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Ethos and Conditions

Free Fringe Ethos and Conditions 2017

Please read carefully before you apply. Once you accept an offer, we expect you to adhere to the ethos and conditions below and in return the rest of the Free Fringe will do the same for you. If you at any time you break these conditions, we reserve the right to terminate any agreement. We reserve the right to amend, rewrite and improve these as appropriate. These conditions do not constitute a contract; the relationship between us in non-contractual and relies on you and us keeping our word to each other. Our legal adviser asks us to add: if this were a contract, which it is not, English Law would govern it. To quote a Free Fringer:

“If you expect the public to sit through 50 minutes of your show, you can spend 20 minutes reading this”.

Basic principles:

  1. Its free. We dont pay the venues. We dont charge the performers. The shows are free to the public to attend.That doesnt mean money isnt changing hands. Venues benefit from the money spent at their bars and counters. Most performers choose to ask for donations from their audience in a bucket at the end of their show. Performers are asked to make voluntary contributions to the cost of running the Free Fringe (the main cost is printing the Free Fringes programme – called the Wee Blue Book).
  2. Were a collective. Everyone shares the workload – before, during and after the Fringe. There isnt a paid team of people who work for you. We all work for the collective, and somehow between us we have to do everything.If for any reason you cant cover one of your responsibilities you must find someone to do it for you. And make sure they know what theyre doing. Remember youre not applying to be a customer, youre applying to join a collective!
  3. Things do not always run smoothly. We can be let down by venues, by others we are working with in myriad ways and by each other. When that happens we work together to solve the problem – finding new venues, talking to people, etc.
  4. We as a collective believe that performers’ voices should be at the heart of the whole fringe. In that sense our ethos is also political. We expect our members to participate in Fringe Society elections. We also believe that free should mean free (radical eh?) and have some rules about that, have a look below.

The Free Fringe rules:

No exceptions, please do not apply to the Free Fringe if you are unwilling to commit to these conditions.

