The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society today launches a revamped and expanded street events offering for 2022, in the festival’s 75th anniversary year.
In addition to the long-established performance areas on the Royal Mile and the Mound Precinct, this year’s street events will also take place at new locations in East Princes Street Gardens, St Andrew Square, Multrees Walk, and Cathedral Square outside St James Quarter. Visitors to the street events will be able to follow a route taking in each of the performance sites following a map within the official printed Fringe programme. The street events will be delivered by Unique Events, who are managing the programme on behalf of the Fringe Society, for the second year.
The return of the street events programme is being supported by EventScotland (part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate), and Creative Scotland, and the launch follows last week’s announcement of the Fringe Society’s new partnership with TikTok, which supports the expanded street events programme. With activation planned across these sites, TikTok will provide a ‘taster stage’ in both St Andrew Square and Cathedral Square, where artists from registered Fringe shows can perform short snippets of their shows, giving festivalgoers a free taste of their performance. TikTok will live stream from these stages, enabling artists to be found by digital audiences from around the world. On the Royal Mile, two new screens will stream the TikTok content, and will also be available free to registered artists to promote their show digitally, via digital posters on the screens.
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Society, said: “We are excited to reveal our new and expanded plans for this year’s Street Events, one of the most visible aspects of the Fringe, enjoyed by audiences every year. The new route will allow audiences to meander through Edinburgh’s majestic Old Town and New Town, while enjoying artists in different locations.”
As part of today’s launch, the Fringe Society has also published the Street Performer Charter, a set of values shared by the Fringe Society and the street performing community, as represented by the Street Performers’ Council. The Charter, which includes commitments from the Fringe Society and street performers, will facilitate fair, open decision making between the two groups. Among its various commitments, the Charter works towards increasing accessibility of street events, taking social responsibility for pay, sustainability goals, and improving health, safety and mental wellbeing among street performers.
Shona McCarthy continued: “I’m incredibly pleased to see the publication of the new Street Events Charter, developed in collaboration with the Fringe Society, and the street performer community. The Fringe and street events are within each other’s DNA and part of the cultural heritage of beautiful Edinburgh. This collective step establishes a great template to work more collaboratively at ensuring the Fringe is the best possible version of itself for the next 75 years, both for artists and residents.”
The street performing community said: “The street performer charter marks a new chapter in what we anticipate will be an artist-led street festival for the local people of Edinburgh and its many visitors to enjoy. We are excited to be working with the Fringe and their partners, to keep alive the long history of street performance that is at the heart of the Edinburgh Fringe, as we celebrate 75 years.”