Fringe Exchange

Welcome to Fringe Exchange – a programme of industry events designed to engage and support industry and artists.

In the absence of a physical Fringe in 2020, Fringe Exchange was created as a platform where you could browse and engage in provocations, showcase events, panel discussions and network with your peers, just as you normally would in Edinburgh in August!

We’ll continue to host and organise events beyond the festival month so keep an eye on this page, or sign up to the Arts Industry newsletter and we’ll let you know about upcoming events.

See an event you’d like to attend? Make sure you register to take part by following the registration link in the event description. We’re aiming to record most of these, so if you miss out on any live sessions you can catch up by clicking on the event.

Some events may have a limited number of tickets and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so please make sure you register as early as possible.

If you’re a programmer, make sure you check out Fringe Marketplace – a new showcase platform designed to connect you with work that was programmed for the 2020 Fringe. Sign up for Fringe Marketplace.

Decolonising Institutions through Indigenous Ideologies

Sunday 29 November | 14:00 - 15:30

Indigenous performing artists have long suffered due to the systemic inequalities forced upon them by colonization. Now is the time for arts organizations to actively confront these issues. Join this panel to learn best practices from Indigenous and ally presenters on how to undertake arts organizations' decolonization and ensure inclusive experiences within your organization. Following the pre-recorded panel discussion, we will be hosting facilitated breakout sessions to delve deeper into the conversation.

This event was presented by the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, which serves as a collective voice for Indigenous performing arts in Canada.

Click Here to Watch

Designing an Inclusive Recovery

Monday 31 August | 11:00 - 12:30

As the arts industry that closed in March did not work for many disabled people, this discussion will focus on what needs to be done to ensure the coming cultural recovery is fully inclusive. UK wide, cross-artform alliance, We Shall Not Be Removed was established to raise the profile of creative deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people through and after Covid, whilst advocating for a more inclusive cultural recovery. Now with 700 members, it represents the biggest disability arts movement since the 1980’s.

This session will feature an expert all-disabled panel chaired by UK Government Disability Champion for Culture, Andrew Miller.

See We Shall Not Be Removed website:

Click Here to Watch

Edinburgh Live!

Monday 31 August | 16:00 - 17:30

To finish off Fringe 2020, let's grab a drink and pretend we're in Edinburgh one last time! Since meeting up in person was not possible this year join us at Edinburgh Live! Reconnect with old friends, make new connections and discuss what's going in on your end of the world at this global café-styled meetup.

With a welcome address and fond farewell from Shona McCarthy, Fringe Society's Chief Executive.

Programming with Diversity in Mind: Panel Discussion

Friday 28 August | 14:00 - 15:30

Across the arts sector there is an increased focus on the need for diversity in programming, with funding bodies such as Arts Council England making the ‘Creative Case for Diversity’; producing work that represents and responds to the demographic of the UK, enriches arts and culture and innovates cultural practice.

The discussion will focus on key provocations on how programmers can keep diversity, accessibility and inclusivity at the forefront of programming and making a genuine step towards change for representation in programming, leadership and workforce.

Chaired by Pawlet Brookes (CEO and artistic director of Serendipity) Panelists: Skinder Hundal (director of New Art Exchange) Stella Kanu (executive director of LIFT Festival) Sharon Watson (CEO and principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance)

Click Here to Watch

Showcase Belgium 2020 (Wallonia-Brussels)

Thursday 27 August | 11:00 - 12:30

Wallonia and Brussels are bursting with incredible artistic talent.

