The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has booked a new space for Fringe Central at St James Quarter this year and the BBC will stage their shows in a Spiegeltent there from 8 to 21 August

The new Fringe Central hub will deliver a tailored programme of activity for artists, industry and media, led by the Fringe Society team during the month of August.

Opening from 1 to 29 August, from 10am to 6pm, Fringe Central will offer support on all aspects of participating in the Fringe, as well as practical services for those visiting the Fringe, with access to computers, printing, and free WiFi laid on.

The Artist Support, Arts Industry, Artist Development and Media teams will be based at St James Quarter, each with a view to helping those attending navigate their visit, and offering a space to anyone with questions or needing a break.

The Fringe Central Events Programme will also offer career-building opportunities, panel discussions and networking, as well as 1-2-1 mental health first aid appointments provided by Space to Breathe from 9 – 19 August.

Every event in the programme is free to registered Fringe participants, and the first batch of these is now available to browse and book on Fringe Connect (connect.edfringe.com), the Fringe Society’s online platform for artists and industry. 

The programme will include highlights such as:

Pre-Fringe TikTok workshops 2 – 4 August

  • Includes guidance on getting started on TikTok, content strategies and how to generate revenue through the app.

Tweet the Media – 5 August

  • 2021’s popular digital event Tweet the Media returns this year on 5 August. All registered Fringe acts will be invited to use a hashtag to pitch their shows via tweets to accredited media, who will monitor the hashtag in the same way they’d watch show pitches in person.

Meet the Media 6 August

  • The highly anticipated return of this annual event, alongside Tweet the Media, in which Fringe participants can pitch in-person to media representatives, meet Fringe Society staff, learn more about the services provided and connect with peers while queuing for their pitching slot.

Disabled Practitioners Get Together 15 August

  • Hosted by Birds of Paradise, this event seeks to provide an accessible space where disabled people working in theatre and performance can meet, talk and connect with each other.

Practical approaches to truly diverse casting 22 August

  • This panel discussion with Backstage and industry experts will provide  practical approaches to enable participants to cast in a truly diverse and authentic way. 

The Fringe Fair 22 August

  • An opportunity to meet key organisations such as membership bodies, festivals, training providers and agencies, in the format of a career fair.

Fringe Swap Shop 27 – 29 August

  • Three days at the end of the Fringe during which participants can swap  unwanted props, useable furniture, costumes and anything else recyclable from their shows.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “I’m delighted that Fringe Central will be at home on the ground floor of St James Quarter this year, a blossoming district for locals and visitors. Our Fringe Central team will support artists in maximising their time at the Fringe; and our range of workshops, events and wellbeing initiatives will ensure they receive the right support, at every step of their Fringe journey. In addition, our media team will offer support to reviewers, critics, print and broadcast media offering them a warm welcome to the Fringe in our 75thanniversary year. A home from home for anyone who wants to learn more about the phenomenon that is the Edinburgh Fringe. 

“We’re excited to be working with the St James Quarter team, who are also supporting our expanded Street Events programme, and our new partnership with TikTok.”

Nick Peel, Managing Director at the St James Quarter, said: “St James Quarter is a welcoming lifestyle hub for art, culture and fashion and we’re passionate about supporting Edinburgh’s world-renowned cultural offering and its vibrant events calendar.

“We have a plethora of exciting events coming this summer and we’re delighted to be partnering with Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society to get the show on the road.” 

Roddy Smith, Chief Executive at Essential Edinburgh, said: ‘’We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Fringe Society and St James Quarter. The new Fringe Central venue will complement the significant Fringe presence throughout the New Town ensuring we have a thriving and vibrant area during August, welcoming residents and visitors to our wonderful city centre.”

The St James Quarter will also host some of the best loved BBC radio shows and podcasts from a Spiegeltent. Not only will you be in the same room as your favourite presenters, you’ll also be able to catch some of the best acts and biggest names appearing at the Edinburgh Festivals,