In an unprecedented move, 27 Edinburgh Fringe venue operators have come together to form a new association, called The Fringe Alliance, in order to protect the future of the festival. News of the alliance was broken by TheStage.
The Fringe Alliance consists of many of the Edinburgh Fringe’s venue operators, including Assembly, Pleasance, Underbelly, Gilded Balloon, theSpaceUK, Zoo, and Summerhall. The Alliance operators account for approximately 85 percent of ticket sales at the annual festival.
The Fringe Alliance describes itself as having been founded “in response to the external economic and political challenges facing the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ecosystem.” Problems regarding financial barriers, artist accommodation, and accessibility have risen in recent years as the Fringe has grown and the cost to produce a show has risen. The Alliance plans to lobby on behalf of the Fringe for additional funding support from the Scottish government.
“Formed to represent those who make the Fringe happen, support the Fringe community, and safeguard the future of the fringe, Fringe Alliance marks an important step forward in ensuring the sustainability and growth of the festival," their mission statement continues. "By fostering collaboration, advocating for those who take risks to make and present work at the fringe, and promoting best practice, the alliance is poised to create a positive and enduring impact on the cultural landscape of Edinburgh and beyond.”
The Fringe Alliance has provided six objectives, which are designed to support the future of the Fringe. The six objectives are:
- To advocate for, give a voice to, and foster cooperation between the venues, producers, artists and others involved in making and showing creative work at the Edinburgh Fringe.
- To make participation in the Fringe more affordable and sustainable for individuals and organizations of all sizes.
- To raise financial support for the Fringe community, and ensure that appropriate support reaches those operating in all parts of the Fringe ecology.
- To work with and support the Fringe Society, with the Fringe Alliance serving as a professional voice for the people and organizations involved in creating and making the Fringe.
- To promote best practice and education across the Fringe.
- To secure a stable, sustainable and positive future for the Fringe, and the people and organizations who make it happen.
The 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe officially ended on August 28. It was the second-largest Fringe festival ever, with nearly 3,500 individual shows presented and 2.4 million tickets sold. Next year's festival will be August 2–26, 2024.
To see Playbill's complete on-the-ground coverage of the 2023 Fringe, click here.