First of all you should know at the time of writing this (2015) I’ve done 3 Edinburgh shows. So I’m no expert… however, I do know people who are. I interviewed Neil Mackinnon (head of external affairs) at Fringe Central (the official Edinburgh Fringe office) for my podcast (iTunes link). You can find my podcast (with show notes) with him here or you can stream it on this page below.I’d just like to thank Fringe Central for their co-operation in the production of this however this is not an official guide. This is my how-to based around all the info they’ve published into a handy one page (albeit a long page) step-by-step guide. Before you register your show with Fringe Central you need to get yourself a venue. A page about this will be added in October.
Before we get started on how to register a show I’m going to run you through the important dates and what you’ll need handy to register a show…
You can find my guide to planning your Fringe including a month by month break down of what I do to prep for the Edinburgh Fringe here. 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 email@example.com) –
- Ed Fringe Registration Discount Deadline Date – early March
- Ed Fringe Registration Deadline Date – early April
- Show details closed for editing – a few days after the registration deadline in April.
- You only get 40 words in the printed programme.
- 343 pixels square (29 mm square) at 300 dpi,RGB or CMYK. in a jpg format.
- You only get 100 words on EdFringe.com for your listing – including your show title.
- CHECK IMAGE SIZE.
Please Note: You only get 40 words to describe your show – including the show title.
Once you have paid your registration fee you will be unable to change the title of your show unless you contact Fringe Central on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I asked a bunch of journalists, PRs and reviewers what they want from a press release. You can find out what they said here.
Basically there are two types –
- A standard media release – your unique who (who you are), what (what show you’re doing), when (the time and dates), where (the venue it is taking place), how (the style of show) and why (any background info about the show message) to the press.
- A news release – sent out when something newsworthy happens (eg, stolen costumes lead to nude Hamlet, actors marry at Fringe, etc)
The media release should be clear but distinctive, conveying a tantalising and useful amount of information in the shortest space possible. The headline should capture attention immediately and convey the most newsworthy element of your show.
Make sure you include the who, what, when and where as well as contact names and telephone numbers for your press representative (include your Edinburgh details so that journalists can make contact with you during the Fringe).
Aside from the bare facts, you will need to sell your show with good copy that will inspire editors to sit up and take notice. No one can tell you what to write – only you know the unique selling points of your show.
Journalists are likely to read only the first few lines of your media release, so make sure you put the main selling point of your show in the headline and opening line. Keep your release to a max of one A4 page and don’t make the font smaller than 10px.
CREDIT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER / DESIGNER. If you don’t and a publication on a deadline needs to use your images / poster they won’t. Or worse, they might use it and then not credit the work of your designer and or photographer.
Invest in a professional photographer. It’s worth the expense. More people are going to see your show art / photos than your show. So make it good.
Contact Fringe Central about the Clash Dairy. This is a schedule of other stunts which are happening so you do it on a day when it won’t Clash with anything else. To view it you’ll need to be signed up as a performer on their website.
Registering a show with Fringe Central.
