Who to follow at Fringe 09

Written for The Collective Review, 7 August 2009

If you can’t make it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, because a banker vaporised your life savings, or because National Express couldn’t be bothered to drive you up the East Coast, or because you usually live in Edinburgh and have gone on holiday to Inverness for the month, never fear!

You can recreate the experience of battling your way along the Royal Mile, accosted every other step by acts and PRs waggling flyers or props or parts of their anatomy in an effort to get your attention, without even leaving your desk.

Everyone who’s anyone at the Fringe this year is on Twitter, so add this little lot, feed the TweetDeck updates through your screen, smart phone or VirtuSpecs* and enjoy the onslaught in the comforting knowledge that, unlike those of us who actually need to get from one end of the actual Royal Mile to the other in a hurry, you can de-inconvenience yourself at the touch of a button.

Will incessantly plug their own shows, often providing the Twitter usernames of their acts for you to add to your Fringe Friend Frenzy.
Traverse Theatre – @traversetheatre
Assembly Venues – @Assembly09
Pleasance Courtyard/Dome (comedy programme only) – @PleasanceComedy
Underbelly – @UNDERBELLY09
Gilded Balloon Teviot – @Gildedballoon
Bedlam Theatre – @bedlamfringe
The Hive – @TheHiveFringe09


They’re already calling it Twitticism – reviewing shows in 140 characters or less.  I’ve tried it.  It’s very difficult to do the show justice unless the … tweview … is backed up by a full length piece elsewhere in print on online.

@EdTwinge is, as far as I can tell, endorsed and possibly set up by the Fringe Society (Professor Ed Hegg of @TheFringeThing has certainly been plugging it for a few days now), and promises a “Realtime, Twitter-based, crowd-sourced Edinburgh Fringe review service”.  Hashtag your tweets #edtwinge to become part of the crowd they’re sourcing from.  Could prove interesting, if only as an experiment; watch this space.

The List (a print listings and reviews magazine, Edinburgh and Glasgow’s equivalent of Time Out, and first to coin the hashtag #twitreview) – @thelistmagazine

Fest (A5 print magazine, festival-only, affiliated with the University of Edinburgh) – @festmag

ThreeWeeks and Broadway Baby (daily or thereabouts A3 freesheets; ThreeWeeks is staffed by students, who are given professional journalism training, then unleashed on the Fringe) – @ThreeWeeks, @broadwaybabycom

FringeGuru (a guide to the festival, and progenitors of the iFringe iPhone app) – @FringeGuru

Official Bodies
Edinburgh Festival itself tweets as @edinburghfest – mostly it just aggregates news about the festivals.
From within the Festival as a whole, the Festival Fringe also tweets at @EdinburghFringe, providing gossip, news and dates for your diary.
And within that, the self-explanatory Five Pound Fringe strand tweets at @fivepoundfringe.
Finally, Professor Ed Hegg tweets all things Fringe along with his attempts to crack the mysterious oviform Fringe Thing, at @TheFringeThing.

*Reference to future technology included to increase article’s long-term relevance, writer’s perceived foresightedness.


One Comment to “Who to follow at Fringe 09”

  1. The venues promise they will promote your shows – along with a lot of other unkept promises. The Fringe has become so huge in number of shows (over 2,500 in three weeks) – largely due to the fact that so many venue managers are making so much money, they keep opening new spaces. It becomes extremely difficult to be found among the hubub of flyers and posters. The Fringe staff are exceptionally helpful, but there’s little they can do – it’s just too big. Word of mouth on our show, God’s Fool has been excellent, but it takes more than a week for that to take hold, so eight performances isn’t enough.

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