  1. Be honest, keep your word. If youre not willing to stick to the ethos and conditions, please dont apply. They all exist to strengthen the many, which is why we have removed shows from their venue midway through a run when they break these conditions. We repeat: no exceptions.
  2. Once you have accepted an offer with us, that is a firm commitment. Please do not accept an offer from us if you are still talking to other venues or not sure if you can get time off work, etc. In the event of serious illness contact us immediately and we will work with you to find a suitable solution. Do not subcontract your slot. In the event of a problem with the venue we will keep you informed at all times and do our utmost to find a suitable alternative. Do make sure our emails arent going to your spam folder too please (check this early on – people have missed venue offers this way before!) Add our email address to your safe list to be extra sure.
  3. Flyering. If you market your show by distributing flyers then you must at all times that you are flyering, visibly carry and offer the Wee Blue Book to everyone you engage with. If you pay others to flyer your show or have friends and family helping, they must also do this. This actually makes flyering easier because the Wee Blue Book is widely recognised and people will often ask you for it. It also means at any given moment during the Fringe as many as 100 people may effectively be marketing your show by handing the book out. It’s so easy, we made a video showing you how! https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DWaDj3M8h-9I&sa=D&ust=1479234790915000&usg=AFQjCNGmpjiGQi-7FT_9YO4aAn9GTRVPDw  Since there are Free Fringers all over Edinburgh we will soon know about it if youre not doing it. If you have run out of Wee Blue Books at your venue – go to one of the other venues and get some. Simple.
  4. Door duty. Someone from your show (it its a solo show – that would probably be you) must arrive at your venue 15 minutes before the previous show finishes (which is probably about 30 minutes before your show starts, possibly more). Their first job is to stop audience members from walking into the performance space during the last 15 minutes of the show. When the previous show finishes hold the bucket and offer the Wee Blue Book to the departing audience (depending on the needs of the show, they may prefer to do this themselves). Ensure the space is clear and any litter or empty glasses are cleared. Then (obviously) set up  and do your show. Finish your show on time. Even if the show before you over-ran. Otherwise the whole schedule slips and chaos ensues. If someone is consistently over-running talk to (1) them, (2) the venue captain (3) the artistic director. When your show finishes, help with clearing and tidying the venue, straightening chairs, etc. Show the new audience in. Make sure you dont let in more people than the fire capacity of the room. If you have to turn people away suggest other Free Fringe shows they might like. When the next show starts, hang around for 15 minutes and make sure latecomers are ushered in quietly (or turned away politely depending on space and on the wishes of the show in question). There is quite a lot to do here so do read through carefully. Once you arrive at the Fringe you can talk to the shows before and after you and find out what support they need. There may be other things to do like putting on ambient music for the waiting audience. Its also nice to plug the show after yours towards the end of your show and encourage audience members to grab another drink and stick around for it. Some people (especially solo shows) will really appreciate the support. Others may have brought a big team and need less help. Obviously before the first and after the last shows of the day the door duty is slightly different and you just need to make sure the space is cleared and tidied, electrical equipment switched off and on.
  5. Be polite and respectful to venue staff. Wherever possible encourage your audience to buy drinks and food, etc. Do not allow your audiences to bring in their own food and drink (aside from water bottles). Do not hand out free snacks or drinks to your audience (within reason, if youre a magician who does a trick with a chocolate bar and lets an audience member keep the chocolate, fair enough, but handing out cans of lager to your audience, etc is not ok. If you drink a pint or a coke during your show, buy it at the bar.) Dont damage anything at the venue, dont deface walls, dont assume you can use anything there without asking first. Dont leave equipment where it can be stolen.
  6. Do your show. Every day. Even if theres only one audience member. And if theres none – sit and wait for latecomers. When shows dont happen it damages our reputation because people think why bother going, it might not even go ahead. If you are too ill to perform use the Free Fringe contact list to find a suitable replacement. If you are having an official day off you must tell us in advance and agree it in advance with your artistic director at the time that you accept your slot. If you havent done that then the show must run. This also means you may not subcontract your slot. You have to do the show youve said youll do. Speak to your AD if that is going to be a problem.
  7. Not make regular billedappearances at shows with other organisations that describe themselves as free but charge shows a compulsory fee or take a share of the bucket, e.g. Laughing Horse, Heroes of Comedy, Freestival, some JTT shows, etc. This one seems to cause the most confusion. So you cant do one show (a solo show or a compilation show which you are in regularly and are listed in the brochure as being a part of) with us and another with another such “Free” organisation. Nor can you apply to us and to another Freeorganisation at the same time. This includes pay-for-a-ticket-or-queue-for-free-entry models. BUT you can be a one-off guest at such shows should you wish to be and you can have acts from such shows on as one-off guests on your mixed bill show. There are two reasons for this. The first is that its hugely unhelpful if hundred of performers apply to multiple free organisations hoping to then shop around the venues theyre offered. The additional paperwork of allocating shows to venues knowing there is only a one in two or three chance they will accept the slot and then having to fill slots and allocate acts again is not helpful. Our artistic directors work very hard already (and are volunteers, members of the collective like everyone else). Secondly we believe Free should mean Free. Not just free to audience members to get in but also free to performers. Several organisations promote themselves as Freewhen they in fact charge performers – sometimes thousands of pounds – for a space. We are the original Free Fringe and we are really free. The public know about us and we dont want people confusing us with any of the others. Its not a problem if you have done shows with other organisations in the past and it is also ok to do shows that are fully ticketed at paid venues in the same year as doing a Free Fringe show. If in doubt just check with us.
  8. Write a blurb, of about 50 words. For the Wee Blue Book and send it to us when we ask and in the format we ask for (it will be via an online form). Please remember the WBB gives titles and blurbs so if your name isnt in the title, put it in the blurb if you want audiences to know who you are.
  9. Join the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society (this applies to everyone who is regularly part of your show – on stage or behind the scenes). This costs £10 each and is the only money you are obliged to pay by the Free Fringe (and it doesnt go to us). You can do it at any time throughout the year at http://www.edfringe.com/about-us/membership. Join as soon as you accepted an offer with us and forward your receipt, and those for all members of your regular cast and crew, to [email protected] And then vote in the elections to the board of the Fringe Society. This is something we believe all performers should want to do – to have their voices heard in the way the wider Fringe is run. You can vote for whichever candidates you wish (of course). If you are interested in running for the board itself, let us know on one of the PBH forums (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
  10. Put the Free Fringe logo, in its original colour, on both sides of your flyers and on your posters.
  11. If you choose to be listed in the big Fringe Programme produced by the Fringe Society then add /PBHs Free Fringeto your performer name (so i.e. Vijay Patel/PBHs Free Fringeor Terrible Theatre Company/PBHs Free Fringe) and list your show as free and non-ticketed. Please remember that most of our venues are 18+ and if your venue does have an age limit you must include it on all listings and promotional material.