This might look daunting but it is honestly the easiest guide and will help you immensely –
|Step||Thing to do|
|1||Go to http://registration.edfringe.comTo create an account you’ll need to give them very basic info including your name, job title, address, email and telephone number. You can also upload an avatar image but you don’t have to.Enter your personal details, email address and add an image for your user account (optional). This image is only used as an avatar within edfringeware and will not appear anywhere else.If you have opted in to contact searches, then your name and job title will be displayed when another edfringeware user starts to type your name into a contact field. It is therefore recommended that you ensure your job title is unique to help identify you. For example, list your job title followed by the show/company name. Bob Smith, Producer Happy Theatre Co.|
|2||Opt in/out of contact searches.You can tick/untick this box at any time. If you would like other people to be able to add you to their show, venue or organisation, then it is recommended that you opt in.|
|3||Create an organisationIf you have already done a Fringe show you can use a previously set up organisation. If you have already done this, go to step 4.All venues and shows must be registered under an organisation. You need to create an organisation before you can register either a show or a venue with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. If you need to set up an organisation log in and click the “create organisation” button in the left hand side navigation bar.To register an organisation you’ll need a name of the organisation, a contact number and email address. You can also provide an alternative number and a website.|
|Have a cup of tea… you’ve got this far and registering a Fringe Show is not a 5-minute job. So give yourself a minute off…|
|4||Creating / registering a show.Before we go on, it’s worth knowing that Fringe Central currently operates a one-show-one-listing policy for all shows. That means that every show registered and listed in the programme and/or edfringe.com is entitled to exactly the same listing space as any other – and each listing must only be filled by one show. Also, please note if you navigate away from a tab without pressing save, any information you have entered will be lost. To register a show, first go to the “My Organisations” link in the top left hand corner navigation. Then select the organisation you want to register a show with. Select the “shows” tab and then click “create new show“.When you click Create a Show you will first be asked for your Show Name (as it will appear in the Programme). You can then enter all your registration details making sure you’ve entered information in each tab and filled in all the mandatory fields.The tabs to fill out for each show are : General Info, Show Info, Datelines and Venues, Payout and Fringe Allocation, Image, Media Contact, People & Payment Records.Given I’ve only ever done the Free Fringe I am going have to avoid helping you with Payout and Payment Records (sorry) but if you give Fringe Central an email on email@example.com or go to this page you can find out more about payments.
For General Info you’ll need a primary show contact (along with details of how to get a hold of them). A media contact (these can be the same person). You need to state if your show is available for touring after the Fringe and if you’re interested in further professional development opportunities.
For Show Info you’ll need
For Datelines and Venues you’ll need
For Image you’ll need a square image for both the web / printed programme. See above for the limitations / requirements for that. Once you’ve uploaded it you are able to do some basic cropping, but it’s better if you just upload it in the right size.
For Media Content you’ll need to give your social media links (if you have any) including (but not limited) Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, Facebook, Google+ and up to 3 online published reviews.
In People you can invite / give admin rights to the show to other members of your cast / show / company.
|5||Paying for your registration.Once all your show details have been completed, and you are ready to make payment, please click the Register button at the top of the screen. You will be notified if there are any issues with your show information. You will first be asked if you would like to join the Fringe Society. Membership is open to all, costs £10 per year and offers you the chance to take part in shaping the largest arts festival in the world. You can find more information about membership of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society on edfringe.com.If you tick this box, the Fringe Society membership fee of £10 will be added to your show registration payment.On the next screen you will be given the total amount due for your show registration, including your Fringe Society membership if you have chosen to join. You can also request a VAT receipt. Your show registration fee is based on your total number of performances. See the grid of costs here.|
|6||What’s next?Once you have paid for your show registration, the Fringe Programme team will check it over to ensure that all the required information has been provided and is as accurate as possible. We will also proof your printed programme and website copy. While your show registration is being proofed, you will not be able to make any changes. You will see a message such as ‘First Edit in Progress’ when Fringe staff are editing your show and the form is locked.|
|7||Show Status explanation.Once you’ve paid for your show registration it will be given a status which you can check by logging in at any time by clicking “My Organisations” in the top left hand corner navigation. Select the organisation your show is register with. Then go to the “My Shows” tab. Here’s what all the potential show statuses mean –
|8||Signing off for the Fringe ProgrammeOnce a show has reached Show Approval in Progress, proofs are ready to be checked and signed off by the company and the venue.Companies should indicate that they are happy for their show to be included in the printed Fringe Programme by ticking the statement below which can be found on the show proof.I confirm that my show information is correct, including start times, dates and ticket prices and I am happy for my show(s) to be included in the printed Fringe Programme.Once you have signed off for the Fringe Programme, you need to choose from the following two options:
And then you’re done!
If you need to make urgent changes to your show registration once it has been signed off you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org until the programme launch date (which you can find on the EdFringe website). After the Fringe Programme launch, requests for changes need to be directed to the Box Office supervisors on email@example.com.
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