Fringe Festival Artist Manual
What is the Philadelphia Fringe Festival?
2021 Fringe Festival Dates
September 9 –October 2
The Fringe Festival is Philadelphia’s annual celebration of innovation and creativity, with over 1,000 performances, exhibits, and events and more than 32,000 tickets sold in 2019. The Festival is produced by FringeArts, Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Fringe Festival is open to all; everyone is welcome to register. FringeArts does not review applications, use a lottery, or cap participation. All artists who register and complete the necessary steps are involved in the festival. Presentations span from digital content, to visual exhibits, to music and theatrical performances and everything in between.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The festival has two different but interconnected parts: the works curated and produced by FringeArts and the works presented by independent artists and other local arts organizations. Though FringeArts presents the entire festival, independently producing artists are responsible for the creation, staging, and marketing of their productions. All independently producing artists should prepare to find a venue and insurance, as well as keep up with the Festival production deadlines. But we’re here to help!
Our Independent Artist Programs Manager April Rose is here to answer any questions and help artists along the way!
ARTIST BENEFITS: What do Fringe Festival Independent Artists receive?
The experience of participating in the festival is different for everyone. In order to have the best Fringe Festival experience possible, artists should take full advantage of the hands on support and suite of services that FringeArts is able to provide. The experience of an independent artist in the Fringe Festival is immeasurable in many ways, but take a look at some of the benefits and services we provide.
Access to an audience of over 32,000
- The ever-growing and dedicated Fringe Festival audience will have your festival event at their fingertips
Fringe Festival Artist Rush
- Each member of your creative team receives an Artist Rush Pass
- $5 ticket, 5 minutes before any Fringe Festival show
- Unlimited use during 2020 Fringe Festival
Listing in the Fringe Festival Guide, Web Page, and FringeArts App
- Festival Guide
- The #1 tool used by audiences to plan their Festival experience
- Mailed the first week of August
- Distributed to Philadelphia-area hot-spots
- Online at FringeArts.com
- September 2019 had 719,935 page views
- FringeArts App
- August-September 2019 had 1,876 active app users
Full Time Box Office Support
- During the Festival, we bring on extra staff to provide full box office support for Festival artists seven days a week.
- Includes phone answering service, automated sales reports sent directly to artists, custom ticket discount management, and more.
One FringeArts Artist Membership
- Good for one year
- Discount tickets to year-round FringeArts events
Customized Sandwich Board or Poster
(Digital Fringe registrations do not receive printed signage.)
- Includes show information to display outside venue
Social Media & Online Promotion
- FringeArts makes a commitment during the festival to re-tweet and share instagram stories from self- producing artists to help promote their Fringe Festival presentations
- Artists are encouraged to pre-write their social media posts and submit to FringeArts via the registration platform on Eventotron.com to be posted throughout August and September on the FringeArts Instagram feed
- FringeArts offers Google Ads credit to all Independent Artists in the festival and will place Google Ads for their festival presentations upon request
- Personalized coaching, content updates, and press comp coordination with Communications Director and Fringe Festival Coordinator-coaching on self-producing, finding collaborators, marketing, PR, and more!
Free Year Round Artist Workshops & Events
- Workshops and resources specifically coordinated to help artists through the festival process & beyond
A Chance to Participate in Fringe Festival Scratch Nights and Performance Opportunities
- Selected Independent Fringe Festival artists have the opportunity to present a brief preview of their work at one of three Scratch Nights in August leading up to the Fringe Festival
PRICES: What are the Fringe Festival registration fees?
Though FringeArts is the presenter of the city-wide festival, we do not produce the independent works within it. This means that the Independent Artist has total creative control over their work! This also means that artists are responsible for their own venue, personnel, and production costs.
Beginning in 2020, Fringe Festival Registration Fees (previously $300 per show) have been removed and replaced with a small $20 processing fee. This decision was made in an effort to lower the bar for participation and create a more accessible festival for artists. This is also intended to free up money in artists’ Fringe Festival budget that can be re-allocated to production costs.
FringeArts understands the economic reality of being an independent artist in our community. We are committed to investing in the Fringe Festival platform as an opportunity for Independent Artists to showcase their work without having to pay a high participation cost.
Though the registration fee has been lowered to $20, there are still a number of costs artists should consider when planning their Fringe Festival presentations.
