Sent to all applicants on 14th Dec 2013

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Sent to all applicants on 14th Dec 2013

Postby PBH » 14 Dec 2013, 18:42

Dear Free Fringe 2014 applicants

I’m sending you this email to keep you in the loop.

If you have more than one active application, you'll get more than one copy.

As you will already know, no offers will be made until around the New Year. so you’re not being neglected. You should all have received an automatic confirmation email with your show number; if you have not, please ask for your number. It’s very important you quote that number in all correspondence, even if you’re very famous indeed.

What we try to do is to line up all the venues we’ll be using before Yule, so that we can then make a seamless series of offers. It’s never worked out as smoothly as that, and I don’t suppose it ever will. We are in constant negotiation with venues old and new, and many don’t make decisions about the Fringe until Hogmanay is over. Often they take a holiday after that, also.

Many of our existing venues have already confirmed for 2014 and we hope, as before, to have a venue for every show that agrees the ethos and conditions and makes the artistic standard. If we don’t have enough venue space in January, we’ll keep looking and negotiating until we have.

You may have heard of a breakaway movement, Freestival, who are charging performers for membership, and claim to have captured several of our venues. I can tell you that they have not captured any of our venues (so far). If you are tempted by their emails (it appears they have been blanket-emailing all performers known to them, quite possibly using the Free Fringe 2013 contact list) please be sure to ask them what venues they actually have, and how they know they have them. “The man who found all the venues in 2013 is with us” is both a misnomer and an insufficient guarantee. I don’t think this Freestival is a big threat. We don’t mind people going off and doing it their own way, as long as they don't try to poach our venues. Our shows, meanwhile, will have the benefit of being in the highly sought-after Free Fringe Programme -- the “wee blue book” as people seem to be calling it now.

Our Artistic Directors for each section are now looking at your applications, with a view to getting offers ready for the New Year outsend. Or, of course, investigating your show further if they think that’s necessary. We’re proud of our artistic standard and we’ll keep it high. If there’s a problem in this area, your Artistic Director will contact you.

Please remember also that we’ll programme full run shows first. Part runs have to fit around full runs, and we have to match them up, so that (for example) an application for the first 11 days is paired with an application for the last 11 days, thus making a full run. We can’t have our venues dark for half the time. We get the venues because we bring in people who will buy refreshments, so we have to have full programmes. Part-run applicants may have to wait a little longer. You can help this by pairing up with other part-run applicants. Same with one-week runs; people wanting the middle week are the most difficult to accommodate.

We’re having a benefit show with an excellent bill (apart from me) on Tuesday 21st January at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Do tell your friends about it. We only have to raise enough money to cover our costs every year, which is mostly printing the Wee Blue Book, but also includes buying PA, chairs and other things if we can’t borrow them, and the expenses of me and others travelling to Edinburgh to sort out venues and associated problems. Nobody gets paid for the work they do for the Free Fringe. But we do have to raise enough money to keep afloat.

People complain I write long emails. Get used to it. You need to know things, and you need to be part of the team. This is one of the ways you get informed. Everybody’s expected to do something to support the Free Fringe. But of course we can’t expect you to do anything until you have an offer; that’s fair enough.

We do, however, need a better poster designing for the benefit gig; contact me if that’s what you’re good at. And if anybody has any good pictures of last year or previous years, especially showing the logo and/or audiences having fun, please send them to Kate Smurthwaite on We’re hoping to use them to improve the web site.

Good Yule

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