The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Roadshow Kicks Off
The four-city event is a primer for the festival and an opportunity for upcoming artists to collaborate
Delhi-based band Mrigya was one of the first Indian bands to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001. The band’s bassist Indraneel Hariharan recalls their performance-shaping experience at the festival. “Mrigya was formed in 1999, so we had a lot to learn,” says Hariharan, “Everything worked like clockwork at The Fringe, so discipline was one of the first things we learnt. The festival also spurred us on to tour in places such as South Africa and South Korea.” Mrigya also earned international recognition early on at the festival, notes Hariharan. “We got four-star ratings from reputed publications such as The Scotsman and The Herald. Eventually, we were empanelled with the Indian Council For Cultural Relations for our work,” says the bassist. So impressed was the band with the festival that they self-funded their next trip to play at the festival in 2002.
This week, upcoming Indian artists can get a better sense of the workings of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Roadshow. Organized by British Council of India together with Creative Scotland, The Fringe Roadshow is an opportunity for visual and performing artists to gain an edge at the festival. “There are so many artists out there at the festival that you have to work very hard,” says Hariharan. Dubbed as one of the biggest platforms for edgy, experimental artists, The Fringe has hosted the likes of Indian Ocean in 2001 and Something Relevant in 2010. This year, Thermal And A Quarter head to the festival in August.
Kath Mainland, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, who is one of the panelists at The Fringe Roadshow has some feedback for Indian artists who want to perform at the fest. Says Mainland “As an open access festival, it’s not for the Fringe Society to decide who should and should not take part, but it’s undoubtedly true to say that the more international the program, the more appealing it is to an international audience, to international media, an industry audience, and the general public.” Adds Hariharan, “Press reviews play an important role because audiences read these reviews to decide what act they should catch at the festival.”Â Other panelists at the Fringe Roadshow include stand up comic Papa CJ, Sanjoy Roy of Teamwork Productions and actor/director Rajit Kapoor of Rage Productions.
The four-city Fringe Roadshow, which kicked off in Bengaluru, travels to Delhi and Mumbai before concluding in Kolkata.
Â The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Roadshow will be held
on May 2nd, 6.30 pm at British Council, Kolkata
Entry is free in all cities but The Fringe Roadshow has limited seating so RSVP to confirm attendance