- Artists are responsible for securing their own venues. See the VENUES section for more information.
- Artists must secure an insurance policy for their presentation. See the LIABILITY INSURANCE section for insurance requirements and specifics.
- Artists are responsible for all production costs of their presentations. Artists should have their production budgets in mind when registering to participate.
REGISTRATION: Where can I submit my event?
2021 REGISTRATION DEADLINE is July 1, 2021
FringeArts requires that participating artists create an account and submit information through our registration platform, Eventotron.com. Eventotron is a platform utilized by arts & culture festivals around the world. Artists can use this platform to submit their Philadelphia Fringe Festival information, and submit their works to other international festivals on the same platform!
To register, simply create an account on Eventotron.com, find the Philadelphia Fringe Festival under the “Festivals” tab, and click “Apply.”
DEADLINES: When do I need to submit information?
All information is submitted through Eventotron.com
May 3 – July 1 – Artist Registration Open on Eventotron.com
Jul 1 – Step 1: Artist/Company Profile & Basic Print Information Deadline
We will use the information you provide to create a profile for the lead artist/company in the FringeArts app and create your Fringe Festival guide listing.
- Basic Lead Artist/Company Info
- Basic Show Info
- Content Considerations, Audience Expectations, and Accessibility (if available)
NOTE: This deadline does NOT include dates, times, and/or venues. The 2021 Fringe Festival print materials will not include these details to give artists ample time to make safe plans. Instead, the guide will list a description of your show, and prompt audiences to find full details on your show’s web page.
July 15 – Step 2: Website & Ticketing Information Due
We will use this information to build your shows website and create your tickets
- Dates, Times, Ticket Prices, Venue Info
- Full Show Description, Cast & Crew Credits
- Press Release (if available)
July 29 – Step 3: Social Media Content & Paperwork Due
- Promotional photos/copy for FringeArts to promote your show on social media
- Links to any available promotional materials
- W-9 (for ticketed performances to receive ticket income)
- Other tax and payment documents
- Proof of insurance
August 1 – Web Pages go live and tickets go on sale!
Sept 9 – Oct 2 – Fringe Festival 2021
October 9 – Step 4: Reconciliation, Box Office Reports & Survey Due
FESTIVAL GUIDE: How do I create a listing & purchase ads?
2021 GUIDE LISTING DEADLINE July 1, 2021
Titles are part of the artistic process. The first allegiance should be to the piece itself. Overall, short, evocative titles tend to work best in the Festival Guide.
Audiences turn to the guide again and again during Festival-time, and the blurb is often the main tool they use to make ticket-buying decisions. So the primary goal in writing a description is to be clear, informative, and interesting.
300 characters is not a lot of space. Use it wisely. The Guide listing will already include the genre, title, times, locations, and ticket price. Focus should be on the main elements that will accurately represent the work and set it apart from the rest. Audiences feel empowered to see a show when they have a better sense of what they can expect, even if it’s the unexpected.
If the piece is largely conceptual, it is helpful to find one concrete idea that an audience can hook onto. The larger themes are what audiences would take away, but it’s unlikely they will be able to digest them in the midst of 200 other show descriptions.
It also doesn’t hurt to mention any awards, brief press quotes, or notable performances, if applicable.
The Fringe Festival Guide image must be a square image 600×600 pixels
The photo used as the Festival Guide image should also be used on other promotional materials in order to be recognizable by potential ticket buyers. Artists should be prepared to have several size options of the same promotional photo.
A great promotional image is the single most important investment to promote a Fringe Festival show. If it’s in the budget, hire a professional photographer. Some photographers offer discounts for artists. If it’s not in the budget, find a friend with a nice camera and ask for their help in exchange for billing in the program. Work with a photographer to come up with eye-catching images. Elements may include a dynamic composition and unusual angles. Promotional images are staged, in locations that evoke the energy of the performance. There should be costume elements, but do not require full staging. These are great for promoting a piece that may not be fully developed.
Guide Listing No-Nos
For best results, artists should avoid these common Fringe Festival Guide mistakes
- NO TEXT on the guide image. Text can be added to postcards and posters
- No Headshots
- No rectangular images, square only
- No company logos, guide image should be specific to the show, not the producer
- No ticket prices, times, or dates in the description text, we add that
- No cast names in description (unless absolutely confirmed)
VENUES: Where do I perform my show?
