( OS prefers reducing animation! )



Home > Challenges > Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is an impartial organisation that underpins the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Credit: David Monteith-Hodge

The Fringe is an open access festival, which means anyone that wants to take part can. The Fringe Society does not promote or recommend individual shows, but instead works to promote the festival as a whole and provide support and advice to the artists and venues that take part each year.

However, with a programme that contains almost 4,000 shows, the Fringe Society recognises that the breadth of options at the Fringe can lead to choice paralysis amongst audiences, who can be overwhelmed by the amount of shows on offer, and in some cases choose simply to see nothing, or rely on previous knowledge.

78% of Fringe audience members come to the festival to see something they wouldn’t see at any other time of year – this project should help them navigate an expanding programme in a fun and engaging way.


The Fringe Society would like to make it as easy as possible for Fringe audiences to explore all that the Fringe has to offer. How can audience insight data and show data be used to provide new ways for attendees to navigate the Fringe programme, enabling artists and audiences to find one another more easily?

The response should:

  • Empower audiences to make choices and improve confidence in cultural consumption at the Fringe.
  • Have a feedback loop which rewards input from everyone, from first timers to Fringe veterans.
  • Serve all artists and venues at the Fringe.
  • Capture data for free, non-ticketed Fringe shows as well as ticketed shows.
  • Make it clear to audiences that suggestions are not recommendations or assurance of quality, retaining the essence of the Fringe.
  • Facilitate artists finding audiences as well as the other way round.
  • Move beyond basic demographic information and explore tastes, buying behaviours and growth of audience member’s risk profiles over time.
  • Be easy to use and cost effective to maintain in the long term.

The response can’t:

Credit: David Monteith-Hodge
  • Make decisions for audience members, the choice must still sit with the customer.
  • Give preference to one artist over another.
  • Simply offer the same or similar events based on audience buying behaviour.
  • Value shows on popularity, ticket sales etc.

Applications to respond to this challenge have now closed.

If you have any questions about this challenge please contact the Creative Informatics team via email at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.


If you are interested in responding to this challenge please contact the Creative Informatics team.

For updates on Challenge Projects and other areas of the Creative Informatics programme, sign up to our mailing list.