A message from Festival Director Zsuzsi Lindsay
Hello, I’m Zsuzsi, the director of Reading Fringe Festival, scheduled to take place in July.
In the light of this week’s government announcements, we wanted to give everyone an update on what plans we’re making at Reading Fringe.
The health of our artists, audiences, staff ,volunteers & venues is our highest priority, so we’ll be following all further announcements closely.
But we think it’s really important to acknowledge that this is going to be an incredibly challenging time for our artists.
We remain committed to providing a platform for artists to perform and generate income while insuring we minimise the health risk for everyone.
Our Reading Fringe Festival Committee is currently modelling alternative ways of staging the festival in July.
We plan to have more clarity for our artists and audiences within the next two weeks.
In the meantime, we just want to send our artists, audiences, staff, volunteers and venues our love and deep respect. We haven’t forgotten about you, and we stand in solidarity with you.
Sources and links to help you stay creative
Here’s a collection of sources and links for the creative industries that we’re coming across as we spend more time indoors and online – whilst we’ll aim to update these very 48 hours, things move very quickly at the moment so please be aware that some of these may already be out of date.
Last updated: Tuesday 2nd June
To keep you informed
Mental health and wellbeing
Please, if you are experiencing mental health challenges, overwhelming uncomfortable emotions, thoughts of self harm or suicidal ideation, then seek help.
The most immediate help for UK residents is Samaritans. Call them on 116 123 or email email@example.com
- Arts Council England has announced their package of support here – guidance is now online https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19 . Note that emergency funding for non-NPO organisations and for individuals is now closed.
- Government guidance on COVID-19 https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
- Government guidance for employees, employers and businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
- Eligibility checker for the Govt’s self employed scheme (you’ll need your UTR) https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference
- Creative Scotland – Bridging Bursary Fund (Arts and Creative) offers one-off bursary payments of between £500 and £2,500 https://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2020/04/further-support-for-creative-sector
- Stabilisation Fund – Wales is there to support arts organisations working in the not-for-profit sector in Wales who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty due to loss of income, as well as cashflow pressures resulting from the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Closes May 8th. https://arts.wales/stabilisation-fund-for-organisations
- h Club London have launched a brand new free online membership for people who work in the creative industries. This new online membership will provide creatives with networking opportunities with new and existing members of the clubs in varying creative industries, both in London and LA. Interested parties will need to fill out an application via https://hclub.com/online/application/step_1/london
- SOLT & UK Theatre have created TheatreMeansBusiness.info, an online platform highlighting a range of live and recorded webinars to equip the theatre industry with the tools to begin rebuilding after the COVID-19 lockdown ends.
- Unlimited have a list of resources for disabled artists and freelancers https://weareunlimited.org.uk/links-and-resources-for-disabled-artists-and-freelancers-in-response-to-covid-19-includes-medical-guidance/
- COVID-19 Crisis Resources for Creatives – mainly for America and Canada but some international links to https://www.booooooom.com/2020/03/20/covid-19-resources-for-artists/
- Nic Connaughton (Head of Theatre at The Pleasance) has created this fantastic skills sharing database – complete the Google Form to add your offers or need https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1–6tt_D8L37-PBikPZP7qALdQ1f5WbDqTceSTPHf-YA/edit#gid=0
- Creative Industries Federation are offering six months of membership free of charge, so they can support you with relevant news and updates whilst you navigate the challenges of the ongoing Coronavirus emergency. https://www.creativeindustriesfederation.com/news/free-federation-membership-six-months
- Leading theatre charities have joined together to create a one-stop shop of advice for people affected by the closure of theatres around the UK. The microsite collates information that may be useful to people in the sector and will signpost useful resources. Contains a really handy flowchart showing which charities support which disciplines. https://theatresupport.info