Venue information is part of the 2020 GUIDE LISTING DEADLINE June 15, 2020
The Philadelphia Fringe Festival utilizes a BYO Venue model, meaning that artists are not assigned venues, but are responsible for securing their own space and reporting information about where their events are taking place.
Venues in Eventotron.com
Venues interested in participating in the Fringe Festival are welcome to add their venue to the Venue Finder on Eventotron.com. All artists registering in the festival can search for venues using this tool, and can assign their show to their venue when it is time to add Dates, Times & Ticket prices into Eventotron.
If an artist is using a venue that is NOT already entered in Eventotron, they are welcome to add their own venue information.
Securing a Venue
FringeArts can provide assistance in finding a space to the best of our ability. For help finding a venue, we recommend www.phillyspacefinder.org or reaching out to the Fringe Festival Coordinator. Many self-producers like to present art in non-traditional places. Audiences like this too, so don’t be afraid to seek out-of-the-ordinary spaces. We do not require that all artists present in accessible spaces, but we do require some accessibility information about the venue to ensure audiences have all the right information.
What to Look For
In searching for the perfect venue, an artist’s decision should be guided by a few general considerations. It is important to consider every aspect of the production so as to avoid complications later on.
- In which neighborhood should the show be located?
- How many seats are desired/needed at each performance?
- What are the technical needs of the production??
- What are the staging needs?
- Does the venue have seating, lighting, a PA system, etc.?
- Is it an old building? Is it wired for large electrical loads like lighting and sound equipment?
- Will the neighbors be able to hear the production? Is there a noise curfew?
- Does the venue have electricity, bathrooms, and enough electrical outlets?
- Does the venue have air conditioning?
- Can the venue accommodate patrons with limited mobility? Are there stairs and no elevator, etc?
Respecting the Neighborhood
Artist’s should keep in mind that they are representing the Fringe Festival and the artist community when they are presenting their work. It is imperative that they engage with their venue’s community with the utmost respect. Here are some things to keep in mind to that end:
- If a venue is a nontraditional space or location, be aware of the way that the show might impact the residents in that neighborhood. Be sensitive to late-night noise, trash, light pollution, and disruptions to traffic.
- If the show takes place in an outdoor location for a large audience, artists must solicit a permit and/or permission from the local neighborhood.
- The neighborhood around the venue is a great potential audience, so the impression artists make when loading in and presenting a show is key. By being conscientious of their presence and footprint in their neighborhoods, artists can build relationships with neighbors that expand their show’s reach.
Negotiating a Contract
Some venues charge a flat rental fee, some want a percentage of the ticket sales, and some may charge both or have a less conventional arrangement. They may even be willing to offer an additional discount for inclusion in promotions around the production. Have them be clear up front about what your rental costs will be. If the venue wants a percentage of ticket sales, does this mean tickets sold on site or all tickets sold? Make sure that everything is in writing with the venue owner. Be clear about what the venue will be providing, at what cost, when things will be delivered, rehearsal time, load-ins, and other artists who may be performing there and their needs. If you are performing in a non-traditional space, the venue owner may be inexperienced in writing agreements and the self-producer may have to draft the arrangement.
*DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!*
Tips on Venue Agreements
Once a suitable venue is located, we advise that the agreement with the owner/manager of the property be in writing and signed by all parties involved. Typical information in a venue agreement includes:
- Names, postal addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers of the parties in the agreement.
- Address of property
- Term of the agreement (beginning and end dates of the lease)
- Rental costs including any utility or maintenance fees
- Date rent is due and contact information for whom the rent should be paid
- Description of the area to be used (first floor except office, main stage including dressing rooms, etc)
- Other services/equipment the owner/manager has agreed to provide (chairs, technical equipment, and storage space)
NOTE: The above terms are NOT intended to serve as a comprehensive list or legal advice. They are simply guides to use when creating an agreement with the owner/manager.
ACCESSIBILITY: What can I do to make my show accessible?
Philadelphia, like most of our country, is unfortunately not a particularly accessible city. Independently producing artists are not responsible for the accessibility problems of the city, however, we do require information be disclosed about what audiences can expect, and encourage artists to consider accessibility when planning their Fringe Festival show. The show may be more accessible than you think!
