The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a unique spectacle featuring hundreds of sights and shows. With so much on offer, getting out and promoting your show can seem daunting.
We're here to help by providing artists with expertise and advice to support you in promoting your show at the Fringe.
Our full Guide to marketing your show provides more comprehensive advice and guidance; we've included a few key points from it below.
Top promotion tips
- Be organised - The sooner you plan your marketing and media campaign the easier it will be.
- Make you words count - Getting your edfringe.com listing description right is a priority – the public, industry and media use this to decide what to see.
- Choose your image - The show image will live alongside your listing on edfringe.com. Keep it simple so that it can easily link in with your marketing at a later date.
- Keep your marketing clear and consistent - Keep the same logo, image or phrase on all your marketing materials.
- Ticket promotions - These can be the way to start word of mouth with audiences early on.
- Assign someone to do your PR and marketing - This doesn’t have to be a full-time job or managed by a PR professional, it can be a member of your company. You need someone with great writing skills, and who reads the papers regularly so knows the kind of media content the Fringe generates.
- Write a winning media release - Keep your media release clear and brief. Focus on anything newsworthy and unique about your show and/or its development. Use the media contacts list to reach out to journalists planning to cover this year's Fringe.
- Be ready for press - Make sure that you have your press materials ready by the time your show goes on sale, that’s when the media will start asking questions.
- Prepare your pitch - Be ready to talk about your work succinctly and honestly to the people you meeting during the Fringe.
- Talk to us - Our Fringe Media Office is here to help. They’re full of advice, ideas and contacts. Contact them for a chat about your show by emailing [email protected].
Before the Fringe
Set some time aside for you or your company to decide exactly what you would like to achieve from performing at the Fringe.
For example, if your ambition is to pick up a touring engagement or expand your network of industry contacts, then focus on attending shows and events and talking to the Artist Development team. If your aim is to be well reviewed by major publications and attract big audiences, you will need to concentrate on, and invest in, your PR campaign.
Social media can and should be an important part of your marketing strategy. When used correctly, it’s a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach new audiences for free, and encourage them to find out more about you. It helps you to listen to what your audiences, peers and relevant journalists are saying and provides a platform to build relationships and network with them.
Here are some general pointers:
- A successful social media approach needs time – don’t set up the accounts two weeks before the Fringe.
- If you’re setting up social media accounts for the first time, consider creating them for your company rather than your show: that way you can build on it year-on-year for new projects and give a backstage context to your preparations for the Fringe.
- Plan your key content in advance, and add more reactive updates and replies as you go.
- Social media is social: engage in conversations with your followers and peers. Research relevant conversations that are already going on and who your potential advocates might be. Follow Fringe shows or performers you admire or who are similar to you or your show, monitor their most popular content and respond to them in a friendly way.
- Get your friends, family, cast, crew and venue on board by making sure that they follow you, share your stories and tag you in their own posts.
You'll find more guidance on marketing online in our guide to marketing your show.
Web and programme advertising
In addition to your show listing (which is included as part of your registration fee), you can also pay to advertise on edfringe.com and in the printed programme.
Adverts on edfringe.com can be designed to include animation and will link through to the show’s listing page.
Flyers and posters
Posters are excellent for attracting attention and reminding audiences about your event.
Remember that Fringe audiences will be saturated in competing marketing materials, so your advertisements must stand out. Maintain continuity between your advertising across all its forms and media (digital ads, posters, etc) - use the same fonts, copy and basic layouts throughout. The best way to ensure consistency is through a single distinctive image that ties all your marketing material together in a creative and memorable way. The general public are much more confident with QR codes as a result of Covid-19 so it would be a good idea to print these on your posters or on a sign for audiences you’re talking to so they can scan – you can link this directly to your edfringe.com show page and audiences can book on the spot! QR code generators are widely available online and are free to use.
- Poster specification
Again, strong visuals are the key to a successful poster. They must stand out on a wall full of other artwork and make a clear and lasting visual impression. Most posters are A3 (297mm x 420mm) or A2 (420mm x 594mm) in size and paper can be lighter than that used for flyers. Fly posting is illegal so always make sure you have permission before displaying your posters.
The Fringe is committed to reducing paper usage across tickets, the programme and flyers.
- How many should I print?
When it comes to print, less is always more. As such, we encourage artists to think about how many flyers or posters they need to have printed, because it’s better to print less and have more produced later if you need it, rather than overprinting in the first place. This should save you money, too.
- Use recycled and recyclable materials
Ask your printer what recycled or recyclable options are available. Outdoor advertising products like Correx are recyclable, waterproof and maintain durability over the festival period.
- Use alternatives to printed materials
You can also diversify how you market your show and also reach a wider audience via digital channels, including social media and video. You can also create a digital e-flyer to use for media, press, reviewers and arts industry engagement, or ask your audience to share pictures of your posters or flyers on social media.
