bath fringe – publicising your event

Links to things you need
fringe 2019 logo: see www.bathfringe.co.uk/about-the-fringe/links/
fringe 2019 artwork: not yet available to download
press list: not yet available to download
timeline: there is a timeline here. It may be updated as we go.

Listing your event

Fringe time is exciting, there are lots of shows on, and the festival becomes a reason for people to get enthusiastic, decide they want to go to something, and take a look at what there is in the print or online programmes.
This is why, in the first place, it’s good to make the most of the possibilities of the Fringe listings. OK we put a 50 word limit on listing size, but that does still mean that taking up the full amount of space is probably a good idea. You need to be trying to make your event or act sound intriguing, it helps to be telling a story that will interest people to find out more. Ask yourself: “would that information make me want to see this?” Very few people take us up on the opportunity of including more copy and links on the web listing – in salesperson terms, if people have read so far on the basic listing and are still interested, it may be your chance to tell them the story in a little more depth and engage them further.
A good picture is a must, preferably one that is also intriguing or attractive. Don’t forget that the best of them will get taken up to illustrate print or online treatments of the festival as a whole, and all of that will reflect back to you. A picture that is just an event poster (complete with text) doesn’t work well at the size we most often print them and won’t be used in other media.
For the programme and website, because of our design (and what works well on a mobile), we need to have photos in a ‘letterbox’ format, eg. 740(w)x360(h) or multiple thereof – but you will probably find it useful to have a more standard ‘landscape’ or ‘portrait’ image too. If the traditional ones are all you’ve got, try taking a letterbox-shaped slice of it: that can be an arresting enigmatic image, and reinforces the use of the full image elsewhere. Again, logos & text don’t generally work very well in this context. For print we need high resolution images, at least 1000 dots or pixels on its shortest side is good, and more means it can be used bigger.
Online listings also give you the opportunity to show people a video or let them click on an audio stream. Just a moment copying the link increases your impact immensely.

How the Listings Form works
[see note at the end]

The Media
The Fringe spends time & money publicising the whole of our event on our own media, and with local, regional, national and specialist titles. We might have 200 events in the festival, and we are obliged to be even-handed in what we do: though we will spotlight a few specific events and images because we judge them the most useful to promote the festival as a whole, chances are yours may not be one of those. This means that Fringe performers who really want things to happen do their own publicity too, both their own social media, and their own press/media releases. Even if your event stands out among the crowd of others in collective presentation, a little repetition to journalists and other tastemakers never does any harm. It works like advertising, or like word-of-mouth – if you hear the same story in two different places and it’s a good one, it will stick… and get included.

We will have a basic press list but it hasn’t been updated yet.

Print
In most cases, a poster is also a good idea. We have to be careful with this: there are not an enormous number of places to put posters around the city (and flyposting is often prosecuted) and to have suddenly 200 extra posters trying to find space around the place won’t work. It helps to have A4s as well as A3s to take advantage of all the different spaces (eg. in a crowded shop window). The Fringe itself gets a few shop windows where we can put posters for the duration, if we don’t have one of yours we can’t put it up, but we certainly can’t deal with more than 20 from you.
Flyers can also be useful, at other Fringe venues and art spaces especially, but distributing them isn’t something the Fringe Office can take on for you, you need to do the legwork yourselves.
Think great image or great communication. It’s a chance to make you look intriguing, beautiful, inspirational, memorable – and make people want to see you for real. Think how you’re going to stand out among the competition, especially as it’s likely that most people seeing it will not be familiar with your name.

Promotional / preview events.
There is likely to be a ‘preview’ evening on the Openings Night of the festival (Friday May 24) at The Mission Theatre for theatre shows, and at the moment we think this can apply to shows that aren’t happening there. Ask them for details [nextstagebath@aol.com] and/or we’ll update here when we know. There is also a possibility of a scratch/networking night at a different venue; if it’s happening, this will be confirmed around programme deadline time in March and will be publicised to you if you’ve got a relevant show registered
In past years people have tried Edinburgh-style flyering in character, with varying success (meaning it worked for some and not for others). For suitable acts there is also the possibility of trailing an event through the Bedlam Fair street weekend (June 1/2) or via FAB (Fringe Arts Bath) performance programme on the streets or in exhibition spaces. Contact us about that nearer the time.

Social, Reviews
We’re going to try and sort out a rota of reviewers for this festival, and a platform (hopefully one of the national ones, or at least an established local) to bring them all together online somewhere. We realise it’s good for companies and future gigs (even if generally comes too late for sales on the shows themselves) and is good for the festival as a whole.
We’ll be active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (and maybe others if we can get a digital native to explain them ;->); we will re-post what you post, when we can, but can only do that if you’ve posted on our page or tagged us to start with. We won’t co-host Facebook events because we’d then have to do it for everyone, and that would make the whole thing too unwieldy.
In general on social media look for uses of bathfringe (eg. www.facebook.com/bathfringe or @bathfringe) – for hashtags we try to use #bathfringe2019 (etc.), but variations and #bathfringe will also work in a more limited fashion. Please use them, it helps you and everyone.
You will receive more info about this sort of thing when we’ve got someone working on social platforms nearer festival time.
Repost our and other people’s stuff too if you have time, it all helps.

Feedback
This is supposed to be a Users’ Guide assembled from our experience, yours, and that of other users. If you find any part of it is useless or out-of-date, or if you have any better ideas, please let us know via the Fringe admin EMail, it makes it better for everyone.

Appendix XCIV
How the Listings Form works
The listings form has instructions on what needs filling in, which we shan’t repeat here. But here are some extra bits that might help.
Something that is always confusing is that there are 3 title lines. This is because different art & entertainment audiences have different requirements.

Above the Title
Main Title (largest)
Below the Title

If you’re a band, your name is what people need to know, so that’s the Main Title. If you’re performing something specific (“plays OK Computer” “plays Monk”) or the show has a title, use ‘below’ as well. With a Theatre company, you’ll want the company name as ‘above’, the show name as ‘main’, and in some cases (eg. for a noted director) “by William Shakespeare” below. ‘Below’ is also useful for a featured artist if they are an added attraction (“with Louise Brooks”, “directed by Emma Rice”), or a support group. If you’re a known club night, organisation or established promoter, a name that will be recognised, it can be appropriate to use the top line for that, but if nobody knows about you that way, it’s clutter and will be removed. ‘Sponsored by’ and ‘Promoted by’ are labels for crediting specific people who have put additional work, support, or money into the event, not for repeating names or places already mentioned (they can also be links to a sponsor’s or promoter’s website).
An uncomplicated listing reads and is retained far better than one with repetitions & irrelevancies. Anything that’s not selling your show is getting in the way of selling your show!

Style tags are useful to help audiences find you: everyone understands that a piece of theatre can appeal to a comedy audience, a performance might be both music and poetry, and so on, but give your audience some credit for intelligence too: claiming to be all things to all audiences wins you no fans, if we really think many cross-references are appropriate we’ll put them in ourselves. That side of the editing process gets done all at once (and usually under deadline pressure) – if we cut something out for excessive repetition, you may end up losing what you see as the key point (we don’t necessarily know), so you’re better off not overstating to start with.

You will get a look at your listing before it is published, and of course online listings can always be changed or added to.