Thanks for trying out the Fringe Inspiration Machine
Have you ever looked at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme and thought, ‘Jeez – where do I start?’ Don’t worry – you’re not alone. With over 3,500 shows to choose from, it can present a bit of a challenge.
That’s why we invented the Inspiration Machine. It’s a real-life, physical machine that presents you with a pick’n’mix selection of shows to see. The results include short videos, made by the shows’ artists, to give you a flavour of what they’re like.
Of course, they’re only suggestions – you don’t have to see whatever the Inspiration Machine turns up. As the name suggests, it’s just there to give you a bit of inspiration – to offer something that might be outside your regular comfort zone. And that’s no bad thing, is it?
We set up the Inspiration Machine on the Mound from 02 – 26 August 2019, and launched an additional version of the machine online. It was a massive success, with prospective audience members spinning it over 100,000 times.
We've packed the machine away for winter, but don't worry – you'll see it again at the 2020 Fringe.
It’s a real-life, physical machine that gives you suggestions of shows to see within the next day or so. You push a button and get presented with three different show listings or videos from randomly selected Fringe shows.
Anyone can have a go on the machine. While the Fringe Society doesn’t censor the content of performers’ shows (the Fringe is an open-access festival after all), we check performers’ Inspiration Machine videos using the same criteria as the printed programme. However, there may be some content that users find offensive.
We’ve also set up a separate family-friendly button on the machine which only suggests shows suitable for kids aged 12 and under, however parental discretion is strongly advised.
Maybe that’s fate trying to tell you something – go see it! More seriously though, due to the random nature of the machine, there’s always a chance you’ll see a show more than once. We’ve kept an eye on the machine’s progress though, and of a selection of 10,000 spins, the most a single show came up was 36 times. In other words, each show has a 0.36% chance of showing up on any given spin, or one in 278.
If you use the real-life machine, you’ll see a QR code you can scan on your phone which will take you through to the show’s listing on edfringe.com, where you can purchase tickets online. If you’re using the online version of the machine you’ll see a button that takes you to the show’s listing. The machine won’t print out tickets though.
You can use the Fringe ticketing website for that! The Inspiration Machine is more about presenting you with something you wouldn’t normally choose yourself – pushing you out of your comfort zone. Remember, there’s no obligation to go to the shows it chooses for you – but it might just #MakeYourFringe!
While we tried to encourage as many performers as possible to submit a video for the machine, not all of them have been able to, so some results have the picture used in the Fringe Programme instead. You can always have another spin of the online Inspiration Machine though!
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