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£100,000 digital funding for leading UK festival

  • £100,000 grant to improve digital resources for artists and help market emerging acts.

    The UK Government will provide £100,000 to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe to help it deliver a step change in how it showcases emerging artistic talent to the world, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright announced today.

    The grant comes on the eve of this year’s festival that will run until 27 August.

    The funding will be used to invest in technology and digital resources for artists, including a streamlined accreditation and ticket request system; develop the edfringe.com website, and help create an Arts Industry app to provide centralised scheduling and ticketing information for artists and visitors.

    It will also be used to market and promote acts performing at the festival across the UK, particularly in areas currently underrepresented at the festival and create more networking opportunities for UK acts.

    Additionally the grant will:
    - Help artists extend the lifespan of Fringe productions by recruiting arts industry brokers to help take shows across the UK and overseas.
    - Support the opening of the ‘Fringe Home’ - a year-round space for arts businesses and events in Edinburgh.

    The plans firmly meet the UK Government’s commitment to promote Britain on the global stage, and boost the digital capability of cultural organisations across the country.

    "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an annual showcase of creativity and a global marketplace for emerging talent," said Jeremy Wright, UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. "It has launched the careers of some of the UK’s finest writers and performers and we want to ensure it continues to go from strength to strength, helping to break new acts here and across the globe.

    "This funding will help the Fringe increase its digital capability, making it even easier for visitors to this world-class event to enjoy everything it has to offer.

    Since its launch in 1947, the Fringe has become the largest arts market in the world, with a rich history of discovering new talent – including writers, actors, directors, producers, programmers, designers and technicians who have gone on to fuel the UK’s creative industries.

    In 2017, it was home to almost 3,400 shows, from 62 countries, with approximately 75% of artists and shows from the UK. It is expected to attract a similar number this year.

    Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: "Over the past 71 years, the Fringe has developed into one of the world’s leading performing arts marketplaces, a vital springboard for artists’ professional development, collaboration and co-commission.

    "Today’s announcement from the UK Government recognises the transformational power of the Fringe in making and shaping careers in the arts, both here in the UK and all over the world.

    "Thanks to the UK Government’s support, we will be able to identify the very best in emerging talent on the Fringe and showcase it on the global stage, ensuring the Fringe (and by extension, Scotland and the UK) remains at the forefront of the global arts landscape."


    The announcement comes ahead of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, where the world’s Culture Ministers will gather in the Scottish Parliament to debate the importance of culture, alongside a range of international speakers. The summit will take place between 22 and 24 August, and is co-hosted by the UK and Scottish governments.

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