Five tips for first-time artists at the Fringe
02 August 2023
Bringing a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can be a daunting prospect – especially if you’ve never been before. Thankfully, that’s exactly why the Fringe Society exists – we were founded by artists to support anyone interested in bringing a show to the Fringe.
Here are five quick tips to bear in mind.
1. Visit the Fringe Central: Artist Hub
The Fringe Central: Artist Hub is where you can find all our artist support services during August, so whether you need advice on selling tickets, or you just need someone to lend a sympathetic ear while you vent about your castmate who keeps leaving the milk out, you’ll find it at Fringe Central. We also host artist-facing events about onward career development post-Fringe and prominent issues facing the sector, so check those out too.
2. Set some goals
Before you set about bringing your show to the Fringe, it’s important to ask yourself: why? What would be the value of the Fringe to you? Some artists come to hone their craft in front of a live audience, or to get reviews and media coverage; others aim to connect with people in the arts industry with the hope to find touring opportunities, to earn money and to network with fellow performers. All of these outcomes are possible, though usually not at the same time, so it’s important you know your priorities. (Again, our team at Fringe Central can help you talk through and figure out your aims, so stop by to say hello!)
3. Be bold and ask questions
The Fringe attracts an incredibly broad range of participants at various career stages, which makes it a great place to increase your own knowledge of how things work – but you have to be prepared to ask. Talk to your venue about the best ways to improve your show’s chances; ask people you’re flyering about their show recommendations; engage your fellow artists on social media and seek out their Fringe expertise. If you have a question and you don’t know who to talk to, talk to us – and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll almost certainly be able to point you to someone who does.
4. Support each other
Putting on a show in Edinburgh is an incredible experience, and one that a most people might have trouble understanding – unless they’ve done it themselves, of course. Fringe artists have built a strong community; support each other by seeing as many shows as you can. As well as being an exciting place to perform, the Fringe is an amazing place to see work – for enjoyment, yes, but also to learn from others. Make the most of your time at the centre of the performing arts universe – but also remember to…
5. Look after yourself
It can be easy to get caught up in the heady buzz of the Fringe, staying out late and networking like there’s no tomorrow. On the flipside, obsessively poring over social media and other artists’ perceived successes isn’t the healthiest option either. Remember to step back from things once in a while, to maintain a sense of perspective and to give yourself room to breathe.
This year we’ve partnered with Health in Mind, a local mental health charity, to provide wellbeing services at (you guessed it!) Fringe Central; you’re also welcome to check out the mental health and wellbeing resources on our website, which include an online map of quiet spaces in town where you can get away from it all.