  12. Help the Free Fringe in whatever of the following ways you can: lend us any PA equipment you own; run benefits to help us cover our costs (note: saying Im happy to perform at a benefitisnt much help unless youre really famous); help us sell advertising in the Wee Blue Book; volunteer as a Venue Captain; offer us whatever other specialist skills you have: IT? PR? Do you own a van? Theres lots of stuff we need done and nobody but us will do it so get involved. Even if you are certain you have no useful skills at all let us know and well find you something easy to do!
  13. If your show runs the first day your venue opens (usually the first Saturday), be at your venue the day before (usually the Friday) to set up. Similarly, if your show runs on the last day (usually the last Saturday or Sunday) be there the day after (usually the Sunday or the Monday) to help pack away and tidy up.
  14. Write a show report for the Free Fringe Forums after the fringe. So other FFers can get an idea about the venue and any longer-term problems and issues can be addressed.
  15. Make sure everyone else in or involved with your show has seen and read this document and is on board with it.
  16. Dont be a dick. There is undoubtedly some way to be an asshole without technically breaking any of the rules weve listed. When you figure out what it is – dont do it. Examples from recent history would include: head butting an audience member, stealing wine from a venue, spraying graffiti around a venue and sleeping overnight in a venue despite it being a nightclub. Also, don’t break the law!

Our advice:

Weve been doing this a long time, if youre new to Edinburgh or to the Free Fringe please at least give our advice some consideration

When you apply – just be honest and straightforward. We don’t need to read your marketing spin. Just tell us who you are and what you do and what sort of space you want to perform in. Were all performers too so we wont be fooled by unnecessary guff.

Make sure you pick the genre that best suits your show. If in doubt have a look at the notes from the ADs below. Some short tips: if it has a script and characters, its probably a play, and even comedy plays are still Theatre. If its a series of loosely connected or unconnected funny sketches, its a sketch show which is Comedy.  If its primarily aimed at children, then its Children’s regardless of what sort of show it is. If you’re speaking directly to the audience and the primary intention is to make them laugh, it’s probably Comedy. If you’re speaking directly to the audience and the primary intention isn’t necessarily to make them laugh, it’s probably Spoken Word. If its an hour of songs, it could be Comedy or Cabaret, the lines get a bit blurry here. If they’re not funny songs and you’re just looking for one off gigs, it’s probably Music. If your show is burlesque, variety or includes several different genres its probably Cabaret. Comedy magic is still Magic. If you’re a band it’s Music. If youre still confused talk to us.

When you get an offer, be realistic about it. All venues are imperfect. But shows have been incredibly successful in slots that others have turned down. The success will come down to your hard work. Of course if theres a real practical reason why your venue may not work for you, speak to your artistic director.

