The inaugural World Fringe Congress took place in Edinburgh between 16 and 19 August 2012 and was attended by 74 delegates representing 47 fringe festivals from 16 countries across 6 continents.
The 2012 World Fringe Congress was part of the London 2012 Festival, the cultural celebration around the Olympic Games, and was funded by the City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland and British Council Scotland.
The panel discussions and workshop sessions were recorded and are freely available below as a resource for anyone working at or interested in Fringes.
Tweets at #WFC2012
Thursday 16 August – Day 1
|10am – 4pm||Registration desk open in the Summerhall Foyer. Register and record a VOX POP for the World Fringe Congress film.|
Ruth Mackenzie – Director London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad
an introduction service from ‘The Butlers’
|9.30pm till late||
Stuart Goldsmith. The showcase includes Dan Nightingale, Hanks & Conran and Steve Shanyaski.
Friday 17 August – Day 2
|10.45am||Panel Discussion in the Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall.|
Size isn’t Everything
Growth and International Aspirations – is bigger better? A panel discussion on the theme of expansion. Do more events, more ticket sales, higher turn-overs, result in a more successful festival? Do increasing statistics make a festival better? Is it right to always strive for ‘bigger equals better’ or should quality be our main aim? Can quality be the main aim for a Fringe that is not curated?
CHAIR –Graham Sheffield CBE, Director of Arts – British Council
Robin C. Gillette, Executive Director – Minnesota Fringe. Greg Clarke, Chief Executive– Adelaide Fringe. Adam J.K. Potrykus, Head of International Projects and Artist management. –STOFF (Stockholm Fringe Festival)
Sanjoy Roy – producer.
|11.50am||Breakout Discussions in various rooms, Summerhall|
It’s NOT All About The Money
Engaging with local funding bodies and
authorities without talking about cash.
How to be seen as relevant and supported even though you are not funded by them!
Looking into communication strategies, relationship building, being listened to by local authorities, the local media and businesses.
Facilitating – Barry Church-Woods Venues & Companies Manager – Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Experts – Anita Clarke, Portfolio Manager for Festivals, Touring and Dance – Creative Scotland.
Get Me Out of Here!
Visas and onward touring.
How to get visas for touring companies and staff and the logistics of moving performing companies around the world. How could it be easier?
Fame & Fortune
Fringes as producing houses to support and develop artists.
How do we develop and support artists’ work?
How can a fringe festival further an artist’s career?
Do we have a responsibility to our performers post festival?
Facilitating – Holly Payton-Lombardo, Experts – Richard Jordan, Administrative Director – Richard Jordan Productions Ltd. Laura Corcoran & Matthew Jones, Performers – Frisky & Mannish.
|12.35pm||Coffee Break – Summerhall Café|
|1pm||Breakout Discussions in various rooms, Summerhall|
Marketing in the Digital Age
How do fringes use social media?
What is next and what’s new?
What to do and what not to do.
How to promote each other and attract audiences.
Facilitating – Cath Mattos, Projects Director – World Festival Network. Experts – Jeff Larson, Associate Director – Minnesota Fringe. Meghan McCauley, Outreach Director – Hollywood Fringe.
Systems, Systems, Systems
IT, Ticketing, Databases – How can we make technology work for us?
Is a centralised box office system best? What databases and systems do you need to run your fringe? Should we all be using the same software? What does the future hold?
Facilitating – Christabel Anderson, Head of Participant Services – Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Experts – Tony Davey, Managing Director – Red61. Tom Arr Jones – Underbelly & Brighton Fringe Box Office Manager.
Last one Out Turns Out The Lights!
Environmental sustainability in the festival context.
Facilitating – Barry Church-Woods Venues & Companies Manager – Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Experts – Ben Twist, Director – Creative Carbon Scotland. Harry Giles, Environment Officer – Festivals Edinburgh.
How do you retain your ‘Fringe’ edge as your festival grows?
How does the growth of a fringe affect its spirit?
How to maintain your entrepreneurial spirit.
Facilitating – Holly Payton-Lombardo, Expert – Greg Germain, President – Festival OFF d’Avignon
|2pm||Break for Lunch (not provided) – Please use the Summerhall Café for further discussions!|
|3pm||Panel Discussion in the Cairns Lecture Theatre, Summerhall.|
‘A Darwinian Crapshoot’?
How do you promote your Fringe and ensure its
reputation when you don’t control quality?
Is the fringe environment an example of natural selection?
What is the role of a critic in supporting and promoting a fringe?
What good does a critic’s point of view do for a performer?
Using awards as a way of raising the standard of work at your festival.
How do you communicate with your audiences about what ‘Fringe’ means?
CHAIR – Barry Church-Woods Venues & Companies Manager – Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Speaking – Anneke Jansen, Artistic Director – Amsterdam Fringe. Mark Fisher–Freelance Journalist. Gherardo Vitali Rosati, Press Officer – La Mama Spoleto Open.
|4pm||Breakout Discussions in various rooms, Summerhall.|
It IS all About the Money
Sponsorship and investment for your Fringe
How to attract major sponsors and how to keep them.
How to get funding when you don’t make the work.
How to calculate your financial value.
Fundraising & other sources of income, such as business, local authorities, arts funding bodies, crowd funding.
Facilitating – Barry Church-Woods Venues & Companies Manager – Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.Expert – Barclay Price, Director – Arts & Business Scotland.
|Session 2||Home from Home
Venues – Makes, models and operations and their role in the fringe eco-system
Differences between types of venues and their contracts with artists. What role do venues play in shaping and sustaining a fringe? How to encourage venues to take part temporarily when they operate year round?
Facilitating – Christabel Anderson, Head of Participant Services – Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Experts – Anthony Alderson, Director – Pleasance Theatre Trust. Rupert Thompson, Programme Director- Summerhall. Melanie Smith, Executive Producer – Auckland Fringe.
Industry Talk Shop
Space for UK-based festival people to talk about the industry.
Get advice on legal issues from a group of professionals in their field.
Different types of insurance and health and safety issues.
Facilitating- Holly Payton-Lombardo, Experts – Tracey McCreath – La Playa Insurance. Brian Cleary -Sygma Safety.
Hosted by The Rt Hon Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh with Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. NOTE: Invitation required, included in your delegate pack.
|9.30pm till late|
Saturday 18 August – Day 3
|11am – 1pm||
|1pm||Break for Lunch (not provided)|
|1.30pm||The Black Tent’s company, Teatr Zar, will share details of their work. Black Tent, Summerhall|
meet the wider Fringe and Scottish Arts Community at Evolution House, West Port
Sunday 19 August – Day 4
|11am||Brunch and Conference Round Up in the Studio, Summerhall.|
Join us for a final quiet drink
– no passes required.
|The 2012 World Fringe Congress was funded by