Philadelphia is home to the largest community of working adults living with disabilities in the United States. You could be missing out on audiences because your potential ticket buyers simply don’t know what to expect. And remember – just because a venue is “wheelchair accessible” does not mean that it is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliant (especially if the bathrooms are not wheelchair accessible). Likewise, just because the venue is not ADA Compliant does not mean that people living with various disabilities might not be able to access it – with the right information about the venue and the performance experience, individuals will be able to assess which shows they can and want to attend.
During registration, we require some accessibility & content information for us to share with your potential audience like:
- Is the venue entirely wheelchair accessible?
- Are the bathrooms on the first floor?
- How to find the specific entrance to the venue
- A street address does not always indicate the specificities of how to get into the venue, and the venue’s accessibility may depend on how patrons get inside
- Journey from front door to seat
- Ex. FringeArts: there are no stairs to get from outside the building and into theatre, but you do have to walk past a noisy bar/restaurant.
- Describe to us if there are any physical barriers/accommodations in the venue between entering the building and leading audience to seats
- Appropriate age range
- Content warnings
- Audience participation/Splash zones
- Will the audience have to move during the show?
- Flashings lights, extremely loud sounds, fog machine usage, etc.
We strongly encourage, but do not require, that artists plan or budget for accessibility services such as:
- ASL Interpretation
- Open Captioning
- Audio Description
- Ramp Rental (for performances taking place in venues without wheelchair access)
- Relaxed Performances
- Childcare for parents in audience
*For more information about these services, contact April Rose at April@FringeArts.com.
Additional Guide Placement for Accessibility Services
The 2020 Fringe Festival Guide will include a dedicated page highlighting performances that provide accessibility services, giving those performances additional space, more visibility in the guide, and more potential press coverage. Shows will be listed on this page if they provide any of the services listed above for any single performance of the run.
Outside of this page, there are icons used on the Festival Guide listing and online to indicate accessibility of the performance
PERFORMANCES: When and how do I schedule my performances?
Performance Information is part of the 2020 GUIDE LISTING DEADLINE June 15, 2020
Creating Performances in Eventotron
Once a venue is selected or created in Eventotron, artists create their performances by entering dates, times, and ticket prices.
Choosing Performance Dates & Times
One of the many terrific things about participating in the Fringe Festival is that artists have the freedom to schedule their events in a way that suits the creative team, the venue, the artists, and the audiences. The venue for the show may determine some decisions about specific showtimes. Artists should work closely with the venue when selecting show times.
Though there is no limit to the number of performances that artists can schedule during the Fringe Festival (other than One Night Only Registrations) artists should keep in mind a few key factors when scheduling their Fringe Festival run.
- What are the rental costs of the performance space per day?
- What is the marketing budget of this performance?
- Are performers being paid per performance or a stipend?
- Who is the target audience of this piece?
- How large is that audience in the area?
- What days and times are these potential audiences available?
- Who is in the cast and who is their audience?
- Are there other Fringe Festival events/performances that the cast and crew want to attend?
- How demanding is the performance on the cast?
Suggestions for Selecting Dates & Times
- Artists should schedule a mix of weekday/weekend show dates to reach audiences with different availability
- Avoid scheduling performances on high traffic dates such as the Opening Night Party and Closing Night Party
- Communicate with other artists. Artists have found success by communicating with each other about scheduling performances. Artists performing in similar areas or with similar audiences should stagger their dates/times to avoid competition
- Don’t overdo it! The festival is 4 weeks long, but this doesn’t mean all of the festival performances should have a 4 week run. Artists may want to plan a run for a smaller portion of the festival to avoid overlap competition and enjoy attending the Fringe Festival.
BOX OFFICE: How do ticket sales work?
Independent Artists set their own ticket prices, though FringeArts does have a few discounts artists are required to honor.
A minimum of 80% of ticket inventory per performance must be available for sale through the Fringe Festival Box Office.*FringeArts recommends that artists have 100% of pre-sale tickets available through the Fringe Festival Box Office, to avoid confusing ticket buyers about the status of available tickets. If artists leave 100% of tickets with the FringeArts box office, artists may still sign out blocks of tickets as needed at a later date.