Dont flypost around the fringe. Its illegal. Go to shops and venues and ask if you can put up posters.

Be realistic about the Fringe. The likelihood of becoming famous overnight is pretty low. Come to the Fringe to learn, not to become an overnight star as if by magic. The press, agents, industry people are less important than you think. Your job is to entertain audiences, focus on that.

Audiences wont come to your shows unless you go out and get them. Unless youre incredibly famous or have some alternative masterplan, youre going to need to print flyers (with our logo on) and distribute them (and the Wee Blue Book at the same time). The best person to flyer your show is likely to be you. If you do hire others, hiring directly (other Free Fringers is a good place to look) is a better idea than going through an agency who are working for lots of shows. Whoever does it, make sure they distribute the Wee Blue Book too.

The best way to do the Fringe is to do the full 22-day run (unless youre a music act which is different). We usually allocate full runs first. If you must do a part run dont pick the week in the middle. We might be able to squeeze you in for the first week or the last week. But because of shows that do the first two weeks or the last two weeks there is hardly ever a middle-week gap.

Doing a solo show is hard. If in doubt, dont. Put together a mixed bill show with a few other performers. These are easier to sell to audiences, means the workload is split and means you have the moral support of some fellow performers when things get tough (and at some point they will).

You will probably need a bucket speech. This is a short pitch to the audience asking them to donate as they leave your show to your bucket. Its up to you whether or not you ask audiences to donate as they leave your show. Most people do. If youre trying to cover your costs (1) do a great show and (2) ask nicely for donations. It is totally against the ethos of the Free Fringe to be rude to people who do not donate. There are people who just cant afford to and there are people who didnt like the show and dont want to. Thank them for coming. Smile.

Have a look at the forums to see how previous shows made the most of the Fringe. Ask other Free Fringers for advice at the many meetings and get togethers – official and unofficial – that happen year round.

If youve previously been at a paid venue you can expect things to be a little different. We dont have door staff or technicians or wardrobe assistants. If you need those things youll have to bring your own. The venue staff work for the venue, not for you, so dont expect them to help when you have a problem with the sound desk or something. Although many do help us, its not their job, its ours.

No level of fame excuses people from door duty or sticking to the rules. If youre too busy to do these things – get one of your entourage to do it and make sure they have read this ethos and understand how important it is.

All the Free Fringe furnishes venues with are a PA system, a backdrop, some signs and, in some cases, extra chairs. If your venue would benefit from extra lighting, a projector screen or a fold-out sign in the street, thats great that you spotted that. Contact the other shows at your venue and suggest clubbing together to buy or borrow or make the thing you have in mind. Make sure the venue will be ok with what youre planning and then go for it! Whatever it costs itll be a lot less than the thousands you could be spending on a paid venue. And if youre sensible youll hang on to the equipment so it can be used again next year.

If your show is super popular please make sure to clear the space for the next act before chatting to audience or friends who have come. But do take the time to chat to audiences if you can, make sure they have a Wee Blue Book and recommend some other Free Fringe shows to them.

If theres a problem speak to (1) Venue Captain, (2) Artistic Director and (3) Free Fringe Committee. Please dont make significant decisions without first checking that youre doing the right thing and consulting us. Keep us in the loop.

Keep your show simple. If you need more than ten minutes to set up your show – thats not going to work.

Almost all Free Fringe shows are 50-55 minutes long. If you want to do an irregular length show we need to know by December at the latest. After that slots will have been fixed.

Write something honest in your blurb about who you are and what the show offers. If we think youre misleading the public we reserve the right to change it. The Wee Blue Book has a reputation for offering trusted information.

Heres how the Free Fringes money works: It costs about £28,000 to run the Free Fringe. Most of that is the Wee Blue Book printing costs. It’s worth it though; the book is in huge demand at the Fringe and brings in loads of of audience for us all. The rest is buying chairs, trips to Edinburgh to negotiate venues, printing signs and backdrops, extra PA equipment. No Free Fringer is paid to work for the Free Fringe.