- Recycle after the Fringe
It’s your responsibility to recycle what you can within the trade waste guidelines set out by the City of Edinburgh Council. The Fringe Society supports limited paper recycling of leftover print media for those companies who would otherwise struggle to dispose of it sustainably. In 2017, the Fringe Society recycled over 11 tonnes of print material through our recycling scheme, but this represented a relatively small sample of overall companies, demonstrating the improvements that can still be made to avoid overprinting on the Fringe.
You can read more about how to make your Fringe greener here: edfringe.com/take-part/putting-on-a-show/staying-green
During the Fringe
Make the most of your marketing campaign by following these guidelines to success.
Where to put up posters:
- Look for wall space in Fringe venues, at the other festivals and even in storefronts - remember to get permission first.
- It is a criminal offence to place your posters on walls, hoardings, vacant buildings, waste bins, streetlights, traffic signals, bridges, trees and stairways.
The City of Edinburgh Council operates an authorised postering scheme around the city and you can purchase spaces in advance to achieve maximum impact. Typically, these sites feature larger 4-sheet posters and oblong lamppost wraps. More information on how to access this service can be obtained from the Fringe Media Office.
Adding quotes and stars
If you get a good review during your run, print out review quotations and staple these to your flyers or posters.
Half Price Hut
The Half Price Hut opens from Wednesday in week one and sells half price tickets for shows starting that day or the following morning. It can be a great way to entice audiences into your show and generate word of mouth – find out more about the Half Price Hut.
Performer showcase opportunities
During the Fringe, we provide details of showcase opportunities available to performers in August on Fringe Connect. These opportunities are provided by third-party performing companies, venues and businesses who might be looking to fill vacancies in their programming schedules, feature performers in their existing events or shows, or find participants for site-specific events.
Audience and media reviews
Your show listings on our website include a reviews tab where professional and audience can be listed.
The Fringe Media Office accredits individuals and organisations as official reviewers of Fringe shows.
Contact the Media Office with any questions by emailing [email protected].
Our audience review policy allows any registered edfringe.com website users to post reviews online at edfringe.com.
Audiences love to share the discoveries they make at the Fringe each year and we want to make it as easy as possible for them, regardless of how and where they purchased their tickets.
You are welcome to opt out of receiving audience reviews when registering, or at any later date by contacting [email protected].
If you opt out the message “This show or event has opted out of audience reviews” will be displayed within the ‘Audience Review’ section of your online listing. Opting out once the festival has started means all audience reviews that have already been submitted will be hidden.
Any review posted on our site can be reported to the Society as inappropriate by using the Report Abuse function. The Society will then review the post and may remove it if it is found to contain any of the following:
- Personal abuse
- Hate speech
- Expletives/offensive/threatening language (based on the Fringe style guide)
- Spoilers/sensitive plot information
- Information which is not relevant to the content of the performance
Reviews posted within guidelines will not be removed simply on the basis that they are negative.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society reserves the right to remove or edit reviews.
Media contacts list
Reach the right media for your show with this year's media contacts list. This covers a range of journalists who are planning to cover this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe and are happy to receive your press release.
- Who to contact - Remember, not everyone on this list will be relevant to you. Research and target the right journalists for your show. Blanket emailing all media contacts is a sure-fire way to get your show overlooked.
If you’d like further information about the media contact list please contact us at [email protected].
Advertise with us
In addition to your show listing (which is included as part of your registration fee), you can also pay to advertise on edfringe.com and in the printed programme. Adverts on edfringe.com can be designed to include animation and will link through to the show’s listing page.
You can also find several independent avenues for advertising during the Fringe, such as local media who are covering the festival.
As a registered Fringe show, you’ll have access to our marketing toolkit of official Fringe logos and our yearly campaign assets. The toolkit will contain web- and print-ready files, including .eps files for use on printed materials with images or coloured backgrounds.
Before using the logos, you should read over our logo use guidelines. The Fringe logo is a registered trademark subject to copyright protection, and use of the Fringe logo is at the sole discretion of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. We will take appropriate action to protect it from unauthorised use.
Read our logo use guidelines.
If you have any questions concerning usage of the logos, please contact [email protected].
Protecting customer data
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the previous Data Protection Act, and outlines a new legal framework for the management, processing and usage of personal data. GDPR was adopted by both the European Parliament and the European Council in April 2016.
GDPR came into force on 25 May 2018 and this means we are changing the way we handle and process customer data, including how this is shared with third parties, such as venues and companies.
- Download The Fringe Society’s Guide for Venues and Companies (.PDF)
- Download the Fringe Data Licence Agreement
Please note, this guide is intended to help and does not constitute legal advice. Please ensure you and your organisation take appropriate advice before taking action.