Ten Ways to Hit the Ground Running at the Edinburgh Fringe

Hitting the ground running is all about making use of every moment of the first stages of an event in your life.

It’s about arriving with the engines already running, with the soul already warmed up.

It’s about avoiding stumbling,panic and fire-fighting. Hitting the ground running is an effective way to arrive at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Here are ten ways to do it…

1. No matter how tired you are, get out onto the Royal Mile, even if only for half an hour, on your arrival day and flyer. It will feel like an exhilarating and scary dive into the deep end. You’ll acclimatise quickly and wake up the next day really feeling as if you’ve made a start

2. Read some reviews of shows that are heading to Edinburgh that have already premiered or previewed in London or other festivals and cities in the UK and around the world. Get a feel for the territory by immersing yourself in a bit of pre-fest reading.

3. Start a blog or a hand written diary/journal from now. It doesn’t need to be long. Record your reflections and feelings and you’ll get a nice feel of building up, of anticipation, and it brings you into an imagination space where you start to “arrive” in your mind before you arrive physically!

4. Go out and about on the day you arrive, go out almost immediately and specifically visit your venue, even if you can’t get in yet. Walk around the neighbourhood and get a feel for what will becoming your stamping ground. Do this before you’ve unpacked and gone shopping.

5. Try to have at least one reviewer committed and in the bag before you arrive. This isn’t easy but some web publications and some magazines will respond positively to writing an interesting preview of your show and will at least verbally commit to coming along to one of your first performances.

6. Ensure you know where your venue is, where Fringe Central is, where the best flyering places are near your venue, as well as the Royal Mile. Don’t arrive like an immediatelylost tourist.

6. Work hard on ensuring your preview/first nights are guaranteed a minimum audience of 30% full. This may mean giving and sending out quite a few comps. Don’t arrive with the fear of an empty or virtually deserted first night.

7. Treat your preview nights as a mini-project in themselves. Plan them well, publicise them in their own right and have that plan written, ready and committed to before you arrive – flyering rota, guest and comps list, press tickets, get-in schedule etc. Arrive confident and ready for your previews.

8. Have a well rehearsed verbal pitch about your show ready for the moment you arrive. Be ready to describe your show confidently and fluently at the drop of a hat. Arrive clear of bullshit and flannel.

9. Read up on the Fringe resources for performers – be confident in your press/PR strategy, have a good rapport with anyone doing PR and flyering for you, be aware of the main roads and routes, transport services and places to flyer. Try to get to know Edinburgh before you arrive. Get a guide book, peruse a map, find out where the copy shops are, stationery shops, places to get any last minute technical equipment and replacement parts. Avoid losing time on the first few days finding out where the hell you are

10. Imagine your show as a success. What have you done to ensure it? Make a check list. Imagine in advance what might go wrong. Be prepared to imagine the worse so that you can think in advance of a Plan B and even a Plan C. Be confident that if things go off the rails, you have some ready actions to put things right. Talk to a few seasoned campaigners who have Fringed before and grab some wisdom from them. Picture the ugly, the bad and the good of your Fringe and be ready to pro-act and re-act!

The Fringe is such an energised and energetic place. The first few days can be disorientating and chaotic. Hitting the ground running is a way to ensure your Fringe doesn’t falter at the start.