The exciting move will see the Fringe Society utilise the mixed-use destination for an events programme focused on career-building and mental wellbeing.

We're excited to announce a new space for Fringe Central at St James Quarter. Located in the heart of the city, the new Fringe Central hub will deliver a tailored programme of activity for artists, industry and media, led by the Fringe Society team during the festival.

Opening from Monday 01 August to Monday 29 August, from 10:00 to 18:00, Fringe Central will offer support on all aspects of participating in the Fringe, as well as practical services for those visiting the Fringe, such as access to computers, printing, and free Wi-Fi. The Artist Support, Arts Industry, Artist Development and Media teams will be based within St James Quarter, each with a view to helping those coming to the Fringe navigate their visit, and to offer a space to anyone with questions or needing a break.

The much-anticipated Fringe Central Events Programme will also bring career-building opportunities, panel discussions and networking, as well as 1-2-1 mental health first aid appointments provided by Space to Breathe from 9th – 19th August. Every event in the programme is free to registered Fringe participants, and the first batch of these is now available to browse and book on Fringe Connect, the Fringe Society’s online platform for artists and industry. 

The programme will include highlights such as:

Pre-Fringe TikTok workshops (02 – 04 August) 

  • Includes guidance on getting started on TikTok, content strategies and how to generate revenue through the app.

 Tweet the Media (05 August)

  • 2021's popular digital event Tweet the Media returns this year on 5 August. All registered Fringe acts will be invited to use a hashtag to pitch their shows via tweets to accredited media, who will monitor the hashtag in the same way they’d watch show pitches in person.

Meet the Media (06 August)

  • The highly anticipated return of this annual event, alongside Tweet the Media, in which Fringe participants can pitch in-person to media representatives, meet Fringe Society staff, learn more about the services provided and connect with peers while queuing for their pitching slot.

Disabled Practitioners Get Together (15 August)

  • Hosted by Birds of Paradise, this event seeks to provide an accessible space where disabled people working in theatre and performance can meet, talk and connect with each other.

Practical approaches to truly diverse casting (22 August)

  • This panel discussion with Backstage and industry experts will provide practical approaches to enable participants to cast in a truly diverse and authentic way. 

The Fringe Fair (22 August)

  • An opportunity to meet key organisations such as membership bodies, festivals, training providers and agencies, in the format of a career fair.

Fringe Swap Shop (27 – 29 August)

  • Three days at the end of the Fringe during which participants can swap unwanted props, useable furniture, costumes and anything else recyclable from their shows.

Commenting on this year's Fringe Central programme, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “I’m delighted that Fringe Central will be at home on the ground floor of St James Quarter this year, a blossoming district for locals and visitors. Our Fringe Central team will support artists in maximising their time at the Fringe; and our range of workshops, events and wellbeing initiatives will ensure they receive the right support, at every step of their Fringe journey. In addition, our media team will offer support to reviewers, critics, print and broadcast media offering them a warm welcome to the Fringe in our 75th anniversary year. A home from home for anyone who wants to learn more about the phenomenon that is the Edinburgh Fringe. 

We’re excited to be working with the St James Quarter team, who are also supporting our expanded Street Events programme, and our new partnership with TikTok.”

Nick Peel, Managing Director at the St James Quarter, said: “St James Quarter is a welcoming lifestyle hub for art, culture and fashion and we’re passionate about supporting Edinburgh’s world-renowned cultural offering and its vibrant events calendar.
“We have a plethora of exciting events coming this summer and we’re delighted to be partnering with Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society to get the show on the road.”

Roddy Smith, Chief Executive at Essential Edinburgh, said: ‘’We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Fringe Society and St James Quarter. The new Fringe Central venue will complement the significant Fringe presence throughout the New Town ensuring we have a thriving and vibrant area during August, welcoming residents and visitors to our wonderful city centre.”