The Darwinian Crapshoot

I absolutely love the open access nature of Fringe festivals.

Whether they follow Edinburgh’s free-for-all model or manage their size by implementing a lottery system, they offer artists a unique opportunity to get in front of an audience.

It’s tough starting out as an emerging maker, and programmed or curated festivals often require you to have a proven track record.

So open access is essential.

However, there is a downside.

True many internationally renowned shows first got traction at Fringe festivals, but for every success story, there’s a failure waiting in the wings.

So just how do you control the quality of a festival with an open door policy?

In 2012 during the inaugural World Fringe Congress as part of the Cultural Olympiad, I was asked to chair a panel discussion addressing just that.

Here’s a clip of the session.