Last year, there were 2,453 different shows in the three-and-a-half weeks of the Edinburgh Fringe. Just getting any show noticed is a marketing nightmare.
A couple of months ago, I blogged answers to nine common questions asked by innocent first-time performers at the Fringe and yesterday I went to a Fringe event in London giving advice on how first-timers (or indeed anyone) can market their show in Edinburgh. Part of it will appear on the Edinburgh Fringe website as a podcast.
On the panel of experts was suave British man-about-the-Fringe Stuart Martin, director of operations for New York based entertainment company Inbrook, who imparted words of genuine wisdom but, to get the full wisdom of handling over 120 shows at the Fringe over ten years or so, you’d have to employ the fine services of Inbrook. I should obviously mention at this point that I am allegedly a UK talent consultant for Inbrook. No bias there, then.
At the event yesterday, one very sensible piece of advice was that, if you get a reviewer coming to see your show (a mountain to climb to begin with) you should arrange that, when he/she picks up the ticket from the venue’s box office, the staff also hands him/her a press release or press pack. This assumes, of course, that the venue’s box office staff can be relied on which, at the Fringe, can be an assumption too far.
But the most interesting insight into the Fringe yesterday was a comment I heard in the bar before the event started. It typifies the Fringe. Two people were talking behind me. One said to the other:
“We’ve always made financially suicidal but artistically fun decisions.”
Now THAT exemplifies the misery and the joy of the Edinburgh Fringe.