13 July 2016

Fringe Central, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s centre for performing companies, venues, media and arts industry professionals attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, will deliver its largest ever programme of events this year.

Based at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation on Infirmary Street, Fringe Central offers advice, support, resources, professional development opportunities and inspiration to Fringe participants while they are in Edinburgh, including a diverse programme of free professional development events on topics including international touring, fundraising, accessibility, and skills development.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said:

“We are very excited about the Fringe Central programme for 2016. This year, in addition to providing support and advice to participants while they are in Edinburgh, we are delivering 106 events, offering participants a wide range of professional development opportunities. We are working in partnership with 40 fantastic organisations to deliver a free events programme that covers everything from intellectual property to environmental sustainability. We are also thrilled to be based in the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation on Infirmary Street, an organisation whose work shares our own sustainability priorities.

“The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society provides support, advice and encouragement to all the amazing artists, producers and venues who create the Fringe each year and Fringe Central is at the heart of the work we do to ensure that participants have the best experience possible while they are in Edinburgh, both in terms of the festival itself and their own professional development.

“I am really looking forward to welcoming participants to Fringe Central this year, and I hope that they will take advantage of the excellent opportunities on offer.”

Access will be a key topic of conversation at Fringe Central this year, with a series of events entitled Breaking Down Barriers that will examine accessibility, equalities and diversity at the Fringe, and in the wider performing arts sector. Euan’s Guide will deliver Disability Equality Training, encouraging artists, venues and companies to look at how they can better respond to the needs of disabled customers. The Fringe Society will also partner with The National Autistic Society for the first time to deliver three events focusing on ways in which arts organisations and venues can engage more effectively with autistic customers.

Jenny Paterson, Director of The National Autistic Society in Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society to deliver a series of events that will enable Fringe participants to make the festival more autism-friendly than ever before. The smallest of adjustments to an arts performance can make a big difference to autistic people and we will be sharing ideas with venues and artists about what they can do to make their spaces and performances autism-friendly.”

As part of Breaking Down Barriers, participants will also be invited to join the Fringe Society and invited guests for an Open Forum on Racial Diversity at the Fringe, Royal Conservatoire Scotland will deliver a practical workshop on Working with Sign Language Interpreters in Performance, and LGBT Icons, an LGBT lifestyle blog that celebrates those that have championed equality for all and impacted positively on the lives of LGBT people, will host Queering the Mainstream Debate, a discussion that considers the impact of a more inclusive society on the LGBTQI underground arts scene.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will also deliver discussions and workshops as part of Fringe Central’s Starting Out series, a selection of events for budding (or retraining) performers, including Careers in Production, Auditioning for Drama School, and a Musical Theatre Workshop.  

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of Royal Conservatoire Scotland, said:

“The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is one of the only places in Europe offering education across all of the performing arts. We are delighted to be part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, giving participants a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience. The Fringe is where many performing and production artists come to start their careers and has provided a launch pad for many of our graduates working in the UK and international arts community today. As one of the world’s top ten performing arts education institutions, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is very much looking forward to this year’s Fringe programme where we will deliver a series of practical workshops, audition sessions and discussions.”

In a new series of events entitled Young Voices: Fresh Perspective, some of Scotland’s leading youth arts organisations will come together to celebrate the role of young people in the arts and explore the ways they can influence, develop and challenge the world around them. Young People – Building Peace Through the Arts will consider how the arts can promote human rights and freedom of expression, build peace, and develop resilience in children and young people living in crisis. International experts and young artists will discuss key questions and engage with the audience in this event, supported by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and Media Education. Imaginate, producers of the world renowned Imaginate Festival, will host a panel discussion on Making Work With Young Performers, sharing best practice on making professional theatre and dance productions with young performers.

Noel Jordan, Festival Director at Imaginate, said:

“Imaginate works to ensure that children and young people in Scotland have regular access to high quality performing arts experiences no matter what their age. We were thrilled to be invited to host a discussion at Fringe Central this year, sharing thoughts and inspiration from our panel of makers and programmers on how to go about making professional theatre and dance with young performers.”

The Fringe Central Welcome Address, the official welcome to Fringe participants, will take place on 05 August at Fringe Central and will be delivered by a very special guest speaker. This will be followed by Meet the Media on Saturday 06 August at the Informatics Forum on Crichton Street. Meet the Media is a unique and very popular event that provides Fringe participants with an opportunity to pitch their shows directly to members of the Media. Last year publications including The Scotsman, FEST, BroadwayBaby.com and The List were represented at the event.

Notes to Editors

If you would like a copy of the Fringe Central Events Programme, please contact the Fringe Media Office by email: [email protected]or tel: +44 (0)131 240 1919.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the charity that underpins the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was established in 1958, eleven years after the birth of the Fringe when the first performers turned up uninvited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. The Fringe is an open access festival – any artist or company can take part regardless of their experience or success and the festival is not programmed or run by an artistic director or any selection body. As a registered charity, the Fringe Society exists to support all participants, industry professionals, media and audience members who attend the Fringe from all around the world, and to produce accurate and up-to-date information and ticketing for audiences, and to raise the profile of the festival as a whole.

Fringe Central is operated by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and is exclusively for participants, media and arts industry professionals taking part in the Fringe. Centrally located at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, the centre provides internet access, a cafe, meeting rooms, rehearsal space and staff to give support and advice on taking part in the Fringe including marketing and media campaigns and how to make the best use of the development opportunities on offer. Fringe Central also offers a programme of over 100 professional and career development events designed to help Fringe participants get the most out of the Fringe.  All events are free for registered Fringe participants.

Fringe [email protected] Street, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, High School Yards, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ

Fringe Central will be open from 10:00 – 20:00, 01 – 29 August 2016.

The 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run from 05 – 29 August.