We have three sources of income: (1) benefit gigs, (2) sale of adverts in the Wee Blue Book (and we dont sell adverts to shows cos we dont think thats fair), (3) voluntary contributions. Ideally wed like to raise so much from (1) and (2) that we dont even have to ask for (3). Please help us by volunteering to run benefits and sell advertising. In recent years weve asked for £3-5 per performance, depending on room size. Its totally voluntary. No-one is chased or put at a disadvantage if they dont pay it. Its quite common for people whove had a great Fringe to share the love and chip in a bit extra.

It is always best to apply for shows on your own behalf. Obviously you may have an agent or manager who will be organising parts of your show but we would urge all agents and managers to ask their acts to read this ethos themselves before applying. Ultimately they will be the ones responsible for sticking to it.

Timings: The first round of offers will arrive in January. We usually allow a fortnight for people to reply before making another round of offers for the slots that havent been taken up. Sometimes it takes longer than that. We dont make offers for venues until we are sure that we have the right to do so. Typically many bars and clubs dont start to think about the summer until after hogmanay.

That may not be convenient for other deadlines around the Fringe – especially the Edinburgh Fringe big programme. We consider that to be the fault of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society who should be able to assemble and print a brochure on a time scale of less than four months. Feel free to express this to them! And please try to be patient with us finding you a slot. It is very common for a great venue to contact us in May/June/July wanting to be involved. Its always better to contact us to check the state of play rather than panicking and paying a lot of money for a venue two days before we send you an offer!

At some point before/during/after the fringe you will hear someone say that the Free Fringe is free because its not as good as other organisations. This is not true. Were free because we believe performers should not have to pay to perform and audiences should be able to see shows regardless of their financial circumstances. The Edinburgh Comedy Awards winners for 2014 and 2016 were Free Fringe shows. The Edinburgh Comedy Awards best newcomers for 2013 and 2015 were Free Fringe shows. Our acts have won dozens of other awards and accolades and hundreds of Free Fringers have racked up four and five star reviews and glowing praise. Numerical analysis of reviews suggests the quality of shows at the Free Fringe is at least as good as at most paid venue organisations and considerably better than some. Keep telling people this.

Comments from Artistic Directors (in alphabetical order of category):

CABARET

We have several venues that are particularly suited to cabaret and the standard has been very high in past years. Shows that get placed well are usually the ones that let me know the most about themselves, so please back up your application with videos, references and reviews where possible.

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR ME

Will you need backing tracks?

If so, these might be on CD or MP3 player, so be prepared with both.

We do not provide a tech; in most cases neither will the venue. Either build cuing your own tracks into the show or arrange for your own tech.

Will you need a changing room?

These are not glamorous. Generally they are the nearest toilet/office cupboard, and do not exist in every venue.

Are sightlines important, eg burlesque, magic elements?

How large a performing area will you need?

Do you think you would attract a large audience or would you prefer a smaller more intimate space?

Your actual set-up and strike times are likely to be no more than 5 minutes. Be sure you can do this. Under no circumstances begin any sort of set-up before the previous show has finished, even if you think you’re being quiet at the back of the room.

Would your show suit a bar in the room, cabaret style? The bar would only be accessible to your audience, but some people prefer it for atmosphere.

Be aware that almost all of our venues are STRICTLY OVER 18. Cabaret’s a pretty adult audience generally so no worries there. However if yours is a family friendly show, we could have a space for it.

Above all – think basic! For instance, does your show actually need a projector or would music or a voice-over work just as well? Can you really clear everything away, leaving the space as you found it, in 5 minutes?

Finally, please do remember that I don’t get paid for this, so try and make it easier. Keep me informed but don’t make demands. I’ve found cabaret performers to be incredibly supportive of each other and you’ll have a great time at the fringe if you jump in with both feet and paddle with everyone else.

