Biggest ever Edinburgh Fringe programme announced as support for performers is boosted
Support for performers at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe is to be boosted, as the organisation behind it announces its biggest programme yet.
The event, running from August 2 to 26, will welcome a total of 3,841 shows – 300 more than last year – with 1,059 listed in the theatre section and 1,410 in comedy.
Measures to support performers include continuing partnerships with Parents and Carers in the Performing Arts and a new initiative with crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
The site has agreed to refund its 5% commission to any artist using its platform specifically to bring a show to the Edinburgh Fringe. The website is also working with the fringe on measures to aid performers with their mental health.
Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: “Kickstarter is working with us on a whole mental health and well-being strand at the fringe. This includes everything from a respite centre to a chill out space where people can have massages and a counselling service online – specifically to support artists who find it all too much or are struggling to sustain themselves to the end of the run.
“This is a response to what some artists were telling us last year – that it is a big stretch, a big commitment and, particularly if you are new to the fringe, it can be wearing on your well-being by the end of it.”
McCarthy also said it would work with PIPA to provide childcare services, changing and breast-feeding facilities, and Common, the organisation representing working-class artists.
Speaking of the Edinburgh Fringe as a place where people come to do business, McCarthy revealed that 1,420 curators and programmers registered with the society at last year’s event and that in analysing their impact, a random sample of 63 of these had booked 388 shows between them.
She said: “It tells us that this festival is a place where work can be seen, it can be booked and it can have a lifespan and a legacy way beyond the festival. We know that this festival is the source for so much of the programming and content for theatres across Scotland and the UK.”
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