Artist Ticket Income
Artists receive 90% ticket sale revenue through the Fringe Festival Box Office.
FringeArts maintains 10% of ticket sales to cover costs of maintaining a full time box office.
Artists keep 100% of revenue from tickets that they sell on their own. This includes walkup sales.
Ticket Buyer Fees
Ticket buyers may be subject to a $1 – $3 processing fee (depending on the ticket cost) added on all transactions to cover credit card merchant service and ticket software fees (FringeArts does not retain these funds).
FringeArts requires that Independent Artists honor select discounts during the festival. Some discounts are only redeemable as pre-sales through the Fringe Festival Box Office, and some must be honored as walkups.
Walk Up Discounts
- Artist Rush Cards, FringeArts Staff Badges & Press Passes entitle holders to TWO $5 rush tickets, 5 minutes before the show if available.
- Students & 25 and Under are entitled to $5 off the standard ticket price of any show. These can be purchased as pre-sales or walk up by showing a student ID/ ID.
- FringeArts Members receive 20% off for all shows. Members must show a FringeArts Membership Card to redeem this discount.
Fringe Festival Box Office Discounts
- Groups of 10+ are eligible for a 25% discount (Must be arranged in advance through the Box Office)
- Press Pass entitles holder to two free tickets (Must be arranged in advance through the Box Office). Subject to availability, no reimbursement.
Artists receive weekly sales reports via email beginning in early August. This report can only be sent to one person.
Artists receive daily sales reports via email beginning in mid August.
Door List & Show Report
Ticket sales close two hours before each performance, at which time artists receive a door list via email. At this point, all remaining tickets will now be at the artists disposal.
Final Report Breakdown
On the Performance Report, the highlighted “Net Sales: Tickets” represents total sales for tickets sold through our box office, less any refunds and excluding credit card buyer fees. FringeArts retains 10% of this figure, and Artists receive the remainder via check. The “Buyer Fee” on the Performance Report represents the total service fees for all credit card transactions. FringeArts does not retain this money: it is passed directly on to merchant services (the credit card and ticketing processor). This report is issued after the close of the entire Festival. FringeArts cannot release ticket income until we receive a W-9, REV 1832, and attendance info.REV 1832 forms necessary for anyone who is exempt from PA State Tax (residents of PA or PA incorporations)
Recording Door Sales
Any ticket sales made by artists outside of the Fringe Festival Box Office or as walk ups must be recorded and reported through Eventotron after the run of the show. Artists will receive printable tracking sheets to help keep track of walkup sales at the door.
Patron Contact Information
Patron information will be released by FringeArts upon receiving a written request not later than 90 days after the close of a show. In order to be eligible to receive this information, all artists must have submitted all final documents to FringeArts including W9s and box office reconciliations.
Receiving Ticket Income
Artists MUST complete all steps of Fringe Festival participation in order to receive ticket income. This includes a post-festival survey, attendance numbers, proof of insurance, and necessary tax documents (W-9 & REV-1832)
*These policies are subject to change. All registered artists will be immediately notified of any change.
INSURANCE: What type of coverage do I need?
General Liability Insurance
To protect you and the Festival regarding any claims for injury or property damage sustained by an audience member or other “third party,” we require that all participants in the Festival obtain general liability insurance covering themselves and FringeArts. You must upload a Certificate of Insurance as proof of coverage on Eventotron.com. This insurance must name FringeArts as “additional insured” on the policy.
We require minimum coverage of $1,000,000 per incident and $2,000,000 in the aggregate.
Please research your insurance options before registering to participate in the Fringe Festival. It may be possible for you to obtain coverage through the owner of your venue. If your venue owner/operator has the required coverage, they may be willing to add you and FringeArts as “additional insured” on their policy.
Artists are welcome to use ANY insurance provider, as long as the policy meets the coverage requirements.
Liability Insurance Requirements:
- $1,000,000 per incident and $2,000,000 in the aggregate
- must name FringeArts as “additional insured” on the policy
- policy must be in force the entire time the show is running
MARKETING: How do I market my show outside of the Festival Guide?
