Tips for Street Performers and Buskers at the Edinburgh Fringe
Street performers make the Edinburgh Festival what it is. The whole point of the Fringe is that performers do not need a venue here, they can practice their art on the streets, and it is this that makes Edinburgh so colourful throughout August.
Every variety of performance is celebrated here, and if you have something that doesn’t fit into a typical category of performance, then this is the place for you to showcase your talents. This is a great time to meet other performers, discover new tricks or equipment, as well as promoting yourself and creating contacts.
And don’t be put off by the seemingly high living expenses to be here in the city over this period – it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, you can do it on a shoestring.
THINGS TO KNOW
The Fringe Society manages street events at two locations; The Royal Mile (between Cockburn Street and George IV Bridge, also known as High Street) and the Mound Precinct. This is managed under the name Virgin Money Street Events and listings are published on the Edfringe website and App.
Registration for Fringe Society street events will open in May 2017.
If you wish to perform, busk or trade on the streets of Edinburgh, outside of theses areas, you will need to make the necessary arrangements to do so yourself. Buskers do not require a licence but street theatre does. Applications for street theatre licences should be submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council.
It’s really important that you submit your applications early as Public Entertainment Licences take on average 2 months to be approved, and can take longer in the lead up to the Edinburgh Festivals. Don’t be caught out!
Buskers should also be aware that while you do not require a licence, Police Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council have put guidelines in place to ensure accord between buskers, residents and local businesses.
Fringe Central, ran by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, offers services and facilities to performers. Their staff can give you advice on all issues including your marketing and media, campaigns and how to make the best use of the development opportunities at the Fringe for yourself and your show.
- Free networking opportunities, workshops, discussions, talks and events.
- Participants’ Discount Scheme – Fringe Central passes entitle you to access their Participants’ Discount Scheme including offers from various businesses around Edinburgh.
- Reduced rate rehearsal space.
- Free wi-fi.
- Computer terminals with internet access (£2 for one month’s access).
- Photocopying (nominal fee applies).
- Printing (nominal fee applies).
- Cafe and bar.
Sounds pretty neat, right?
BUDGET ACCOMMODATION AND SPACE TO PRACTISE
Edinburgh is not a cheap city over the Festival period, and unfortunately, the high demand for accommodation undoubtedly prevents some from attending as hotels and hostels hike their prices. And even if you can stay in a hostel, would you have the space required for your equipment or to practise? Edinburgh Festival Camping is here to help.
What do you need as a performer? We think we have it.
- Easy public transport links 24 hours a day
- Loads of space to practice
- Information points and friendly staff to help you find your way around
- A camp kitchen on site where you can borrow camping stoves and pots
- Our very own Fringe Venue to practise and hone your skills to our on site audience
- Breakfast available daily 7.30-10.30am
- Other resident performers to chat to and learn from
- A grocery shop within walking distance
- A great community feel
- Bring Your Own Tent, Pre-Pitched Tents and Grass Motorhome pitches available
- Free parking
- DISCOUNTS FOR PERFORMERS
If you are staying for 10 nights or more, stay with us in your own tent or motorhome/caravan for only £12 per person per night. It’s that simple.
We’re not experts on visas, and we’ll never claim to be, but Edfringe.com has a lot of useful information including information regarding visas. It’s also well worth reading their Street Events guide if you haven’t already done so.
Follow this link to information about International Performers and visas.
READY TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION?
To get your Performer Discount at Edinburgh Festival Camping, enter your dates and the number of people into the Booking Engine – hit search and then select ‘Performer Bring Your Own Tent / Campervan Pitch’. The discount will automatically be applied. Plus include any info about your act and we’ll help advertise you!
WANT TO PERFORM ON OUR STAGE?
If you’re interested in performing on our stage, whether it be music, comedy, circus acts, magic, burlesque, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
We are an official Fringe Venue and we are currently putting together our line up from both resident and non-resident performers. As our Venue is in our campsite, we do not allow acts to charge an entrance fee, though you are welcome to put out a hat. If you love performing, want to try out some new material or practise some tricks our stage is the perfect place to start.