The Emerging Professionals programme is a pilot programme being run by the Fringe Society for Fringe 2024. It aims to support 10 emerging UK arts professionals to expand their professional networks and develop their skills and creative insight at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This programme will take place from the 05–11 August in Edinburgh.  

The programme will offer professional development for participants by using the Fringe as a platform for progressing their careers.  

Each participant will be paired with one of the Fringe Society’s Industry Associates for one-to-one mentoring. The Associates are arts industry professionals from across the sector who can offer programme recommendations and advice to accredited industry in the lead-up to and during the festival. The Associates work across circus, comedy, theatre (new writing and performance), dance and children and young persons.  

Who is this programme for? 

The programme is open to people based in the UK who are actively pursuing a career as an arts professional. This could include: 

  • people currently in administrative roles in an arts organisation / charity  
  • people looking to pursue off-stage roles in the sector, such as producing, programming, arts administration, fundraising etc
  • people who would not yet qualify for arts industry accreditation through our Arts Industry Office.

This programme is not for those who: 

  • want to become a reviewer / work in the media and press  
  • want to work as an actor / performer  
  • currently work in a management role within the arts sector.

What is an arts professional?  

For this programme, an arts professional is considered to be someone who is involved in a professional arts organisation or company in an off-stage capacity.  

How are the programme participants chosen?  

Participants will be selected by open application (see below). In the spirit of the Fringe’s open-access ethos, we welcome applications from all sectors of the arts community.  

We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and intend the programme to reflect the diversity of UK society. Places on the programme will be prioritised for people who identify as disabled, working class and / or part of the global majority. If you are applying as a disabled, working class and / or part of the global majority, please clearly state this in your application.  

In addition to the open-call process, we are working with select partner organisations across the UK who are best placed to identify promising emerging arts professionals from within their networks.  

Please also make it clear in your application if you are applying for the programme on recommendation from a partner organisation (stating the organisation name).  

What’s included?  

The programme consists of:  

  • one-to-one mentoring with an Industry Associate  
  • £1,000 bursary to contribute to travel, accommodation and daily costs
  • tickets to the value of £350
  • industry accreditation and access to all resources provided by the Arts Industry Office (excluding the complimentary ticketing service)  
  • a tailored programme of workshops pre-Fringe (online) and during the Fringe (in person) with the Industry Associates  
  • a one-to-one professional development meeting with the Artist Development Manager  
  • access to Fringe Central (our in-person participants’ hub) and its services and resources, including the Fringe Central events programme.  

Access adjustments 

If you require access adjustments or support to enable your participation in this programme, please specify these in your application so we can include these in our planning. We have additional funding available to support with access needs too.  


Applicants should clearly identify how this programme will benefit and support them in pursuing a career in the arts sector. This opportunity is suitable for those early in their career in the performing arts sector.  

If applying for one of the spaces reserved for disabled, working-class and / or global-majority producers, applicants should clearly state this in their application.  

Essential criteria 

  • Applicants must be already working in a professional capacity in the performing arts (this need not be full time), OR applicants should demonstrate that they are actively pursuing professional work in the performing arts.  
  • Applicants must be over the age of 18 (there is no upper age limit). 
  • Applicants must be UK-based. 
  • Applicants must be able to be in Edinburgh during the programme focus dates, 05–11 August.  
  • Applications will not be considered if the applicant has participated in the Fringe Society’s Emerging Producers Development Programme and / or Emerging Critics Programme. 
  • Applicants must not be associated in any capacity with a Fringe 2024 show. 

You are not eligible if you are:  

  • working in an established organisational role which would make you eligible for Arts Industry accreditation 
  • working in a management role within an arts organisation  
  • not working towards a career in the performing arts.

Further guidance 

Applications will be accepted from those in higher education as long as they meet the other essential criteria. 

Apply now 

To apply, please send your CV detailing relevant experience and eligibility along with a personal statement (no more than one page) explaining why you are interested in this opportunity, how you will benefit from it and your preferred genre to be mentored in (theatre, circus, dance, comedy, children's). You should send your application via email to  [email protected]  with the subject line “Emerging Professionals Programme application”.  

We welcome applicants who wish to apply in an alternative format (eg video application, voice recording, etc). Please contact  [email protected]  to discuss options. We can also send across this information in different formats if required.  

Deadline for applications: Monday 20 May, 10:00 BST