks at any one time on The Meadows in Edinburgh.

The cabaret show featuring glamorous girls, who happen to be men, pitches a tent in the park during the festival.

However, Edinburgh City Council has been under pressure from Friends of the Meadows, which claims the shows leave the parkland areas muddy and littered.

Friends of the Meadows said it was a "compromise" but it was still too long.

It follows a decision at a full council meeting in the city on Thursday.

Phillip Gandey, managing director of the Lady Boys, told BBC Scotland news website: "Common sense has prevailed. It is an acceptable compromise and means we will be able to run for the duration of the Edinburgh Fringe in the future."

In the past the show has been on the site for up to six weeks. It takes three days to set up the tent and stage and two days to disassemble.

Chris Wigglesworth, Friends of the Meadows convener, said: "It is a compromise. It is an improvement and we look forward to making a decision about how it is going to work.

"Four weeks is still too long as these commercial events such as the fun fair, which also uses The Meadows cause heavy wear and tear on the ground.

The Meadows
Damage left by Evans Funfair which was on the West Meadows

"Our concern is to see The Meadows gets into a better state so we thought shorter periods would have been better.

"Our feelings are not personal to the Lady Boys as our issues are how long an event lasts in The Meadows as opposed to their content."

The Lady Boys show, which has been the top-selling Fringe show for the past four years, also brings an international circus with it each year.

This year the Moscow State Circus has entertained crowds.

Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh City Council's festival and events champion, said: "We recognise that The Meadows, along with other strategic premier parks and green spaces, such as Princes Street Gardens, Inverleith Park, Saughton Park and Leith Links, plays a vital role in supporting the city's first class reputation for festivals and events.

"This has to be balanced against the need to protect the park, and we think we have struck the right balance."

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