Join us for this Belgian virtual showcase that will give you a taste of performances from French-speaking Belgium, featuring four artists and companies selected by Wallonie-Bruxelles Théâtre Danse:

  • Julien Carlier (Abis), Golem (Dance)
  • Théâtre d'Un Jour, Strach a fear song (Interdisciplinary: Circus/Music)
  • Emilienne Flagothier, We should be dancing (Dance)
  • Lucilia Caesar, False Start (Theatre/Performance) The video presentation will be followed by a live exchange with the artists
Click Here to Watch

The 70% - UK's Freelance Arts Workforce - A reflective pause for a voice at the table

Thursday 27 August | 15:00 - 16:30

The UK's arts and cultural sectors are rich and vibrant with institutions, venues and companies large and small up and down the country writing, dancing, acting, researching - world class innovators. 70% of the workforce are freelancers, some just out of school, others seasoned award-winning professionals, yet their status remains fragile and the current lockdown has revealed huge cracks, leaving many vulnerable and having to leave their chosen professions. What can be done to ensure they remain freelancers but have a voice, rights and a say how we build a post-pandemic future? Over the past few months, Freelancers Make Theatre Work, the Freelance Task Force and other groups have formed to ensure a stronger and unified voice for the sector and advocate for change, a voice at the table and better understanding of the needs of the sector.

Click Here to Watch

2020 ISPA Series at the Fringe – Courage

Wednesday 26 August | 14:00 - 15:00

In January 2020, Yaron Lifschitz (Artistic Director, Circa Contemporary Circus) delivered a provocation that both empowered and challenged ISPA congress delegates. Amidst the crisis of climate change evidenced by the Australian bushfires, Yaron posited that “Art can help us face our future and make our future.” Six months later, Yaron will revisit that provocation reflecting on the world events that have occurred since. Following his talk, we will have the opportunity to go into small breakout rooms before convening as a whole for a broader discussion.

Click Here to Watch

'The Local, Global Model' - how the current ways of working change our practice going forward

Tuesday 25 August | 11:00 - 12:30

A conversation about how local action/art-making/collaboration supports global connections and look at how we achieve a stronger (more resilient) touring and production.

In an open forum set-up we are looking to have a cross-cultural conversation and debate, discussing what we have learned now in the current context and what we need from a cultural reset. We recognise the ever increasing need to hear local and indigenous voices and how they can resonate globally. In this conversation we will be hearing from our own Welsh artists and makers, as well as those in Ireland, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada.

Click Here to Watch

2020: The year of theatre streaming

Tuesday 25 August | 15:00 - 16:30

From blockbusters like NT Live and Hamilton, to platforms for independent artists like GIFT Festival and Forest Fringe TV, 2020 has been the year that theatre went online. But streaming theatre raises many questions for artists and producers. What format works best? How can artists make money from it? What does it mean for accessibility? And can it ever compare to the real thing? Hear the experts discuss the highs and lows of theatre streaming, as they reflect on their own experiences with the form during lockdown.

Click Here to Watch

Nice to (virtually) meet you: Forging International Artist Connections

Monday 24 August | 11:00 - 12:30

A special online event hosted by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, reflecting on international collaborations and residencies conducted virtually in the time of coronavirus.

This panel discussion featuring industry experts asks: what new opportunities for international collaborations do digital technologies present? What are the challenges? And what does great digital dramaturgy look like?

We’ll also hear about Swiss Selection Edinburgh's virtual residency programme, which has seen three of Switzerland's most exciting theatre artists paired with UK venues: Ntando Cele & The Royal Court Theatre, Trân Tran & HOME Manchester, and Alan Apenfelt & Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

Click Here to Watch

CanadaHub Showcase and Pitch Event

Monday 24 August | 16:00 - 17:15

CanadaHub @ Edinburgh Fringe, presented by the Canada Council for the Arts, is an annual curated showcase of the best of Canada’s contemporary performance scene, that in 2020 will be featured on the Fringe Marketplace. During these exceptional times, the High Commission of Canada in the UK, together with Canadian Heritage and Selfconscious Productions, are hosting a virtual CanadaHub Showcase and Pitch Event on Monday 24th August 2020. This event is a unique opportunity for international presenters to connect directly with some of Canada's finest creative teams as they pitch extraordinary works, seek touring opportunities, and explore international partnerships.

