Today, Tuesday 07 March 2023, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society 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 through individual donors and our partnership with Edinburgh Gin, will distribute fifty bursaries of £2,000 which will be awarded to individual artists or companies bringing work to the Fringe in 2023.
Not every artist has the same start in their career, but we believe that shouldn’t stop anyone having access to a stage to showcase their talent at the world’s best-loved festival. There is no Fringe without artists; without risk-taking, and without experimentation. Rooted in our vision to give anyone a stage and everyone a seat, the fund sets out to protect artists’ prospects, by removing some of the growing barriers to performing.
Honorary President Phoebe Waller-Bridge 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 we launched the Fringe’s Future Development Goals, with new commitments and targets created. Ensuring artists can thrive is key to this work, and today’s announcement will support Fringe artists who face the greatest barriers. As we work to build a better, more accessible and sustainable Fringe, the fund will be used to help make a difference and support creatives to be part of this extraordinary festival.
This fund is a pilot as part of the Fringe Society’s wider fundraising campaign for the Fringe, and our ambition is to provide direct financial support for Fringe artists every year. We recognise that these funds won’t make or break a show but should provide a little bit of financial help to those who want to take part in the Fringe.
Applications open at 12 pm on 10 March 2023 and close at 12 pm on 24 March 2023. Award recipients will be notified around 31 March 2023. Links to apply will be on www.edfringe.com