An Indie Comedians Guide To Registering Your Brighton Fringe Show

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An Indie Comedians Guide To Registering Your Brighton Fringe Show

I am going to the Brighton Fringe for the 2nd time this year. They’ve given their show registration site a massive overhaul. So here’s a brand spanking new guide to getting your show registered with them. I also interviewed the Managing Director of the Brighton Fringe (stream it below or download it here or get it on iTunes here oh and the show notes including all the questions I asked can be found here). I found it invaluable, I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

Here we go…

Step 1 Get yourself a confirmed venue / time / date slot.This is up to you who you go with. Generally for comedy I go with Laughing Horse.
Step 2 Go to the Brighton Fringe show registration portal (here).If you haven’t already you’ll need to sign up for an account.
Step 3 Log in.There’s a big green button which says “Create A New Event”. Click it and fill out the basic info.The basic info includes –

  • Event Title aka Show Title.
  • Company (which can be you).
  • Venue (which you fill in later)
  • Any additional editors (if you have more than one person involved in the show that wyou want to give access to.

Then click “Create Show” (see image below)

All of this can be edited later, so don’t worry too much about it now. In fact, it’s worth pointing out that until the event has been “finalised” after you submit the new event to the Brighton Fringe office all of the details can be changed.

Create event

Step 4 The site will redirect you to a page which asks you for more info about your show. This info is split into 5 categories : General, Content, Tech, Music and Settlement. I am going to deal with each of these individually. Below is an image that will show you the headers and links to look out for –I
  General: This is your basic show info. On top of the info you’ve already given they want you to supply:

  • A 2nd Admin Contact (which can be you).
  • A Touring Contact (which can also be you).
  • A marketing a press contact (can also be you).
  • A box office contact (can also be you).
  • A company name (if you don’t belong to a company you can make one and register it with them… this can also be named after you).
  • Brochure Section aka genre of the show.
  • This is not the brochure copy, but a general description used by the venue manager and staff.
  • An image for the show (this image must be in the .jpg format and be 330px (w) by 360px (h). Also they ask that the image contains no text. This is because this image is used in the printer programme and will only come out 3cm by 3cm so text will be near impossible to read.
  • A country of origin (where you’re from).
  • If anyone in the show / production team is a resident outside the UK. (For Tax purposes).
  • Your website (if you have one)
  • Your Facebook link (if you have one).
  • Your Instagram link (if you have one).
  • Your Twitter link (if you have one).
  • Your YouTube link (if you have one)

I should point out before we go on that as much as having an online presence is great… if you’re starting a social media profile for the show, make sure you’ve got the time and energy to put into it. People will click these links and it could actually work against you if you have a dead Facebook Page which hasn’t posted anything for months. It could actually be better for you to not include a link.

  Content: This section is (as the title suggests) about what’s in your show. So it’s basically a lot of “yes” “no” check boxes (about 10 questions) as well as an Age Range (aka target age for the show or restrictions like if you don’t want to allow anyone under 16 in). If you are checking “yes” to any of the content warnings they also give you an option to include a “content warning description” which is worth using if you feel you need to.
  Tech: Does your show require anything technical? If so now is the time to state it. This is the point in the application when it is key for you to know about the logistics of your show. They want you to tell them –

  • The Crew Size. If the venue needs to provide a techie.
  • How long you need for audiences to get in / out.
  • If you need any additional tech help.
  • A description of your show’s set up.
  • A set photo (if you have one).
  • A set plan (if you have one).
  • If you’re using any special lighting or naked flames or spill-able liquids or pyrotechnics.
  • They then want to know the number of mics and other bits of kit you require including laptops, DVDs, CD players etc.

If you feel like you need to tell them anything specific about your tech requirements there’s a box at the end for your “tech notes”.

  Music: Music is a tricky one because you might have to declare it to them if you’re using copyrighted music it’s best to contact them and ask if that’s allowed in the venue you are in. I have no idea. Sorry. But they want to know if your show includes live or recorded music. And if you’re using any music in the show you’ll need to provide them a list of every track (even if you’re only using it for a few seconds).

Worth pointing out that this is for PRS. Free events are exempt from PRS, so don’t need to declare music usage. But all paid events must tell us about ALL music used. This can be completed at the point of registration or later on, but must be finished before the start of your event.

  Settlement: Now we’re talking… money money money! It’s not that fun or glamorous. If you’re doing a free show this isn’t that important but if your show is ticketed they want all the usual bank details you’d give anyone to send you a payment like account number, sort code, bank code etc.

There are additional requirements for International Bank transfers, which are highlighted in the form.

