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Keep it Fringe fund offers £100k to Edinburgh Fringe performers

Howard Lake | 14 March 2023 | News

Performers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018. Photo: DDH Photos on Flickr.com
Edinburgh Fringe performers 2018. Photo: DDH Photos on Flickr.com

The ‘Keep it Fringe’ fund will support artists bringing work to the Edinburgh Fringe in summer 2023.

The fund is led by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, honorary President of the Fringe Society. It will distribute 50 bursaries of £2,000 to individual artists or companies that are presenting their work at the Fringe this year.

The fund is supported by donations to the Fringe Society and by the Fleabag for Charity campaign. Waller-Bridge established the latter in 2020 in response to the financial crisis faced by actors and theatre staff amid the first COVID-19 lockdown. Funds were raised through streaming the National Theatre Live production of Fleabag.


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Give anyone a stage and everyone a seat

The fund is designed to remove some of the barriers to performing faced by so many artists. The Fringe Society has a vision to “give anyone a stage and everyone a seat“.

Announcing the Keep it Fringe fund 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, thanked Waller-Bridge and all the donors involved, saying:

“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… 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.

“We recognise that these funds won’t make or break a show but should provide a little financial help to those who want to take part in the Fringe.”

Artists who receive the funding can spend it on any costs associated with their show. The funding will be awarded up-front and will not require any end-of-grant reporting.

Simple application

The form is designed to be straightforward and accessible to all. Apart from contact details it asks just three questions, with no more than 200 words for each response.

Applications opened on 10 March and close on 24 March 2023. Successful applicants will be notified around 31 March.

Those who receive funding will also benefit from an engagement programme from the Fringe Society, to help maximise the value of the funding.