Coronavirus update

The 2020 Fringe is not going ahead as planned (read the full statement). In place of our usual Fringe activities, we’re working on several projects intended to provide support for Fringe participants and keep the spirit of the Fringe going until we meet again in 2021.

take part in a reimagined 2020 Fringe

Our team are here for you, so please do get in touch with us by emailing [email protected].  

 

The Fringe is an open access arts festival, which means that anyone who has a story to tell and a venue to perform in can put on a show here.

There is no centralised selection process and the festival as a whole is not programmed or curated (though individual venues choose which shows they want to programme). The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does not produce or select any shows, does not invite anybody to perform and does not cover costs. We are here to provide you with the support, guidance and resources necessary to tell your story.

Read more about the story of the Fringe and the Fringe Society.

Why performers come to the Fringe

There are hundreds of reasons why artists and performers come to the Fringe. Many are looking for exposure, to try out and develop new material in front of a live audience, or to get reviews and media coverage. Many 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. Coming to the Fringe is often part of performers’ longer-term career plan, but it can just as easily be about working on stagecraft and having fun.

The Fringe is a proven training ground where some of today’s most popular entertainers got their start. It’s also home to one of the most adventurous audiences in the world – an audience that, along with the paying public, includes producers, promoters, journalists and fellow artists.

 

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? All of the outcomes we mentioned above are possible, though usually not at the same time.

Remember that the Fringe is a competitive environment – there are thousands of shows, all vying for the same audience. We recommend you make a list of clear, achievable goals you want to work towards. This will not only help you direct your energy during the festival – it will inform every decision you make, from choosing a venue to planning your marketing campaign. Define what Fringe success would look like to you.

For example, you might want to aim at filling a smaller, less conventional venue than you’re accustomed to, or making initial contacts in the industry rather than immediately attracting tour bookings. Misjudging your goals could prove financially costly and make for a negative experience during August.

Everything you need to know is on this website, but if you want to browse offline or at your own pace, the handbooks below can be downloaded in PDF format.

There are many terms specific to the Fringe, such as jargon and colloquialisms, that can be difficult to understand if you’re unfamiliar with the Fringe landscape. The list we’ve provided here is not exhaustive, but it should hopefully get you off to the right start. If you discover a term you are unsure of, or anything else you’d like clarified, please email [email protected].

Please get in touch with [email protected] if you have any specific questions about the information on this page. A member of our team can set up a 10-minute slot to talk things over with you on the phone or through Skype.

Please note, slots are based on team availability.

Coronavirus support for venues

These resources will be updated regularly to provide support and information to venues, including potential avenues to explore in terms of finances, employment, and advice to performing companies and artists.