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  • Steph

the road to edinburgh: a timeline

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Getting to the fringe is an overwhelming process. It can be especially daunting to know that there are teams of people behind some of the shows. However, I am talking to you. The team that consists of two people, or one, or three. But there aren’t a lot of you and it’s a hell of a task. So I thought I would put together a bit of a timeline of applying. It can feel like there is so much to do and I felt like I was floundering. There is so much information on the fringe website, so also check it out.

A caveat before I start:

This won’t work for everyone and there is always more to learn. Also sometimes, you don’t plan shows ahead of time by this much – I definitely didn’t. You can still go! And it will be amazing and wonderful. I think this timeline is what I will do when I take my second show to the fringe based on my experiences thus far. Also yes, I am baiting you with a picture of my dog. This is Snowy being very helpful in rehearsals. He had many notes.


Let’s say you want to go to the Fringe in summer 2022 – that’s what I am going to base my dates on. (Also let’s assume that the Fringe next summer will have a more normal timeline – please always check the official Fringe website as their dates for this year have been very different).

1) Starting Spring the previous year (Summer 2021): What you need before you apply

So you have a show. Or you have a version of a show that you like and it has promise. I’ve already talked about the importance of having some trial runs for your show. So do a lowkey performance this summer, COVID allowing of course. The main thing here is to get your show up in front of an audience. If you can, try and get some reviews. You can put quotes or stars on your show poster for Edinburgh and have this be part of your marketing campaign. (there are many opportunities to do this throughout the year as well – the Vaults, different venues, other fringe festivals – plan this into the upcoming year).

Over the summer and autumn, there are also a number of information sessions – these are amazingly helpful. If you can, get up to the fringe and see shows and meet performers.

Thirdly, start thinking about how you are going to finance your show and a rough idea for publicity. This is a whole blog post in and of itself so look out for that one.

2) September – December 2021:

You want to start applying to venues now. You need to get all of your materials together for this process. Make sure you have written all your content (what your show is, who you are, why you are doing it, why it’s suitable for the fringe, what your publicity plan is etc.) – this also includes imaging for your show. Make sure you are happy with the images early on so that you can keep it all consistent. Try and apply for these as soon as venues open up applications.

You also want to look into accommodation at this point. This books fast!

3) January 2022

In the new year, you will be able to register your show with the fringe. Try and book a venue quickly so that you can register as soon as it opens. Prices for registering go up as you get closer and closer to the festival. To register, you will be so glad that you already have all your content, images, and publicity. In January, you can also start contacting publicity management if you want to do that.

You know have:

- A venue! (dates and times)

- A slot in the fringe programme!

- A publicity plan!

If you have all of this by the end of January, I think you’re in great shape. I’m certainly very impressed!

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