Click Here to Watch

Underrepresentation of Black and Brown voices in the arts

Friday 21 August | 11:00 - 12:30

The lack of Black and Brown faces and voices in our industry is not an unhappy accident. It is an outcome of systemic racism and of millions of tiny decisions that see the work these artists, festival workers and industry members marginalised. The Black Lives Matter movement has pushed some venues to re-examine their practices. At the same time the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed some organisations towards creating "safe" mainstream content which is often overwhelmingly white and straight. This panel should serve as a provocation for those who want to be part of changing this future.

Click Here to Watch

From Start to Finnish: Showcase 2020, Newest Trends and International Cooperation

Friday 21 August | 11:00 - 12:30

Greetings from Finland! What’s new in Finnish performing arts? What does international cooperation mean for arts professionals during this unprecedented and utterly challenging time? In this online event, From Start to Finnish will present to you five amazing tour-ready shows from Finland covering contemporary theatre, dance and circus.

In addition, five arts industry professionals will discuss the newest trends, policies and international cooperation in Finnish performing arts.


  • Jarkko Lehmus (Producer & Dramaturg, Cirko - Center for New Circus)


  • Katarina Lindholm (Dance Info Finland)
  • Lotta Nevalainen (Circus Info Finland)
  • Erik Söderblom (Espoo City Theatre)
  • Kimmo Aulake (Ministry of Education and Culture)
Click Here to Watch

Festivals: Transitioning. Who Are We Now and What Do We Programme?

Friday 21 August | 16:00 - 17:00

The thundering hooves of climate change were already rattling the cages of international festivals who for years have prided themselves on their international content, commissions and collaborations. Artistic Directors have travelled far and wide to meet artists, see shows and secure premieres. What now? Are Festival Directors turning their gaze to local artists, communities and collectives? What are the short, medium and long-term outcomes that would see the most positive and genuine engagement for artists and audiences?

Click Here to Watch

Spotlight on Theatre and Dance from Northern Ireland

Thursday 20 August | 11:00 - 12:30

Please join us for a special event featuring artists from Northern Ireland sharing and discussing the performance pieces they have created or are in the midst of currently developing during the current pandemic. What if any impact has the crisis had upon the way they see the world around them and how they make their work. Our event begins with a compilation of video extracts from a selection of new works followed by a livestreamed and interactive Q & A with the creators of these pieces.


Bernie McAllister, Abomination.

Click Here to Watch

Made in Scotland - Going Global

Wednesday 19 August | 11:00 - 12:30

Since its inception in 2009, Made in Scotland has supported more than 150 companies to deliver more than 200 shows at the Fringe which have toured to 42 countries, but what now? With the ongoing pandemic and climate change responsibilities, companies are thinking about new ways of sharing their work. Join our panel of Made in Scotland producers and artists as they discuss how they are re-imagining their work to ensure they continue to engage internationally without the need for touring. From digital streaming to licensing and local adaptations, Made in Scotland will continue to be at the forefront of international collaboration. Music in this video

Click Here to Watch

Quebec Circus @ Fringe 2020

Wednesday 19 August | 16:00 - 17:30

Quebec is a global mecca for contemporary circus. But how well do you know its artists? The four Quebec circus companies whose brilliant works would have blown you away this summer join us outside the ring for a dynamic show and tell. You'll come away fluent in Quebec circus, bien sûr!

Click Here to Watch

Culture Ireland Edinburgh Showcase Reception

Tuesday 18 August | 11:00 - 12:30

Each year since 2006, Culture Ireland has supported artists to attend the Edinburgh Festivals. This year, in the absence of live performances, Irish artists will introduce their work to international presenters and programmers.

Click Here to Watch

Collaborating, Commissioning and Licensing; how artists from Aotearoa New Zealand are overcoming the challenges of distance

Monday 17 August | 10:00 - 11:30

Leading practitioners from Aotearoa New Zealand (Total Theatre award-winning performance artist Julia Croft, acclaimed choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull, multi-talented theatre-maker Jamie McCaskill and sell-out Edinburgh director and producer Leo Gene Peters), all stalwarts of the Fringe, discuss the innovative and entrepreneurial ways they have been working with partners and collaborators. Artists from Aotearoa are long familiar with the challenges of distance and many were working in new ways before recent changes to the touring landscape; through licensing, commissions and collaboration. Chaired by Dolina Wehipeihana. Presented by Creative New Zealand with support from the Performing Arts Network of New Zealand and Auckland Live.

