Registered venues agree to:

  • Keep their registered information up-to-date and provide requested copy, artwork and data by the agreed deadlines.
  • Meet payment deadlines for advertising and registration.
  • Permit the Society to contact their performing companies directly, so that the Society can provide information to all Fringe artists.
  • Include information about the Society’s services in their communications to performing companies.
  • Liaise with the Society regarding media and arts industry activities.
  • Keep the Society informed of any major issues with landlords or artists which may impact on the festival as a whole, and of any major issues which may prevent performing companies from presenting their work or receiving their settlements.
  • Provide the Society with a copy of their standard hire contract, terms and conditions.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society agrees to:

  • Recognise venues as key stakeholders in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
  • Make details of venues and spaces available to potential artists if required.
  • Include registered venues which are hosting registered shows in printed and online listings publications produced or co-ordinated by the Society.
  • Assign a unique number to registered venues hosting registered shows, for use for the current festival season.
  • Provide materials to signpost the location of registered venue sites.
  • Provide box office settlements with full sales reports within 30 days of the end of the Fringe.
  • Assist in mediation with landlords and with artists when asked.
  • Provide regular updates of Society activities, and opportunities for feedback and debate.
  • Inform registered venues of relevant corporate sponsorship activities.
  • Share research and data about the festival and customers, within data protection regulations.
  • Give suitable advance notice of any fees and major deadlines for registration, advertising and payment, in most cases of at least 6 weeks.
  • Operate in a fair and impartial way.

This agreement is intended to work in tandem with the AIVP/Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Best Practice Code for Fringe Venues. Both the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and the registered venues agree to work together on the areas outlined in the Code with the aim of improving the Fringe experience for everyone.

In the event that a registered venue is in serious and substantial breach of the terms of this agreement or the Best Practice Code, the Society reserves the right to;

  • Contact the artists performing at the venue to inform them of potential problems and outline the support the Society can offer.
  • Inform authorities such as the Council or Police about issues which fall within their remit.
  • Refuse the venue operator permission to register in subsequent years, and advise performing companies not to use them should they operate without registering.

The Society will give the registered venue reasonable notice before carrying out of the above actions, to provide an opportunity for the issues to be resolved.

This agreement is not legally binding but is designed to be a statement of intent and commitment.

Venue Producers signing this code agree to:

  • Ensure the Fringe Society is given the opportunity to contact their performing companies directly so that the Society can share information with all registered artists.
  • Provide performing companies with details and specifications of venues and spaces which are as detailed and up-to-date as practicable.
  • Issue performing companies with a contract written in plain language, which clearly outlines financial obligations, payment schedules and any penalties that may apply. Make sample contracts available to prospective performing companies on request.
  • Forward performing companies any monies owed them ideally by one month of receipt of settlement from the Fringe Society and certainly within two months, under normal circumstances.
  • Comply with applicable licensing, employment and health and safety legislation, including implementing an equal opportunities policy. 
  • Strive towards providing the highest level of accessibility at their venues. Sign up to completing the Fringe Venue Access Toolkit at level one or above. Find out more about the Venue Access Award.
  • Encourage the establishment of sustainable practices and seek to reduce the environmental impact of the festival.
  • In the event a slot offer cannot be granted to a performing company, inform the company within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Develop best practice in venue operation and the provision of training, requiring venue staff to conduct themselves in a professional manner avoiding all rude, aggressive or threatening behaviour, discriminatory or unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature. You can find an example code of conduct here.
  • Seek to work amicably, with other venues and the Fringe Society, for the future development of the Fringe with a view to supporting and maintaining the stability of the Festival and its greater reputation.
  • In the event of a dispute with a performing company or another venue producer which cannot be resolved, seek to arrange mediation of the matter with the Fringe Society.
  • Work to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children by employing the services of The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

This code has been developed through joint discussions between the Association of Independent Venue Producers and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. It is not binding but is designed to be a statement of intent and commitment. The aim of this code is to improve the Fringe experience for everyone. It is understood that Venue Producers do not always have sole control of their buildings and that their ability to fully implement this code may be hampered by external factors beyond their control.

As a venue manager, you must apply for theatre or public entertainment licenses with the City of Edinburgh Council Licensing department. 

Venue licensing terms can be limited - if a show includes any special requirements (e.g. pyrotechnics, firearms and late performance times), the company should check this with you and ensure the Council is notified, in case an inspection is required.

Smoking ban

  • Smoking is not permitted in public indoor spaces in Scotland, including on stage or in green rooms.
  • Under Scottish law this prohibition extends to herbal cigarettes.
  • There is no exemption for artistic purposes. 

Failure to comply will usually result in a substantial fine for the smoker and the venue.

Working with children

  • Where children are engaged to work in a theatrical production, the performing company is required to apply for a licence from the local authority where the child is undergoing his/her education.
  • Adult company members can be vetted through Disclosure Scotland, the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme or the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure their suitability for working with minors.

Working with animals

If the show includes animals:

  • The company should inform the City of Edinburgh Council when you (the venue) apply for an entertainment licence.
  • Adhere to the guidelines of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals throughout the production.


The Equality Act is continually developing and the latest provisions came into effect in October 2010. The legislation states that service providers are expected to make reasonable adjustments to their premises so that there are no physical barriers stopping or making it unreasonably difficult for wheelchair users or people with particular access requirements to use the services.

The Fringe Society is committed to increasing accessibility at the festival – please contact us on [email protected] to find out more about how your show can be involved.

For detailed information about staffing your venue, please open our The Fringe Handbook for Running a Venue and turn to the Health and Safety section. There is also extensive guidance available through Volunteer Edinburgh for further information about engaging and working with volunteers.

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 will be enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office who will manage reporting, compliance and any enforcement. This change in the law 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.

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.