Luke Meredith

CHILDREN’S

Hello and welcome to the Children’s section of the Free Fringe.

We are happy to programme all sorts of shows suitable for children and family audiences but have only a few venues with licences suitable for shows aimed at under 18s. This means that spaces are limited.

Please read the general Ethos and Conditions for general information and also the theatre section as many of the FAQs on staging will be answered there. You are likely to be sharing the same venues as our theatre shows.

If your show is accepted your slot is likely to be earlier in the day. We have slots as early as 9.30am as some of our venues have licences that allow family audiences before a certain time. Later slots in some venues are possible, but please note these are sought after by shows from other sections.

Our Children’s shows are not creches and a responsible adult should be in charge of children at all times. Exactly what ‘in charge’ means depends on the age of the child and the target age of the show, but the Free Fringe does not take responsibility for anything happening to unsupervised children. You will need to make this clear for your show. If a parent attempts to dump their children on you and go away, you should for your own sake stop them, and put appropriate wording on your fliers.

Although we do not require you to be DBS-cleared when doing a Children’s show, it is an issue, and people doing shows for children can be vulnerable to false accusations. Please bear this in mind.

It is best to put the age-suitability of your show on your fliers.

Elise Harris

COMEDY

I personally try and give you the best room I can offer you FIRST. I don’t try and start a negotiation if it can possibly be avoided. You are likely to get a less suitable room (in my opinion) for your show if you negotiate. Thus, you must let me know if there are times you cannot do in your application.

Later applications may get better spots than early ones as gaps begin to appear.

PBH Free Fringe is absolutely the best thing you can perform on. Asking to change your slot because a ticketed venue has demanded you play your spot offered by them means in all likelihood you will get a less preferable slot from us. This is unavoidable.

I am a volunteer. Making me work hard for nothing on your individual application will not go down well. You don’t like working for nothing – neither do I, so make my life easy, please!

The Big Fat Fringe Programme early bird deadline is not one we adhere to. Please don’t ask us to.

Mistakes occur. They’re rare, but they happen. In the event that one does, please bear in mind it has not been done on purpose. As a performer myself for over twenty years, I am well aware that it is infuriating to feel like you are being treated second best but it’s not the case. I know only too well how important your show is to you (mine is to me!) and I do my best for every application.

I treat each year as a clean slate, wherever possible.

If you have previously spent thousands of pounds on a show, it will hopefully have got the support that the money paid for. I will reiterate that we are all volunteers. We don’t send your press releases, we don’t sort out your technical requirements, we don’t provide technicians, we don’t design flyers for you or find you accommodation. Be nice, we’ll be nice back.

Paul B Edwards

MUSIC

This is different. Bands and performers are booked on a slot-by-slot basis, not as full runs. If you want a run of a music show, you probably fall into a different genre, with a theme or story to tell.

Otherwise, for regular gigs, don’t use the online form, but contact [email protected] We’ll know what music venues we have somewhat later in the year.

SCIENCE AND RATIONALISM

Our smallest section, but a proud one. For many years we have hosted the shows of the Edinburgh Skeptics, as well as science-based shows by such artists as Robin Ince, Helen Arney, Professor Richard Wiseman and Baba Brinkman.

We tend to programme these shows in the same venues as our Comedy-section shows, but will programme them elsewhere if the show itself seems to warrant that. Each case is different.

Shows must be entertaining. If they’re so entertaining that they become Comedy, then you have a choice of genres. Unremitting lectures are not really suitable unless the lecturer is very famous, and even then the material comes across better if entertainingly presented.

Shows must also not proselytise. You may be passionate about what you believe in, but your show’s objective should not be to convert people, or even worse pressure them to join something.

Even if your mission is to save the trees, you must conform to the Free Fringe’s requirements of having show leaflets and offering the Wee Blue Book with each of them.