Click Here to Watch

UK Venue, Into the Unknown

Monday 17 August | 16:00 - 17:00

Today UK Venues find themselves, like so many other cultural institutions and organisations across the globe, facing a tumultuous and often uncertain future. Braving or bracing for the future venues are having to re-think how they work and what models might need to be adapted in order to survive and / or thrive. Opportunity. Challenge or Threat. Join our panel of UK venue operators who are all in the process of remodeling their businesses to embrace a new and unknown future.

Click Here to Watch

Working-Class Artists: How to Keep Going When the Going's Always Tough (Covid-19 Edition)

Friday 14 August | 11:30 - 12:30

Covid-19 and its impact on the theatre sector has forced working-class artists into severe financial crisis, but it's also having a colossal impact on our mental health, our emotional well-being and our resilience. Join COMMON for a supportive, digital panel discussion with established working-class artists who've endured years of inequality and navigated countless barriers as they've forged sustainable careers in theatre. They'll share ways their tools for self-care and personal well-being could be adapted for the post-pandemic industry, and offer advice to working-class creatives around how they might protect their mental and emotional health in these difficult times.

Click Here to Watch

The Future of International Working

Thursday 13 August | 15:00 - 16:30

Following on from our panel on UK touring, we examined the future of international working with a panel of industry experts. What does international working look like in a post-pandemic world? How can we be more sustainable and still ensure that we are sharing our work and culture with an international audience? Is the current model broken and what can be done to fix it?

Click Here to Watch

In Conversation

Wednesday 12 August | 16:00 - 17:00

In a time of social and physical unrest and varying degrees of lockdown, it’s hard to stay across everything that’s going on in our industry right now and to be cognisant of global trends and new thinking that’s evolving. Get clued up at this meeting between global programming specialists chatting about what's going on in their separate parts of the world. Bring a cup of tea and listen in or join the conversation!

Click Here to Watch

#DANISH - Meet the Danes

Tuesday 11 August | 11:00 - 12:45

Meet multiple award-winning director Tue Biering from Fix & Foxy, as he discusses his highly provocative, intensely political drama ‘ROCKY! RETURN OF THE LOSER’. This show set the agenda in Danish Theatre the year it was made, winning the prestigious Danish Reumert Award, completely knocking-out Danish reviewers and leaving audience speechless. And meet artistic directors Jannik Elkjær and Kristoffer Louis Andrup Pedersen from prolific touring Danish dance company DON GNU discussing their latest dancepiece WALK-MAN, an exceptional piece where poetry and humour shed new light on everyday boring routines and our way of being together as humans. Including networking in breakout rooms.

Taiwan Season 2020: Showcase and Pitch

Monday 10 August | 11:00 - 12:45

We are pleased and excited to present the four highly varied, tour-ready contemporary dance productions which would have been programmed at Dance Base and Summerhall in this year's Fringe. The session will feature individual artist's pitches, a tantalising taster of each dance work and the chance to have a chat with you choice of choreographers in breakout rooms.

Click Here to Watch

What Next for UK Touring?

Monday 10 August | 15:00 - 16:30

UK touring has been totally wiped out by Covid-19 and with it the livelihood of thousands of artists, freelancers, organisations and venues. How do we recover from this and how do we ensure that UK touring can be resilient and prosperous in the future for the sector and our audiences? Join our panel of UK venues and producers as they discuss their ideas and hopes for the future of touring in the UK.

Chair: Tarek Iskander, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre

Panel: Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of ARC Stockton Jo Crowley, Independent Theatre Producer Suba Das, Artistic Director of Hightide Festival

Click Here to Watch