AS regular as the Edinburgh Festivals is the noise surrounding them – too big; too much of an imposition; past its sell-by date; punt "it" round the globe like a world cup.

Having worked with those who take to the stage and stake their careers on these events, I can report back what I’m seeing with a direct insight into artists and people-led experience.

The festival, at the end of the day, is a trade fair for artists to showcase their work. The city is home to just over a half a million people. Recent council regulations that restrict the capabilities of a small group of people buying up property to make money running short term lets are fine by me. Property should not be a commodity – it should be a safe haven, a home to someone, a refuge. Organisations like Living Rent are important in the fight to recognise this.

Artists travelling to Edinburgh to stake their careers on the festival do need accommodation. But it must be affordable. I find it deeply ironic that thousands of the world’s most forward-thinking people who fill such a creative space are being shouted down by the idea that "we must let people make money from their second, third, 100th property". Having started working at the festival almost 20 years ago, I feel we are at a tipping point. Maybe 3000 shows is enough and I think you’d find few working across the festivals who don’t agree. It’s time we did more than plaster over the cracks – let’s break the whole thing apart.

Most artists, from commercial to emerging artists to amateur performers, see Edinburgh as a stepping stone. More often than not, the plan isn’t profit – it’s to break even and then travel the world performing (yes, a massive simplification). But every marketplace needs an audience.

This simple dynamic must be at the centre of every choice made – there are Fringe operators who do very much keep this at the fore of all their work but in the current landscape, we feel limited by capitalism and the traps it binds us in; the cost of living means we’re in a more isolating, individualistic place where fear-mongering is rife and personal autonomy feels stretched.

There is a choice here to be made: centre artists at the soul of the festival, and residents as the heart of the city, and move forward. If the Fringe Society is for artists – which I believe it should be – where is the fight with sponsor Airbnb to impose a price cap? Why are we not saying to Airbnb and universities across the city, to stop seeing our artists, our audiences, our buildings as a limitless cash cow?

I’m not pretending it’s as simple as that, but I am saying we are allowing ourselves to peddle the same rhetoric that over a decade of right-wing “I’m Big You’re Small” thinking has created, and it’s time as a city, as a festival and as a home to the best artists in the world selling, making, defining the future of TV, film, live performance, that we actually strip away at what we are doing, redraw some lines, and take the battle to the place it belongs – taking down this absolute obsession with wealth, hierarchy, ownership and control.

Miriam Attwood runs Storytelling PR, a PR company based in Edinburgh and working across Scotland and the UK.