What is Freestival?
Freestival is a fresh new addition to the free scene at the Edinburgh Fringe, dedicated to creativity and quality, and run professionally by people with many years of Edinburgh Fringe Festival experience.
Because we believe in the free model, and we strongly feel there is a niche for a free organisation in Edinburgh that focuses on maintaining a small number of excellent, well located and fully equipped venues, and on running a limited number of carefully selected shows. We want everyone involved, acts, audience, venues and the city of Edinburgh, to have the best possible experience of the Fringe.
What differentiates you from the other free options out there?
Freestival is curated. Our ambition is to only put on shows that we believe in, and to limit the number of shows we accommodate. The existing free organisations have done a remarkable job of establishing a free model that is good for audiences and enables acts to grow as performers without bankrupting themselves. We want to work with them to help improve the Fringe, as well as providing healthy competition, which can only be a good thing. On the other hand, there has been a tendency towards growing every year which can lead to a dilution of quality, with some shows in venues that are not up to scratch and some acts who are not ready to put on a month long Edinburgh show. Our policy means that Freestival shows guarantee quality for the audience and a high standard of venue for the performers, plus we'll be able to work with performers to help market their shows, because we do believe they are the best.
What's your team like? What experience do they have?
The team is made up of people who are all fully committed to making Freestival 2014 an exceptional event and who have decades of combined experience on stage, promoting shows and working on the Fringe in a whole array of capacities from securing venues to design and PR.
What are your selection criteria? Is there anyone who shouldn't apply?
First of all, there is no-one who shouldn't apply. Get in touch, tell us who you are and what you want to do. Our main criteria is that Freestival performers have a show that's worth doing and that they are able to pull off. That does mean that there are some acts who won't get on - if you're an open mic performer who wants to do a full length solo show, then we advise you to think again. An hour is a long time, Edinburgh is a long haul, and if you're not ready then you don't do yourself, audiences or the Fringe any favours. What we do want, though, is a diverse range of performers from, from the newish to big names, who have intriguing, funny and well thought out shows, and from the applications we've had already (more than twice as many as the available slots) we've got all that and more.
What venues do you have?
The Tron Kirk (1 stage mainly music and cabaret)
Cowgatehead and Cowshead (1 music stage and 4 - 5 other rooms for comedy and spoken word)
Suruchi (1 enclosed room seating 30-40). This is a new very central venue on Nicholson Street
Moriarty Bar. (1 enclosed room 50+ capacity, mainly music and cabaret), on Lothian Street a short walk from Cowgate.
We have 10 in total but some names we are temporarily holding back until certain final details are agreed. Between now and August we will be working hand in hand with these venues to make sure they are ready for day one of the Fringe.
When should people apply?
Check out Freestival's website and follow them on Twitter.