Scottish schoolkids to inspire Fringe programme covers

A photo of a smiling girl in a Fringe t-shirt with an illustrated lightbulb added to the left side of the image

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has announced plans to celebrate its 70th anniversary by using programme covers inspired by Scotland's school children.

The Fringe Schools Poster Competition, supported by Virgin Money, will aim to find 3 great winning entries from different age groups. Each winning design will then be used as the basis for one of the Fringe's three individual programme covers for 2017.

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

The Fringe Schools Poster Competition has been an integral part of the Fringe for 36 years and we are very proud that the competition is one of the longest running arts outreach programmes in Scotland.
To coincide with the Fringe’s 70th anniversary celebrations, we are relaunching the competition and offering three pupils from Scottish schools a unique opportunity to inspire three cover designs for the official 2017 Fringe Programme.

Fringe Programme Cover 2016 v2Winners will be chosen from three categories, Primaries 1-3, Primaries 4-7 and Seniors 1-6, with 14 regional winners selected in addition to the 3 overall winners.

The entries of all the winners will also feature in a special exhibition at Edinburgh's Dynamic Earth from May to August 2017 before touring the country. 

2016's Fringe brochure (pictured) saw 395,000 copies printed, with the iconic 'Beaky McFreaky' catching the eye as only a leather-clad owl can, and Fringe organisers are looking forward to seeing what ideas come their way for the next edition.

Entries can be in the form of photos, paintings, drawings, poetry or just about any other form of art, and one of the judges will be Jon Bishop, illustrator, community artist and theatre-maker, who said: 

I was thrilled to be asked to champion the 2017 Fringe Schools Poster Competition. The competition is a fantastic initiative to get children thinking creatively and a great opportunity to encourage them to express themselves, be that through designing a poster, taking a photo, or writing a poem. 
I am really looking forward to seeing what schoolchildren across the country come up with, inspired by the array of colours and variety that the Fringe provides.

Ms McCarthy added:

The Fringe prides itself on its ability to applaud diversity, promote inclusivity and inspire creativity in those who take part. The Fringe Schools Poster Competition was established with these values at its core, encouraging children to get creative.
Next year promises to be a very special year for the Fringe and I am delighted that we will be revealing not just one, but three individual programme covers, inspired by school pupils in Scotland.

Entries for the Fringe Schools Poster Competition should be sent by Friday 3 March 2017, and further information can be found on the Fringe website at

The 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes place from 4-28 August. Find out more about the Festival, including programme and ticket booking details.

Image of an envelope. Click here to go to our eNewsletter signup page

Want news and features about Edinburgh's major festivals delivered straight to your inbox? 
Sign up for our regular enewsletters!

Share this article

Jump to sign up form

Keep Up to Date

Sign up for Festival Updates
  • Scottish Government
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Creative Scotland
  • Event Scotland
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • British Council Scotland
Back to top ↑