The Network of Independent Critics, the brainchild of two outstanding bloggers in the My Theatre Mates collective, Katharine Kavanagh and Laura Kressly, ramps up for another Edinburgh Fringe. Applications are now open for this year’s festival. Well done, Katharine and Laura!
Applications are now open for participants to join the Network of Independent Critics for their third season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which runs 3 to 27 August 2018.
- Providing accommodation for independent critics to cover Edinburgh Fringe without breaking the bank.
- Enabling increased media coverage of niche interest and emerging work, which struggles to find representation in the mainstream press.
- Not a publishing platform, but a support system for established and developing critics who work independently for little or no pay.
- Participants will be selected based on passion, knowledge and a proven track record within their chosen area of the performing arts industry.
A city centre apartment will become home to up to 18 selected arts commentators over the course of the Fringe, allowing for networking and social opportunities as well as a cost-effective base from which to cover the Festival. Each participant will focus on a specialised selection of the Fringe programme, which could range from puppetry to solo performance, new musicals to street busking.
During the past two festivals, more than 800 reviews have been produced by over 40 participating critics, as well as additional social media content and reportage. These represented interests have included dance, BAME work, feminist and LGBTQ+ perspectives and new writing, amongst others.
The NIC scheme was launched in 2016 by Laura Kressly and Katharine Kavanagh to support the work of independent critics and facilitate their continued practice, and to generate visibility for arts that regularly slip below the radar of the mainstream press.
Kavanagh, who runs the UK’s only publication dedicated to circus critique at TheCircusDiaries.com, and also writes for The Stage and Exeunt, explains:
“By ‘independent’, we mean someone who produces arts criticism unsalaried, and maintains their own platform for doing so – although they needn’t be producing content for this outlet exclusively. We’re keen to open up the Festival to those working primarily in online media, which means those who produce video and podcast reports, as well as those who run their own blogs and websites for written reviews.”
Whilst this coverage is an increasingly valuable resource for the arts industry, the work remains largely unpaid and the cost of visiting Edinburgh during Fringe season can be prohibitive. By joining forces to rent an apartment as a group, the costs are considerably lowered, and participants can seek their own funding to cover the remainder if they wish. Following feedback from previous participants, a choice of shared or private rooms is being offered, catering for different budgets and preferences.
Application forms are available from NICritics@mail.com until the deadline of 22 April 2018, and successful applicants will be notified by 28 April after an anonymised selection process. Also follow @NICritics on Twitter for regular updates.
Here it is folks: your chance to get in on the best value independent critics’ digs we could find in #Edinburgh. Email NICritics@mail.com for details of how to apply!
Deadline for completed applications 22nd April. Pls RT!#NIC2018 #EdFringe pic.twitter.com/2yGPg5iFm6
— NICritics (@NICritics) April 4, 2018