If you are mad enough to bring your show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this is for you.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest Arts festival and runs over three weeks every August all over Edinburgh. The festival caters to every type of show including theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.
If you are a newcomer to comedy or your career rise restricted to local comedy clubs this might be the next big step for you. Some of the biggest names in comedy kick started their careers here and have been returning ever since. Others have failed miserably and been paying for it ever since. Last year there was 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues. So there are serious pitfalls if you don’t plan ahead and accept the fact that NOBODY HAS HEARD OF YOU!
So a few tips – if you have an agent or catch the attention of an experienced promoter that helps as they will have access to primetime slots at the best venues. Places like The Gilded Balloon, Underbelly, The Pleasance for example are proven producers of good comedy & have multiple venues with shows all day – so punters gravitate there and if they have an hour to fill they often will book the next show with spare seats regardless. So that size of footfall is good to attract both the ardent and casual festival goers. It’s hard to attract comedy fans to travel out of the ‘golden mile’.
You can help your own cause by investing in top class photos and poster design. Just think how many shows will be competing for wall and media space? So make sure the title of your show is uniquely brilliant. You will need also to budget for fliers / posters. If your show (or you) have a unique theme / good back story get a PR release out – either via an agency, the festival press office or target the local Scottish and even national media. No harm to even think about a special Facebook page and produce a short punchy promo to get people talking, sharing and Liking.
As most venues / promoters don’t ‘fix up’ with the performers until AFTER the festival you need to either borrow funds or fundraise. One way is to Crowdfund offering tickets to a local showcase. But regardless plan way ahead – book flights early and secure a flat share or cheap hostel with good wifi. Talk to other acts who have been to get inside tips of best locations to base yourself. No point of having an hour journey by bus or cab rides home if you can avoid it. It’s a long run and if you have access to a quiet room and can cook there to ensure healthy eating and save costs – even better.
Irish acts like Sean Hughes (1990 – youngest winner at the time), Dylan Moran (1996), Tommy Tiernan (1998) and the last Irish winner David O’Doherty (2008) have all won the top award as Best Comedy Performer while countless other Irish acts (e.g. last year Al Porter) have been nominated. grintage predicted that – and in 2017 we say it’s time for Foil Arms & Hog!!
The Ed Fest team have put together a guide for anyone considering bringing a show to the Fringe – no matter the scale of your ambition or experience.
If you really want to perform click the link below for everything you need to know about applying.
The guide covers everything from picking between the 294 venues to budgeting and finance. Best of luck and let grintage know all about your show for summer festival news and gig guide.