Making the most of the Edinburgh Fringe: During the Festival

A black and white photo of performers playing musical instrument on stage at the Edinburgh fringe. They are all wearing black sunglasses and white clothes.
Nicky Boiardi, Ruff Child and Lee Giles in The Quentin Dentin Show, produced by Hannah Elsy at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. Photo credit: Joey Kiney Whitmore

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Whether you’re taking a show to the Fringe for the whole festival or just a few weeks, it’s easy to feel like you need to be ‘all systems go’ 24/7. But remember that your Fringe run is likely part of a wider show journey and that being exhausted during and after the Fringe isn’t going to be good for you — or your show! A measured approach incorporating strategic resting is key to ensure you make the most of the Edinburgh Fringe experience. Please don’t ever sacrifice your mental or physical health for the sake of a Fringe show.

Remember your priorities

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the Fringe and try to do everything — but remember the priorities for your show before arriving in Edinburgh! Bear these priorities in mind during your time in Edinburgh and regularly check in with yourself to see if you’re working towards them effectively.

Grab those opportunities

Having said all this, be open to any opportunities that may come your way. The unexpected can and does happen. Weigh up any new opportunity with your set priorities, your time, and your mental health and seize them if you have the capacity.

  • Making the most of people coming to see your show by asking them to join your newsletter and follow your social media
  • Filming audience members’ reactions after the show (vox pops) to give you new content for social media and emails to press contacts

Support other creatives

Though your team and your show are your priority, heading to the Fringe means that you’ll be spending the summer surrounded by thousands of other creatives! Every day is a chance to make friends with like-minded people and learn from them so make an effort to get to know the people around you. Whether it’s the crew staying in the flat across the hall, the writer you pass every morning flyering for their show, the buskers in the parks, or the producers holed up in the corner of the venue on their laptops — say hello! Ask them about their work and go along and support if you can. Even if their work is completely different to the type you’re typically interested in, keep an open mind as creative friendships can be a godsend — both at the Fringe and beyond.

A black and white photo of a performer on stage at the Edinburgh fringe pulling a dramatic scared face. There is an old TV next to him.
Photo credit: Joey Kiney Whitmore

Social media

While I’d recommend limited time on social media for anyone’s mental health, it’s one of the easiest ways to spread the word about your creative projects. You should have an account on each relevant platform for your show, make sure you’ve done your research on the platforms your target audience is likely to be on. For example, it might be that a Facebook page isn’t going to reach much of your target audience and that a TikTok channel is a better way to spend your time because the demographic of the show skews young.

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