49 Things You Should Know About The Fringe 2014 pt.3 (38-49)

The Edinburgh Fringe is unique. Uniquely big as well as uniquely varied, and therefore, uniquely competitive.

52 weeks in a year minus 3 weeks of the Fringe = Edinburgh49

Edinburgh49 is a collaboration between Edinburgh-based writers from some of the most respected Fringe Theatre review titles. Their insights combine detailed local knowledge with a comprehensive overview of the Fringe.

49 Things You Should Know About The Fringe will help you get the most out of your experience this August. In Part One we examined how shows get noticed and what to do when you are.  In Part 2 we met the various media titles whose reviewers you’ll be courting. Now, as the clock ticks down towards the launch of Fringe ’14, we offer some more esoteric thoughts which, we hope, will help you squeeze every drop of juice from the extraordinary month ahead.


  1. Each venue will have its own Press Office. Some are better than others. Even the largest press office staff don’t have time to do your stapling for you. However, if they do display reviews or attach ratings to posters shown in house, make sure they’re doing it promptly. You’re the customer. You paid to use this venue. Demand a quality after-sales service.
  1. The Fringe is home to some really great chat & revue shows where punters can hear directly from participants. The legendary Merv Stutter is among the best established. Don’t be shy in approaching producers and asking to feature on their sofa in front of an audience. New acts especially need content.
  1. There’s a whole article to be written about Twitter and the Fringe. It ought to start with the obvious warning that not every Fringe-goer is on social media. Our 5 golden rules for Twitter: don’t pester; don’t churn; don’t quarrel; don’t insult and don’t forget to retweet, follow & favourite beyond the usual suspects.
  1. Read Broadway Baby’s How to write a press release journalists will want to read. Then re-read it and pass it on to every public relations professional you know. Then read it again.
  1. Even if it’s just a single side of black and white A5, consider providing your audience with a programme. There are sound audience engagement reasons for doing so (introducing your company, script, vision etc.) Besides, reviewers can’t name names if they don’t know who anyone is. If you have, or are in, other shows, it’s a good place to mention it. Don’t forget to include your social media contact details.
  1. Always use a local printer to avoid disappointment. If you need something fast, try talking to Paul at Pace Print and tell him we sent you. [NB. They didn’t pay us, or even ask us to write this. We’ve used Pace Print for a long time and they consistently impress us.]
  1. The Free Fringe is among the most interesting developments within the Fringe for some time. For established theatre companies the Fringe is a trade show. Their priority is as much to sell shows (to national venue managers) as it is to sell tickets. The costs/benefits involved in setting out their stalls at the #Freestival may one day be in competition with traditional big venues…perhaps. Less in doubt are the huge advantages the Free Fringe offers to new players.
  1. Free Fringe audiences exist on a spectrum running from folk who won’t stay past 5 lines of bad dialogue; to those who stay rooted in a venue from dawn till dusk seeing everything in the lineup.
  1.  Late to the party? If you arrive in Edinburgh after the start of the Fringe, don’t despair. You’re fresh and eager. Lamentably, few Fringe-goers abandon hearth and home for the full run, so there is always a steady stream of audiences. Still, take nothing for granted.
  1. See Edinburgh! It’s a great city and there are plenty of low and no-cost ways to see it, from the Radical Road to the Walter Scott Monument. The sunsets over the Firth of Forth this time of year are gorgeous, especially when viewed from the Starbank Inn. On the far side of town, the Sheeps Heid in picturesque Duddingston village offers traditional fare on a site which has been continuously occupied by a pub since 1360.
  1. Say goodbye to your money. For many coming to the Fringe is a once in a lifetime experience. For others it’s the start or end of a continuing tour. For everyone it’s a place to workshop ideas in front of an actual audience, night after night. That doesn’t come cheap, so make sure it stays cheerful.
  1. Don’t Panic!

Good luck to everyone participating in The Edinburgh Festivals of 2014! Edinburgh49 will return in September!

2 thoughts on “49 Things You Should Know About The Fringe 2014 pt.3 (38-49)

  1. Pingback: 49 Things You Should Know About The Fringe pt.1 (1-16) | Edinburgh49

  2. Pingback: 49 Things You Should Know About The Fringe pt.2 (17-37) | Edinburgh49

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