Leicester Comedy Festival – February
Applications open after #EdFringe. Deadline early October.
Small, central and hugely influential, the Leicester Comedy Awards are a good industry indicator of who to look out for in Edinburgh and beyond: previous winners include “friends of Brighton” Seann Walsh, Romesh Ranganathan and Phil Jerrod. Running over three weeks, participants tend to do one or two shows rather than a long run. Venues are all within walking distance. It’s also home of three competitions: The UK Pun Championships, Silver Stand Up & Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year. Here’s a jolly video featuring our Phil:
Stand Up Marketing was on the judging panel in 2016.
Machynlleth – April
Enquire about applications from September. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bath Comedy Festival – March/April
Apply by email from September.
Brighton Fringe – May.
England’s largest arts festival, venues are fairly central with good bus links. Participants tend to do one or two shows, making it much cheaper than Edinburgh for accommodation alone. Very useful as a warm-up for Edinburgh, especially in regard to PR – starting a buzz with the critics – because shows are more likely to have taken shape by May than in February for Leicester. Leicester is more influential in the comedy stakes though.
Edinburgh Fringe – August.
A huge arts festival that runs for three weeks in various venues across the city. To be considered for a prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award participants must have opened by 15th August with a unique solo show of at least 50 minutes. Click here for the rules on eligibility.
Edinburgh is expensive. Posters, flyers, ads, food, drink, more drink, shoes. Accommodation costs double so prepare to top and tail with other comics, preferably comics with whom you share no risk of sexytime because you don’t want to come home with more than you bargained for. It’s rumoured Seann and Rom topped and tailed: look how that turned out. Well, it turned out well.
SUM‘s advice is to treat Edinburgh like an expensive holiday. It will cost a bomb, you’ll probably return home exhausted with nothing to show for it but a tartan donkey and stubble, but you will learn loads, have some fun and you’ll always have the memories. See below for more TOP TIPS.
Edfringe registration opens January.
Discount deadline: March.
Outside advertising (Out of Hand street posters) first run: May.
Shows go on sale as early as February.
Learn more about bringing a show to the #Edfringe in the Fringe Guides on the https://www.edfringe.com/participants pages, where you can also find the Edfringeware, the Fringe venue and show registration system.
Camden – August, alternative to Edinburgh
Nottingham Comedy Festival – November
Applications open 5th April.
Altitude, Austria – April
It’s a Get Comedy gig so email them to express and interest – maybe invite them to your Edinburgh gig.
Prague, Czech Republic – May-June
Applications open and close in September.
Melbourne, Australia – March-April
Expressions of interest now open! To be approved as an overseas artist, you need to submit an Expression of Interest to the Festival Director. Please download and complete a form, which includes your biography, a show synopsis, YouTube links and information about any upcoming performances. Closing date October.
Sydney, Australia – April to May
Applications open October.
There’s a Halifax in Canada too, in April (with Dylan Moran in 2019!)…
Montreal, Just for Laughs – October
And coming soon, Rum Punchlines… a Caribbean comedy festival!
TOP TIPS FOR EDINBURGH FRINGE PARTICIPANTS
- Prepare an “elevator pitch” – 25 words about you and your show and why people should come see you. MAKE IT FUNNY!
- Start early – September/October. Film gig clips to send to promoters.
- NAME: Title.
- Have a strong photo image with blank background (for text): headshot, full body and action/theme, in hi-res and low-res.
- Debut shows and early stage comics tend to be offered less central venues with poorer footfall. Remember – charm, humour, courtesy and a strong work ethic (gigs!) go a long way with promoters.
- Book accommodation close to your venue, or at least on the same side of the city. The Edfringe is a marathon, but you don’t want to run one.
- Plan to spend at least an hour a day flyering, more to sell out. You’re the best person to sell your show. If you can afford to pay a flyerer too, do – the good ones get booked early. There is an Edfringe Flyering Network on Facebook.
- Book as many Preview gigs as possible.
- Be prepared to perform to one or two people who are just sheltering from the rain. Flyer like mad. Never cancel!
- Make every joke count.
- Make every show count.
- Treat it like a very expensive holiday where you are there to work and learn. You probably won’t break even. You probably won’t get famous, reviewed, or an agent. But you will come away a much better comedian.
It’s never too early to start building your profile. Remember, the best reviews are word of mouth!
Stand-Up Marketing is expert at strategic promotion from Fringe to Fringe, working with new acts and those with an established career in comedy.
Please contact : kerry *at* standupmarketing.co.uk
Send contact details, a bit about you and a clip. A joke is always welcome too!