Step 5 After you’ve filled out your show details you’ll need to click the little pencil icon (image below) which will take you to a page that allows you to add your press release, any awards your show has won and your relevant reviews. Also you can add photos related to the show.pencil
You need your press release to be in a PDF format. Here’s a guide on how to write a press release.  Also if you want to read any press releases for my shows they’re live and online here.
Step 6 Give yourself a break. This is a good place to pause and get a cup of tea as it is exactly half way through the process. Also the next bit “feels” a little separate from what you’ve just done. So it’s a nice moment to clear your head and come back to the next few steps with a bit more enthusiasm. But should you (like me) not enjoy drinking hot drinks, just go directly to step 7.
Step 7 The next step involves going into the logistics of your show and how that relates to the Brighton Fringe office. That sounds a bit heavy, but it’s not. Just click on the link on the navigation bar (image below) which says “Brighton Fringe 2016” (please note, that year will change if you’re not reading this in 2015/16).BriAs you can see in this category there’s 4 sub-sections (general, ticketing, brochure and advertising) which I’ll go into individually. 
  General: This is just a bit more “industry” info about the show. ie “is it a new show?” aka made within the last year. Would you be interested in touring the show? etc. This is the section industry people will look into. If a company which does tours wants to scout for shows and you clicked “no” they won’t come. So think ahead.

Also the Brighton Fringe runs an industry showcase which is worth looking into if you want that kind of exposure –  http://www.brightonfringe.org/window

  Ticketing: There’s no such thing as a Free Fringe in Brighton. Your show is either paid or free. If your show is free or just non-ticketed in general just click “no” to all these questions. You have to answer them to submit the show (even if it’s clearly obvious).If your show is ticketed you can go into a lot of detail here including group discounts, uploading seating plans, press ticket allocation etc etc
  Brochure. OK. With your show registration you get a listing in the printer brochure as well as on the Brighton Fringe website. This is where you’ll need to enter this info. They provide you with a demo listing (image below).brochuredummy

For this you’ll need to supply –

  • Brochure copy – a description of your show which can only  be a max of 300 characters. Bear in mind that if you have a long event title or lots of different event dates and times, you may get less space.
  • A brochure section aka genre.
  • A sub-genre aka a more specific type of category for your show. You can select up to 5 sub-genres.
  • Web copy – aka a description of your show which can be up to 500 characters in length.
  • You don’t have to appear in the printed brochure but I’d recommend you do. Here’s a list of stuff I learned from doing the Brighton Fringe in 2015 that explains why (also it doesn’t cost you any more.
  • Now  you can also select “extra listings” you might want for additional costs.
  Advertising. This is the section where you can pay an additional fee to have your show appear more prominantly in the brochure or on the website. Given I don’t buy adverts I can’t really help with this one, but the form is very simple and if you have any problems you can always ring them (contact details here) and they’re very friendly / helpful.
Step 8 Submitting your event – Part 1

Now that you’ve entered all your details you need to first submit the event to your venue of choice. You do this by going to the Venue Browser (image below) and searching for your venue. The best way is to click on the “+venues” button in the Brighton Fringe 2016 tab.

 

Venue

  Once you’ve found your venue click on the “more info” button.Caroline
  Then you need to click “submit your event to this venue”.Caroline 2
Step 9 Now you need to submit your event to the festival itself. To do this you need to click the Festival Finder button (image below) and then click “submit an event to the Brighton Fringe”.

This is only true if you are re-submitting an event from the previous year. Completely new events don’t have to be submitted to us, it’s done automatically.

Step 10 CHASE YOUR VENUE. 

Your venue needs to log in and approve the show before you can pay. If you wait too long you’ll miss the early bird discount (you cannot hit submit until your venue has approved your show… so chase them as often as you can that it doesn’t piss them off).

 Step 11 Once your venue has approved the show you need to wait until you get an automated email from the Brighton Fringe System which confirms the venue approved it and then you log back in and pay.
 Step 12  Panic you made a typo. Joke. But seriously. You should get a confirmation email and if you’re worried about anything ring the Brighton Fringe office directly (contact details here). They’re bloody lovely and helpful.

Now that you’ve registered your show you can read about how my Brighton Fringe went last year (2015) here including how I advertised the show, what I learned about marketing in a city I don’t live in and the bucket takings split down by show.

You might also be interested in the following podcast interviews I’ve done related to the Brighton Fringe as well –

If this has helped you at all, please consider sharing it with more Brighton Fringe performers. Also you can subscribe to my podcast to get interviews with more Fringe founders. Also if you’d like to support me finically you can become a Patron of my podcast from 80p per episode or give a one-off donation via PayPal below. Every little helps. Thanks in advance. x

 


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Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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