Trends Insights: How do Edfringe venues interact with their performers?

From offering technical support to advice on promoting a show, Edfringe venues do an awful lot to help the acts on their programme find success at the Fringe. With social media becoming ever more important in helping performers gain exposure (and ultimately put bums on seats), we know that many venues are very active on Twitter. Through enthusiastically promoting the shows on their roster and interacting with audiences, the Twitter timelines of the bigger Edfringe venues are some of the busiest virtual spaces at the Fringe. But which venues did the most to promote their acts in Twitter-space in the run-up to Edfringe 2019?

To answer this question, we began by collecting the Twitter timelines of all the major venues for a month prior to the Edinburgh fringe (note: we excluded free fringe venues from this analysis; we love what they do, but we’re aware that many of their performers don’t have an official presence on the site, which makes it hard for us to run our analysis without skewing the results against them). Then, we computed four things which we think sum up the way these venues use their Twitter accounts to support their acts:

  1. Total tweets sent (a busy timeline is a popular timeline!)

  2. Total retweets by venues of tweets by performers on their roster

  3. Total replies by venues to a tweet sent by a performer on that venue’s roster

  4. Total ‘spontaneous’ mentions of a performer on a venue’s roster (i.e. not a retweet or a reply)

Then, in typical Trends style, we worked the results into a couple of handy plots, fresh for your delectation…

Here we have the main results — total tweets sent since July 1st by each of the major venues, categorised by their relation to each venue’s roster of acts. We’d say whoever is running the Stand’s Twitter account deserves a medal!

We also know that there’s a lot of difference between the venues in terms of how many acts they showcase; as a performer, the chances are you’re more interested not in total activity, but in how much of that activity relates to you personally. Fear not, brave Fringers — we’ve run the numbers…

With relatively few acts on its programme in comparison to some of the real big venues, the Stand is, if anything, even further ahead here! Interestingly, much of the difference seems to stem from retweets; some venues, like the Pleasance, whilst very proactive in terms of regularly mentioning their acts, abstain almost entirely from retweeting anything on their feeds. The Tweeters at Gilded Balloon, Sweet and ZOO deserve honourable mentions here too; whilst overshadowed by the formidable Stand, they nonetheless are doing a solid job of promoting the acts on their respective programmes.

We’d round up by adding that it’s not just the venues that contribute to these numbers — the proactivity of performers contributes greatly, in our experience, to the Twitter exposure the venues can give. It takes two to tango! At the end of the day, this analysis only judges the quantity — not the quality — of these online interactions.