Shows in this section have attracted good audiences in the past. Certain highly comedic shows have chosen to put themselves in this section, signalling to the potential audience the type of material they will hear in the show, and similarly the material they will not hear.

Ewan Leeming

SPOKEN WORD

Hi, Matt Panesh and Fay Roberts here – we’re looking for shows that encompass the range of what this rapidly-growing genre entails: from traditional poetry readings, talks, and storytelling, through performance poetry (solo shows, ensembles, open mics, showcases, and slams), to hip-hop, rap, and experimental cross-genre pieces that blend poetry, music, theatre, and anything else you have in mind. If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].

Matt Panesh and Fay Roberts

THEATRE

Hello and welcome to the theatre section of the Free Fringe. We work co-operatively as an organisation and expect everyone to do their part in making sure everything runs smoothly.

Here are some general points and answers to FAQs:

Don’t expect a lighting rig. Expect basic lights. When we say basic imagine a switch on the wall and a member of your company switching it on and off. Sometimes we get more than the basic lighting rig, but don’t expect it.

While we will try to do our best to ensure there is no bleedthrough of sound, some bleed through is inevitable. Even in the paid venues this is the case. When almost everywhere in the city has a show nearby this is hard to avoid.

Most of our spaces are warehouses, pubs or community halls for the rest of the year. Don’t expect a proscenium arch stage and/or curtains. Don’t expect a platform stage of any description. Make sure your show can work in a black box type theatre. Don’t expect a black box style theatre though – the spaces will be set up by the shows in the space on the day before the official first date. The configuration of the seating and staging is up to you and the other shows that share your space. Make sure the set up you use can be easily changed so the shows before and after you are not affected.

Under no circumstances should you alter the fixtures and fittings of the venue. eg No painting backdrops or graffiti onto walls of venues. If you break or destroy things expect to repair or replace things.

Insurance is a good idea and something you should consider very seriously. All paid venues insist on public liability insurance and while we do not it is a very very good idea.

Do not flypost under any circumstances.

We will not bail you out if you do anything illegal!

If your show has a large cast it may be hard, if not impossible to find you a suitable venue. If we have one when the time is right we will consider you, but don’t expect it.

If anything goes wrong tell your venue captain. If you have no venue captain consider becoming the venue captain. Venue captains with problems should report to the artistic director of their section. If you are in a venue with a mixed bill of shows, contact the appropriate artistic director for that show. If you can deal with things without involving other people and they do not in some way interfere with the general Free Fringe ethos and conditions, please do so.

Licensing laws in Scotland are stricter than those in the rest of the UK. Many venues have an over 18 policy. We have some venues that have family licences, but not many – priority for those venues goes to shows that are aimed at children and young people. Even if your show is aimed at a general audience if you are not in a venue that allows under 18s you cannot allow anyone under 18 in.

While we will try to accommodate requests for technical rehearsals this isn’t always possible, especially if your show starts part way through the month.

Keep props and set to the minimum. If you can’t carry it to and from the space every day think about whether you need it. Storage space is limited in most venues. As most venues have a maximum of 15 minutes between shows, ensure you can take down your set quickly and allow the next show time to set up for their shows.

If you find yourself over running try to find a way to stop over running. If it keeps happening and it impacts other shows this is a problem that needs to be addressed. If your show needs to be cut or altered, try to find a way to do so. Talk to the shows before and after to work out a way to make it work and ensure the changeovers are as smooth as they can be.

Read the general ethos and conditions, and comply with them.

Elise Harris

OK I have definitely read and absorbed 100% of the above information. Now I’m ready to apply:

Ok cool. Now you know exactly what youre getting into were thrilled to have you as part of our awesome collective. We hope we can find a venue and a slot that works for your show and we hope the Fringe goes brilliantly for you and you wear your Free Fringe badge with pride.

The link for applications is here: http://bit.ly/pbhff17