FringeArts provides marketing and PR support through listings in the Festival guide and website, providing workshops and one-on-one coaching when requested, fulfilling press requests for images and interviews, connecting you with other relevant FringeArts staff members when available, and through posting on social media. However, the shows that perform best in the Fringe Festival are shows that create and execute their own strategic marketing and PR plan. Below are some tips and tools to get started!
Independent Artist Marketing Plans
While the guide, website, and FringeArts marketing and publicity efforts will reach tens of thousands of potential audiences, we highly recommend that artists craft an individual marketing campaign specifically designed to meet audience and revenue goals. In order to have a show stand out, independent artists will have to do some leg work.
It is always good to have some kind of print promotional material for a show. What this is depends on the budget. Professionally printed postcards and posters are ideal, but a hand printed flier is a cheaper option. Artists have found success sharing some printing materials with each other such as a two sided postcard.
Artists should ask to leave postcards and fliers in local businesses (bars, coffee shops, grocery stores) especially in the immediate area around the venue. Artists should bring marketing materials to the Festival Box Office and Bookstore for FringeArts to display. Hanging posters and flyers on public property is illegal and will result in fines.
Philadelphia is home to two special email lists to which artists can post. We suggest signing up for these listservs and send information about performances. Please note that these lists are not moderated by FringeArts.
- Theatre Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Dance
In addition to listservs, which blast a show out to a broad group of people in Philadelphia, it’s always a great idea for artists to send personalized emails to their audience network, personal contacts, and any relevant local institutions.
Social media is a powerful tool for audience engagement that can create a buzz around a Fringe Festival show. Artists should develop their own social media strategy to promote their show
A social media schedule can look like
- Facebook – 1 post per day
- Twitter – 3 posts per day
- Instagram – 1 post per day/ 3 or more stories per day
FringeArts is committed to re-tweeting, liking, and favoriting any relevant posts in which we are tagged, so be sure to include @FringeArts in your post to reach our 9,600+ followers on Twitter, 15,000+ on Facebook, and 11,500+ on Instagram.
In order to engage with FringeArts, the Fringe Festival, and optimize social media presence artists should
- Create a Facebook Event, add FringeArts as a co-host, link to the ticketing page
- Pre-Make social media posts in Eventotron.com for FringeArt to post from our accounts
- Tag FringeArts in all stories, posts, & tweets
- Use hashtags like #FringeFestival2021 #PhillyFringe2021
- Follow accounts of other artists in the festival & repost their posts
- Join Facebook groups related to the show
The FringeArts App
The FringeArts mobile app (launched August 2018) is available for download on Apple or Android phones and is a great opportunity for crowd sourced publicity. On the launch page of the app, there is a featured section called “Most Liked” that ranks shows with the most likes. By encouraging cast members, family, friends, and eventually audience members to “like” a show in the app, artists will gain increased visibility. In 2019, Tribe of Fools’ had over 100 likes in the app early on, and was therefore featured prominently on this page throughout most of the Festival, leading to more app users finding their show info sooner. App users can also build their Festival Schedule in the app, and the “Most Scheduled” shows also have a section under the “What’s Hot” feature in the app. Read more about using the app in our App Guide at FringeArts.com/App.
Social Media Contact
Contact FringeArts Communications Manager at Sabrina@FringeArts.com for social media questions
If you have questions about advertising through fringeArts, contact email@example.com
PRESS: How do I write a press release and where do I send it?
Submitting a Press Release is part of the 2020 MARKETING, WEB & PR Deadline July 15, 2021
FringeArts Press Support
FringeArts is dedicated to promoting the entire Fringe Festival as well as the individual shows within it. With so many shows in the festival, artists will need to do some work to contact press, with the help of FringeArts. Each Fringe Festival show will have a link to it’s press release on its web page, but it is helpful to contact members of the press directly.
Artists should pay attention to who has reported on the Fringe Festival in the past, and to press outlets interested in their specific artistic practice. Those writers, plus their editors, are exactly who should be sent a press release. If artists do not know where to send their press release or would like to be connected to a specific outlet directly, ask FringeArts Marketing Director for help Claire@FringeArts.com
Writing Press Releases
- Provide a headline. The title of the press release should, in just a few words, demonstrate why this show is different than anything else the outlet could choose to write about.
- The first paragraph should contain clear information about dates, times, ticketing, and a one-sentence snapshot of the performance. All salient information is in the first paragraph.
