Brighton Fringe Case Study

Interview with: Rhiannon Lingwood & Cameron Brown
Marketing Manager & Venues and Companies Manager, Brighton Fringe

Can you give me a brief overview of Brighton Fringe?


Brighton Fringe is England’s largest arts festival, in 2022 Brighton Fringe consisted of over 750 events in more than 120 venues across Brighton, Hove, and beyond, and attracted over 370,000 attendees. We also run a year-round programme of artist support and development via our Fringe Academy workshops and work closely with local and national organisations to deliver bursaries and financial support to those who need it most.


What does being an open-access festival mean?


We are an open-access festival meaning anyone and everyone can put on an event, there are no criteria events must meet and no selection process, participants must just find a venue to host their event and pay the registration fee to take part.


How do you ensure participants and venues uphold BF’s ethos and values?


All participants must agree to our terms and conditions before registering their event with Brighton Fringe, we are a diverse and open festival and ask our participants to adhere to our values. Venues must also agree to our venue’s agreement, outlining similar requirements of the venues.


How do you run your artist call-out process?


Brighton Fringe visits other Fringe festivals around the world to network with other organisations and participants, this year we have visited Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Amsterdam Fringe and Abuja Fringe. We run online campaigns notifying our databases that registration is open, including emails, social media and advertising as well as working closely with partners to access their network of artists.


How do venues become part of the festival?


“Venues can register via Eventotron for free at any time during the season. They can then begin to receive enquiries from participants who are interested in performing at their venue.”


Do artists apply to venues directly as part of the registration process or do BF match events to venues?


Artists apply directly to venues through Eventotron to discuss hire arrangements and confirm contracts. If participants are struggling to find an appropriate venue for their event our participant services team are always on hand to advise and support.


What is your most useful tool when marketing your festival to audiences?


Word of mouth! Anything you can do to generate positive word of mouth about your event is the best way to sell tickets at Brighton Fringe. This means sharing audience reviews online, asking your audience to tell their friends, opting into ticket deals to get more bums on seats (such as our participant discount or Friends of Fringe 2-for1’s), flyering and talking to people, the list goes on and on.


Top Tip


We created a great guide for artists to help them sell their fringe show, it’s available on our website and in the documents section in Eventotron: How to Market Your Event at Brighton Fringe.


What is your box office setup?


“We are currently in the process of transitioning to Eventotron’s Super Simple Box Office. We made this decision because we felt SSBO would improve the experience of not only participants and venues taking part in Brighton Fringe, but also improve things for our team internally and ticket buyers.”


What does a successful Brighton Fringe look like?


For the team at Brighton Fringe, a successful Brighton Fringe means improving the results from our participant and venue manager surveys year after year and consistently delivering a better service for those who take part.


How do you communicate with your artists in the lead-up, during and after the festival?


“We send direct messages via Eventotron with key information and dates”

We also add participants to our participants’ mailing list through which we send more in-depth information about what’s going on at the festival. We host regular meetings for our venue managers and participants via our Fringe Academy programme such as ‘The Future of Fringe’ and ‘Brighton Fringe: Have Your Say’ where we can communicate with participants about their hopes for the future.


If you could share just one piece of advice about running a fringe festival what would it be?


A Fringe needs to be useful, so everything that we do should serve that core premise. A Fringe is a platform to help people put on and showcase creative work. Therefore is it is crucial from the outset to put the arts community front and centre of the process. We as organisers are not the Fringe, they are.

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