Fringe launches new fund for artists

Fringe - Keep it Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has launched the ‘Keep it Fringe’ fund, a new initiative to support Fringe artists which is being led by Fringe Society President Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

This fund, supported by the Fleabag for Charity campaign and funds donated to the Fringe Society, will distribute 50 bursaries of £2,000 to individual artists or companies bringing work to the Fringe in 2023.

Not every artist has the same start in their career, but the Fringe believes that shouldn’t prevent anyone having access to a stage to showcase their talent at the Fringe. There is no Fringe without artists, without risk-taking or experimentation. Rooted in their vision to give anyone a stage and everyone a seat, this fund sets out to protect artists’ prospects by removing some of the growing barriers to performing. 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, honorary President of the Fringe Society, said:

For a creative, the festival is one of the most unique places on the planet to launch work, meet other artists and be discovered by audiences, agents, producers and the media. For me, today’s announcement is incredibly personal. Edinburgh Fringe gave Fleabag a game-changing platform for everyone involved and we are thrilled that the show can continue to pay it forward to the creatives of tomorrow and contribute to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take their work to this amazing festival.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said:

We recognise how difficult the last few years have been for the cultural sector, and today’s announcement is a very direct way for us to give some support for artists performing at this year’s Fringe. We are massively grateful to Phoebe, and all our donors, for their generosity and ongoing support of the work of the Fringe Society. This fund is a first step in what we hope to be an ongoing opportunity for Fringe artists. We will be actively encouraging new donors and Fringe alumni to work with us through this simple initiative, to get support out quickly and effectively to give someone a stage.

In June 2022 the Fringe launched the Fringe development goals, setting new commitments and targets for the festival. Ensuring they support thriving artists is key to this work, and today’s announcement will support Fringe artists who face the greatest barriers. As the team work to build a better, more accessible and sustainable Fringe, the fund will be used to level the playing field for artists.  

This fund is a pilot as part of the Fringe Society’s wider fundraising campaign for the Fringe, and the ambition is to provide direct financial support for Fringe artists every year. These funds won’t make or break a show but should provide a little financial help to those who want to take part in the Fringe. 

Applications for the Keep It Fringe fund will open at Friday 10 March [12.00 GMT]  and you can find out more HERE, with this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe running from 04 to 28 August.

Photo credit: Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World (2022), Pleasance. Photographer: David Monteith-Hodge.

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