Edinburgh Festival Fringe performers to get help from TikTok to become social media stars

Performers at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe are to get help to become new social media stars after TikTok agreed to become a major backer of the event.

Livestreams are to be launched from new stages on the Royal Mile and The Mound precinct to showcase acts, artists and entertainers during the Fringe’s forthcoming 75th-anniversary season.

Material will also be broadcast on new digital screens being introduced to the free street entertainment arena on the High Street under the collaboration.

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The festival’s first ever “virtual stage” will also be set up on the platform, which now has more than one billion active users, with the new hub intended to host all Fringe content in the one place.

Fringe performers will get help to promote themselves on TikTok this summer. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

TikTok creators are being invited to attend this year’s festival to help showcase the event and its performers.

They will also be advising acts and artists on how to make best use of the platform with their material.

It is hoped the new collaboration, announced ahead of the Fringe’s official programme launch next month, will help attract a bigger online audience to the event and unearth new discoveries appearing in the city this August.

An official announcement on the Fringe collaboration states: “In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the partnership brings together its rich heritage, with TikTok's thriving global community, aiming to showcase the magic and creativity that artists from around the world bring to Edinburgh’s stages to an even wider audience.

The Fringe show A Womb of One's Own was performed at the Pleasance in 2019. Picture: David Monteith-Hodge

“The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and TikTok share the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves freely and creatively.

"This partnership forms part of TikTok's broader commitment to breaking down the barriers to entry within the arts and the entertainment industries.”

It has been announced by the Fringe Society, which oversees the staging of the festival, following previous TikTok collaborations with events like Eurovision, the Cannes Film Festival and the Hay Festival, the annual literary celebration in England.

There have been more than 890 million views of musicals-related content on TikTok to date, while comedy posts have attracted around 1.6 billion.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Fringe Society, said: “The Fringe is an annual phenomenon like no other, one of the world’s great celebrations of performing arts and creativity, and we’re delighted to be partnering with TikTok in our 75th-anniversary year.

“TikTok's expertise in the creative spaces make it the perfect partner for our official virtual stage.

“We look forward to joining artists together with TikTok's unique virtual creativity, bringing the Fringe to a new global audience.

"For the Fringe, it’s about offering anyone a stage and everyone a seat, and this partnership will allow us to offer this to audiences wherever they are in the world.”

James Stafford, head of partnerships and community at TikTok, said: “The Fringe is a unique moment that brings together emerging artists in a celebration of creativity.

"Our partnership places TikTok's global community at the heart of the iconic festival, and celebrates our joint belief that creativity is for everyone.

"TikTok is the home of entertainment and creativity and I know our community will welcome the opportunity to discover new artists, collaborate and be inspired.”

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