The Scottish leg of a concert tour supporting Jeremy Corbyn to become the next prime minister has been hit by disappointing ticket sales.
Organisers of the #JC4PM tour, which is travelling across the UK and is due in Edinburgh on Wednesday evening, are struggling to fill the stalls section of the 2,000-seater Festival Theatre in the Scottish capital.
The show will see a crowd of Corbyn supporters enjoy speakers such as Scottish Labour's pro-Corbyn MSP Neil Findlay alongside comedians such as Mark Steel and musical acts including Charlotte Church.
One of the tour's organisers told BuzzFeed News that tickets, which are priced at £20 or £50 with an autographed poster, have not sold as well as he had initially hoped because of the political dominance of the Scottish National Party.
"The tickets have not sold very well at all, and I can't really say if people will buy a lot on the night," said organiser Crispin Flintoff. "We're hoping to fill the stalls but it's a massive theatre. We did this all spontaneously and we didn't know what the demand would be and we have booked one of the largest theatres in Scotland.
"It's not going to be full like the others were."
Flintoff said the previous dates in London – where Corbyn himself appeared onstage to a rapturous reception – and Bristol had been overwhelmingly successful and he blamed the ailing fortunes of Labour in Scotland for the more tepid reception the concert tour looks set to receive in Edinburgh.
"It's to do with the position of the Labour party against the SNP – both parties are progressive and against the Conservatives but it's a totally different scene to London and Bristol," said Flintoff.
"We didn't know how it would play out but I kind of thought the comedians and the name of Charlotte Church would pull a crowd. It's beginning to seem the entertainment is secondary, and it's more like people are going to a political rally."
Flintoff also expects the event to be snubbed by the vast majority of Scottish Labour MSPs, except Findlay and Elaine Smith, who will both speak at the event.
A Scottish Labour source told BuzzFeed News that leader Kezia Dugdale has bought tickets for the concert but doesn't intend to go, and some MSPs have been critical of the event to Flintoff as they fear it may distract from the Scottish election campaign.
"It's not taking too much out of the campaign to take a night off for entertainment," said Flintoff in reply to the criticism. "People say why aren't you door-knocking, but not every second of the day has to be spent door-knocking – I'm not going to be guilty for going to the toilet.
"People should take it easy a bit and be sociable and get on with each other and see that we're in a community."
The event will take place at the Festival Theatre at 7:30pm on Wednesday. Tickets are still available.
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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