Please read the following information before applying to perform with us in Edinburgh.
What we're looking for
Underbelly is committed to programming the best of new writing and new talent. It's what we're most interested in and it's why Underbelly has grown on the Fringe. We're looking for productions that excite and intrigue, and that suit our spaces. We're also, obviously, looking for shows that we feel will interest the audience and sell tickets. We programme across all genres - comedy, theatre, physical theatre, circus, dance, spoken word, children's shows and music.
What we offer
We offer a full service for companies selected to be part of our programme. This includes: A range of fully equipped performance spaces with technical support, all box office, front of house, security, technical and support staff, Press and Marketing services, support and help, a joint brochure with Assembly, Gilded Balloon and Pleasance (print run of 400,000, distributed nationally), online sales through Underbelly and edfest.com websites, telephone sales, cross selling of tickets with Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and the Fringe Society, dressing and storage Facilities, minimum 4 hour technical rehearsal prior to first performance, comp tickets for other Underbelly shows (subject to availability) and company discounts at our bars.
Rental fee and charges
We will charge you a fee for the rental of the venue and our services which is the higher of either (i) a split of your box office monies; or (ii) a Guarantee. Our split tends to be 40% and will be calculated as a percentage of your gross box office if you are not VAT registered, and as a percentage of your net box office proceeds (ie: the gross less VAT) if you are VAT registered. Our starting point for calculating the Guarantee is to calculate what our split of your box office proceeds would be if you sold at an average of 40% capacity across the Fringe (based on your average ticket price). We will ask you to pay a deposit against your Guarantee before the start of the Festival. We will deduct the Rental Fee owing to us from your gross box office proceeds and return the balance to you within 4 weeks of receiving full monies from the Fringe Office and other cross-selling venues. By way of example, if your average ticket price was £9 and you were performing in a 100 capacity space for 24 days (Underbelly’s run is 25 days, so allowing for 1 day off), then your maximum box office gross would be £21,600. Based on a box office split to Underbelly of 40%, our Rental Fee would therefore be £8,640. We would then ask you to guarantee 40% of that figure (ie: that you would sell at least 40% of your capacity) which would mean a Guarantee to us of £3,456.
Underbelly charges a 3% commission on all tickets sold through our box office (as opposed to the Fringe box office which has traditionally charged 4% commission) You will also be required to pay a publicity fee of £500 to cover entry (with show image) into our joint brochure with Assembly, Pleasance and Gilded Balloon. This is the biggest venue brochure on the Fringe (400,000 copies) and the most widely distributed. There are no other mandatory charges, though charges exist for photocopying, use of our technical operators, extra technical equipment, flyer distribution and selling of merchandise. These are all subject to use.
Applying and our selection process
You may apply by completing our online application form. Before sending this to us, please make sure you look carefully at our performance spaces. Each of our spaces is different in feel, look and technical capability. Please fill out the application form as fully as possible. You can send additional information such as scripts, photos, DVDs etc by post or email. Additional information is encouraged by our programming department, especially scripts and showreels. However please be aware that we are not able to return any materials sent to us. You can send your application to us whenever you feel ready. We do not operate a first come, first served selection policy. That said, we begin to offer slots to companies from around the beginning of February and we tend to be fully programmed by mid April. So don't leave it too long!! Competition for slots with us has become quite fearsome. For the 140-odd shows that we programme, we usually have to turn away another 400. So please make sure your application is full of information - about the show, about the company and about how you're going to tackle Edinburgh. And don't be put off applying. We're very happy to look at everyone's application.
As always, if you have questions about our spaces when you are filling out the application form, you are welcome to call the office and speak to us.
PLEASE NOTE: Once an offer of a performance slot has been made and the offer accepted, Underbelly will submit your information to the Fringe Society on your company’s behalf. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO YOUR OWN FRINGE REGISTRATION. You will be required to pay Underbelly for your Fringe entry and fill in our submissions website, the information from which will be forwarded to the Fringe Society as well as the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and Joint Venues brochure. We will endeavour to make an offer to you before the Early Bird Fringe Deadline however this may not be possible.