- The press release should always contain a quote for short blurbs. The quote should be from the director, choreographer, lead artist, artistic director, etc.
- Like a resume, the narrative of the press release for a single event should fit evenly onto one page. Adjust formatting to make this happen.
- Include an additional “about” page that contains bios for relevant artists and organizations. Use discretion as to who should be included. For Fringe Festival shows, it is vital that a bio for the Festival be included. It is more likely that a reviewer will see a show as part of their overall Fringe Festival coverage.
- Include a fact sheet that fits on a single page with dates, times, funder information, artist credits, and a blurb that can be used in calendar listings.
Sending Press Releases
- Send emails with personalized introductions
- Do not mass email. Include a short message to each writer/outlet. Make it personal and personable. Pretend they are strangers that a friend said would be interested in the piece.
- Copy and paste the press release into the body of the email. Read through it carefully to make sure that formatting errors didn’t appear in the process.
- Attach the press release as a PDF.
FUNDRAISING: How can I raise money other than selling tickets?
It is helpful to consider fundraising far in advance of Fringe Festival productions. Beginning fundraising campaigns early not only gives artists more time, but is also a great way to begin raising awareness and anticipation of the project!
Depending on fundraising goals, some platforms are better than others. Do some research on crowdfunding platforms such as
Artists have also found success by hosting social fundraising events prior to the festival in the summer. It is a fun way not only to raise money, but to preview some of the project and get the audience invested in the show. This may be done in partnership with a local bar/restaurant or even at the performance venue, depending on the venue relationship.
Sponsorships & In-Kind Donations
Local businesses interested in connecting to the artist community may be interested in offering in-kind gifts to help offset production costs in exchange for recognition as a sponsor of the production or an ad in the program. In-Kind sponsorships may include a donation or discounts on
- Rehearsal Space
- Performance Space
- Costume/Set Materials
- Print Materials
- Technical Equipment Rentals
Artists should establish these sponsors early on as they may be interested in drumming up awareness of the production!
Grants & Fellowships
Registration time (March-July) is often too late for artists to apply for grants, fellowships, or other sources of funding for that year’s Fringe Festival. It is good to plan far in advance for this type of support. Most granting organizations consider proposals over a year in advance.
- Independence Foundation Fellowships www.independencefoundation.org
- Resources for individual artists include: Creative Capital’s Artist Toolbox www.creative-capital.org
- Pew Fellowships in the Arts pewcenterarts.org
- Leeway Foundation www.leeway.org
- Puffin Foundation http://www.puffinfoundation.org/
- The Charlotte Cushman Foundation https://charlottecushmanfoundation.org/
- Philadelphia Cultural Fund https://www.philaculturalfund.org/
CONTACT LIST: Who do I ask for help?
Though most questions and concerns will be handled by the Fringe Festival Coordinator, April Rose, there are a few FringeArts Staff members who artists will be in contact with at various point in the Fringe Festival process.
Artists should never forget that the FringeArts staff is here to help. Clear communication and asking for help is KEY to a successful Fringe Festival. We cannot help an artist solve a problem unless artists report a problem.
Fringe Festival Coordinator
For registration and participation questions, concerns, and anything else artists need!
Marketing & Communications Director
For press support and social media engagement
Client Services Manager
For Box Office and ticketing questions
For ad purchases, Google Ads, app notifications, and other marketing questions
Melissa E. Bridge
For post-festival financial reconciliation and tax documents
Director of Finance
2021 ARTIST AGREEMENT
Fringe Festival Independent Artist Agreement
- DEFINITION: This Agreement is made between FringeArts and the Artist pursuant to the terms and conditions as follows. The Term “Artist” as used in this Agreement refers to all persons participating in Artist’s show and binds each individually and collectively to the terms of this Agreement.
- BOX OFFICE PROCEDURES AND TICKET DISCOUNTS: Artist hereby agrees to comply with Festival Box Office Procedures and honor and abide by the Festival’s ticket discount policies. Artists may set their own ticket prices. At least 80% of artist’s ticket inventory must be sold through the Festival Box Office. There is a 10% Box Office Fee for all tickets sold through The Fringe Festival Box Office. Audiences pay a $1 – $3 processing fee for all credit card transactions. FringeArts does not retain the processing fee. Artists Keep 90% of ticket sale income through the Fringe Festival Box Office. Artists may keep 100% of revenue from tickets sold by artists.
