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28 The List 22 Aug— 4 Sept
Selling a Fringe show is the publicist‘s nightmare. Take heart: very few people will play to full houses this summer. Here are a few points from one who has tried before.
0 Printand getting rid ol it Use plenty of it and keep it cheap and brash. [f you haven‘t done your postering yet you‘ll find it pretty difficult to find space. lfyou have you‘ll probably have to do it again by the end of next week because someone else will have covered yours over. It‘s dog eat dog out there. For other sites don‘t overlook changing rooms in clothes shops. and the loos in bars and restaurants. But do ask first. Don‘t neglect areas outside the (‘ity Centre. People do actually live in (‘orstorphine When those rave reviews come out. rush off more leaﬂets. even posters if you can afford it. reproducing the good news. No one minds you reproducing their reviews but they
do mind you turning bad reviews into
spuriously good ones by the insertion ofdots. . . Edinburgh is swimming in printers‘ ink but the boys opposite know the score and will turn stuff around fast. Use every conceivable method to dishout leaﬂets but don‘t leave them in the Fringe ()ffice. They get thrown away — unbreakable rule. Do leave them at major venues. trendy bars etc and do hand them out in the street. Don‘t force them on people though. By and large. the local population enjoy the invasion ofthe Fringe. but everyone has their tolerance ceiling.
o Stunts and Busking Great fun. great for business and a great place to dish out more leaﬂets. in 1983 the St Andrews University Mermaids paraded five dazzling mermaids. silver lame. fins and all. down the High Street in a bath. It made the front page of The .S‘t'olsman and sold a lot oftickets and one of them is now Siobhan Redmond. famous actress. so don‘t think you‘re above it. Don‘t try to do Beckett on the Mound. it won‘t work; if your show suits outdoors or if there‘s music. fine. Don‘t bottle. you‘ll get arrested. Don‘t cause ‘a public nuisance‘ whatever that means. or ‘()bstruct a public highway". If you do get moved on by the boys in McBlue. move. Key busking spots are the foot of the Mound. outside the Fringe Office and in Parliament Square. Festival Square in front ofthe Sheraton.
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outside Register House at the East End of Princes Street. Waverley : Steps down to the station. but not Waverley Market without
= permission (ask — they are quite
keen). Bristo Square outside the
; Fringe (‘1th and probably Castle
. be trying to outdo even their
I‘errace by the Hole in the Ground
this year. No doubt you‘ll find some more.
0 Press Coverage The BBC seem to
(‘ommonwealth Games coverage I
this year so if you‘re not on
Contact the producer. not the presenter. Spare a moment‘s silence for the loss of Radio Forth‘s
. extraordinary Festival City Radio:
‘ jiggery-pokery by Auntie and the
L Home Office allegedly did for their
' frequency application this year. The . Scotsman does try to see everything.
the (i/asgoit' Herald and the Evening News need a bit more persuading
We‘ll be doing some reviews in the
next issue but we‘re also looking for
news storiesor something we can make into a picture panel. The
. papers. even the Record and the
Scottish Sundays are looking for
picture stories (see stunts above) but
you‘ll need to talk to the news editors first.
0 Fly-posting Basically DON‘T. but
' obviously lots ofpeople do. l have ' never heard of anyone being
prosecuted although it is technically illegal. Do you really want to be the
first? Ifthe police catch you red-handed. they confiscate all your
posters which can be expensive. The Fringe can and do withold some of your Box ()ffice money if they have to clean up after you. What happens is that Lothian Region or the (‘in send the cleaning-up bill to the Fringe so everyone suffers for a few.
; Last year one irate Edinburgher ; made his own personal protest after
the Festival was over. It consisted of a large poster version ofa letter
' complaining about the mess pasted
to the Fringe window.
0 Incentives I can‘t understand why more people don‘t incentivize their print. ()ffer people a cuddly toy. or
. whatever. ‘with this leaﬂet‘. (Free ‘ booze always works). There area
; few freeloader spaces available in ; the next issue ofthis magazine; T contact us ifyou want to be included.
But don‘t overdo the paper if things aren‘t going well. It doesn‘t fool anyone.