Edinburgh Festival Fringe and council urged to let vagina blimp fly over city

A women’s health company is leading a campaign to get a giant vagina-shaped inflatable admitted to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Elvie claims it was “banned” from taking part in the festival due to concerns about a pop-up stall on the Royal Mile that featured a representation of a vagina.

The company said plans for a blimp to be tethered in Festival Square were also scuppered by the local council.

Elvie founder Tania Boler
Elvie founder Tania Boler says the issue of pelvic floor weakness remains taboo (Sandy Young/PA)

The inflatable has instead spent several days in a field outside Edinburgh.

Elvie, which sells products including a pelvic floor strengthener, is encouraging people to help get the inflatable into the festival using the hashtag #LetFannyFly and by signing its online petition.

It said the blimp was designed to raise awareness of pelvic floor weakness, which can lead to incontinence.

Founder and chief executive Tania Boler said: “The fact that our campaign has been banned because it involves a part of a woman’s anatomy shows that taboos around women’s health still run deep in our society.

“Our mission is to help all women laugh freely and fully without the fear of embarrassment.

“We would welcome a change of heart by the Fringe and council so that we may raise our balloon and join the festival as planned.”

A big thank you to the 1,300+ people that have already signed our petition. There's still time to #LetFannyFly over the Fringe. Let her soar! https://t.co/uMrMZYI1w9

— Elvie (@elvie) August 12, 2019

A statement from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:  “The Fringe Society have been liaising with a third-party agency over the past few months regarding a space for Elvie on the High St and at no point have we banned them from participating.

“The space in question is located right next to St Giles Cathedral and – alongside colleagues in City of Edinburgh Council – we have to consider the interests of multiple stakeholders when considering what activity can take place in that location.

“We have been supportive of Elvie’s initiative from the outset and have offered their agency multiple alternatives – both in terms of separate sites across the Fringe and different ways of organising their stand on the High St – but sadly have not been able to reach an agreement with them to date.

“The society remains open to discussions with Elvie to try to find a way forward that suits both parties.”

An Edinburgh City Council spokeswoman said: “We have not received an application to fly a blimp over Edinburgh.

“Elvie have been liaising with the Fringe Society over the potential for campaign material on the Royal Mile.”

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