- INSURANCE: Artist hereby agrees to obtain general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 in the aggregate for the artist’s show and name FringeArts as an additional insured. Proof of insurance must be provided no later than July 29, 2021. Artist also hereby acknowledges and agrees that if Artist does not provide proof of insurance in the required amounts by the above date, the Festival will remove Artist’s show from the Festival and Artist will forfeit all fees paid with no refund.
- TICKET SALE RECONCILIATION: All at the door ticket sales must be recorded and reported to FringeArts by one week following the close of artists’ production. Information must be submitted through the online portal MyFringeArts.com. The artist/company listed on the W9 will be receiving a 1099 tax form at the end of the year, as ticket income is required to be reported to the IRS.
- COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS: Artist hereby agrees to comply with all applicable laws, statutes, regulations and ordinances related to the production and presentation of Artist’s show.
- PROPRIETARY RIGHTS: Artist shall secure all necessary permissions or licenses and pay all royalties or other fees required to be paid for use or performance of copyrighted or other proprietary material. FringeArts shall have no liability for the payment of such Royalties. Artist represents that its performance at the Festival includes only authorized use of copyrighted material or other applicable proprietary rights. Artist shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless FringeArts, its directors, officers, employees and agents from and against all claims, demands and expenses that FringeArts may incur by reason of any infringement or violation of any copyright or other artistic proprietary right arising in any way from the Artist’s performance.
- INDEMNIFICATION: Artist hereby indemnifies and holds harmless FringeArts, its officers, employees, agents, successors and assigns, from and against any and all claims, damages, losses, and expenses, arising out of or resulting from Artist activities in connection with Artist participation in the Fringe Festival including any and all court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses that may be incurred is in defense of any such claim or suit, and from any and all claims arising from Artist failure to comply with applicable laws, statutes, regulations and ordinances related to the production and presentation of Artist’s show , including, but not limited to, improper or unlawful posting, publicity and advertising of Artist’s appearance at the Fringe Festival.
- ARTIST PUBLICITY MATERIAL: Artists shall comply with all reasonable requests by FringeArts for marketing and promotional materials.
- FESTIVAL PUBLICITY, PROMOTION AND ADVERTISING: FringeArts shall provide publicity, promotion, and advertising for the Festival as determined by the FringeArts’ Marketing Director. FringeArts reserves the right to promote any Artist or any individual performance of any Artist. Any additional promotional materials or advertising of the Festival produced by Artist or any appearance by Artist connected with the Festival must contain the FringeArts logo. FringeArts shall have the unqualified right to use and authorize others to use the name, photographs, and photographic likeness of the Artist to publicize, advertise or report about the Artist’s engagement in the Festival in all media, except where otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing.
- DOCUMENTATION: FringeArts shall have the right and full authority to make audio, video and/or digital recordings, or use photography, for archival and future promotional purposes, with respect to any portion or all of Artist’s performances at the Festival. This authority shall be exercised by FringeArts unless it receives written notification no later than seven (7) days in advance of any performance in the form of a separate letter from the Artist objecting to such coverage.
- ACCEPTANCE: Artist by its representative’s electronic acceptance binds the Artist to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The terms of this Agreement are binding and supersede any oral agreements or representations and any prior written agreements or representations.
- AUTHORIZATION: The person electronically accepting this Agreement on behalf of Artist hereby acknowledges that he/she has the authority to bind Artist to the terms of this Agreement and that they have read this agreement and the Festival Policies and Box Office policies in their entirety, and by electronically accepting agrees to abide by all terms.
- DECLINE AND REMOVAL OF SHOW POLICY: FringeArts reserves the right, for any reason at its sole discretion, to decline an Artist’s application to participate in the Festival and/or cease all promotion of and sale of tickets to Artists show. In the event that FringeArts ceases to sell tickets to Artist’s show, FringeArts will remit any ticket sale receipts due Artist at the conclusion of the Festival.
Questions? Independent Artist Programs Manager, April Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org / 215-413-9006 x16
For any additional questions, contact Independent Artist Programs Manager April Rose at April@FringeArts.com or 215.710.8708.