An Indie Comedian’s Guide To Planning Your Edinburgh Fringe Show.

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An Indie Comedian’s Guide To Planning Your Edinburgh Fringe Show.

This year I am doing my second solo show. I’ve been to Edinburgh three before for performing reasons and once more just to look. I am the host of the professional talk radio show “Ask The Industry Podcast” where I’ve spoken to the industry experts (and continue to) about what you can do to have a killer / professional / successful Edinburgh show.

I am an independent comedian, trying to make a career in comedy with a DIY attitude and a (low) budget.

Here’s my guide using their advice, my experience and research broken down month-by-month. Hope it helps – 


One last thing…

If you like this content and want me to continue to make more of it please consider donating via the PayPal button below. Every bit helps. Thanks.


August the previous year (12 months til the Fringe).

  • Go up. See shows. Look at rooms. Find and short list the places / venues you want to perform in. Also look about and see how hard these rooms are to get people into. You cannot see enough rooms / venues. Even the ones you dislike help you find the right one. (NB take photos of the venues you see and send me the photos. I am trying to map all the venues and your pictures help).
  • Get yourself a loyalty card to a supermarket… then start using it. You can save up a lot of points during the year and these will come in very handy when you arrive in August next year and need to do a big shop (and have a tight budget).

September (11 months to go).

  • Rest. This is the only month of the year you’ll get to do this as all the others have stuff on. If anything, line up some work and try to save as much money as possible. You’re going to need it all… the Fringe isn’t cheap (but we’ll get to that).

October (10 months to go).

  • Decide on the theme, title and basic idea of your show. You need to have this in mind as early as possible. Unless you’re doing a “showcase” show in which case do what ever you like. But if you’re taking an actual show up, give this some real thought and also think about what will make your show different (this doesn’t mean PR / stunts yet… I mean content / themes).
  • Listen to the Ask The Industry Episode with Neil Mackinnon (head of external affairs at the Edinburgh Fringe) on what facilities they offer. 

November (9 months to go).

December (8 months to go).

  • Start writing (or at least brainstorming) the goddam show. This will really help you write press releases and plan who you want to come see your show. You’ve got some Christmas downtime, and all those “funny things” your family have said around the turkey should inspire you, maybe.

January (7 months to go).

  • Start contacting the Fringe Society for advice on advertising, marketing your show and the venues which you might have missed back in August. They offer free advice to all performers.
  • If you want a discount rate on an advert in the Ed Fringe programe you need to have this signed off by the end of the month.
  • If your promoter / venue opens up their bookings fill out the forms asap.
  • Write more jokes.

February (6 months to go).

March (5 months to go).

April (4 months to go).

  • Have your copy / image sent off the Fringe programme people by the 1st of the month. They usually have edits / comments on things, and you don’t want to feel / be rushed by leaving it too late. 
  • The middle of the month is when the closing date is for the programme so the Fringe have time to send it to the printers. 
  • Once you’ve sent off your copy / registration… start looking for a place to stay. You can do this earlier, but it’s probably best to make sure you have a show first. There’s a lot of space in Edinburgh but there’s also a lot of applicants.
  • Think about writing a joke.

May (3 months to go).

June (2 months to go).

July (30 days to go).

August (zero days to go).

  • Have fun.
  • Work hard.
  • Play hard.
  • And don’t moan too much. 


If you found this useful, please share it using the social share buttons below. Or link a friend. Or send me a message to say thanks (it means a lot and helps me know if people actually enjoyed this or not). Additionally, do remember to subscribe to the Ask The Industry podcast and if you want to donate (using the paypal link) in the sidebar to help me continue to produce content like this.

Oh, and come see my show. Details below.

Pod artwork 3000 by 3000


Title? Laughter Is The Best Placebo
Length? 55 minutes
Genre? Stand Up Comedy
Where? Grassmarket 2 [map]
When? 3rd – 27th Aug 2017(except Wednesdays when I get rudely awoken by the dustmen)
Time? 5.20pm (doors 5pm)
Cost? £5 (or pay what you want on exit)
Venue? Sweets Venue

About the show

My life is a constant search for emotional and electrical outlets. If you can relate, this is the show for you.

This show is my attempt to work out if comedy has improved my life or immeasurably ruined it – I think you can tell which side of that I’m leaning towards.

The show doesn’t have a narrative. Here’s some of the notes from the back of my hand from the preview I did last night: Drumpf porn, dying alone, Fight Club, Tesco, you’ve got your hands, penguin dick pics, therapy.



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.


  1. This is great Simon – thank you! What id like to know is how you know which press people to write to and how to do a press release. I know this is specifically an Edinburgh advice page but I’d like to know about press for Brighton fringe too. How do I do find the appropriate press? Good on yers!!

    1. I am working on a Brighton Fringe version! But it all comes down to time Kate. Thanks so much for the feedback. 🙂 I agree, we need more info around the press releases and marketing in general. x

  2. […] You can find my guide to planning your Fringe including a month by month break down of what I do to …. But here are the approx dates for stuff you should know (they change every year, but happen around the same time, so do check the website for the most up-to-date info or email them – […]

  3. […] An Indie Comedians Guide To Planning Your Edinburgh Fringe ShowLooking at going to the Edinburgh Fringe? Cool… it’s a lot of prep work. As of 2015 I’ve done 3 festivals, interviewed loads of experts and I know that for this festival specifically you need to start planning as early as the August the year before… here’s my month-by-month guide. […]

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