- Really handy resource list really handyfrom the charity for young people in the arts https://masterclass.org.uk/news-view/resourcesuseful-links-for-people-who-have-lost-work
- This is an excellent overarching resource list compiled by Matt Allen, East Street Arts – it covers way more things than we’ve listed here, so do visit it! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cD1K7WYZwbTyA1gxLp0BRqnwL5oFY75Taizi8bKC3ik/htmlview
- This is a US resource but it does have a link to UK sources https://covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR03M5HcQODnO5iqCB_TaAX8wpzyyMaCgHJ_P8h0MhczoCUOpv7zpFaUr38
Useful social media support and information groups and accounts
- UK Theatre Industry Coronavirus Support – this is an incredibly useful page set up by Benjamin Newsome to gather and curate the most useful resources for everyone working and living within the UK Theatre Industry during this troubled time. It is regularly updated https://www.facebook.com/groups/489300505097902
- Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses https://www.facebook.com/groups/142964673673928
- #ProducersCobra – set up by producer Francesca Moody to provide a shared and mutual support advice and guidance for producers in the industry. Follow her @ChescMood https://twitter.com/ChescMood or search #ProducersCobra
- Theatre Producers Union – resulting from the #ProducersCobra on 18/03/2020 as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Aims to build a network & hardship fund for theatre producers of all levels. Follow @union_producers https://twitter.com/union_producers
To keep you creating
Grants and funding
- Society of Authors Emergency Fund (up to £2000) – no specified deadline https://societyofauthors.org/Grants/Grants-for-writers-in-need
- Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund (£500-£1500) for freelance creative practitioners based in England and Northern Ireland. Deadline for applications: 2:00pm Thurs 18th June. https://www.a-n.co.uk/about/freelands-foundation-emergency-fund
- 101 Outdoor Arts cash grants (£500-£1500) available for artists who create work for the outdoors or public spaces. Deadline: 5pm Weds 8 April https://101outdoorarts.com/event/digital-r-d-awards
- BBC Arts with Arts Council England is launching a Culture in Quarantine fund for around 25 established England-based artists of any discipline to produce new works in creative media – video, audio and interactive. Deadline for expressions of interest: Weds 8th April https://www.thespace.org/resource/culture-quarantine
- Fundraiser for comedians https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hecklethevirus
- Hardship funds list for freelancers and self-employed https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aDxpqxRHrkUAWdtY7lJICSqdOy4vWltX/view?usp=sharing
- A map showing the location of various hardship funds across the UK – credit Vicky Graham, Ben Monk, Theatre Producers Union https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=18SsizY2KtCrNtXwhkTnI3rxHFot8mRyG&ll=52.92866086991324%2C-3.261954650000007&z=6
- A live and editable database of various hardship funds across the UK – credit Vicky Graham, Ben Monk, Theatre Producers Union https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_LgEIh8Vaqvz7ee5yxs49YKkH_4WX8myymVA0jdJjRg/edit#gid=0
- Farnham Maltings are offering a limited rolling programme of grants to create new work *right now* which responds to and supports our communities in the South East in these extraordinary and difficult times http://theatre.farnhammaltings.com/portfolio/covid-19-responses Closing date 1: 9am, Thursday 2 April 2020; Closing date 2: 9am, Monday 18 May 2020
- Funds for Freelancers – A financial resource for actors, creatives, ushers working in theatre, created by producer Paul Taylor Mills and Turbine Theatre https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fundsforfreelancers
- Last year’s rent – a hardship fund – A fundraiser to pay 1 months rent or mortgage (£1k) for those facing current hardship in the UK Arts. Whatever raised before end of April will be matched by producer Frazer Brown https://www.gofundme.com/f/last-years-rent-a-hardship-fund-for-the-arts
- 24 Hour Play Festival: Lockdown Edition – register to take part. The fun begins on Friday 21:30 GMT with Curtains Up on Saturday 20:00 GMT https://www.24hourplayfestival.com
- BBC to open up its Writers’ Academy to non-professionals https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/mar/18/bbc-to-open-up-its-writers-academy-to-non-professionals
- Lockdown Theatre – Artist Rohan Candappa is setting up a virtual theatre company and is paying actors £200 to perform in the pieces for sharing online. See info on his FB post here https://www.facebook.com/groups/624433770970684/permalink/2847457488668290. Follow on Twitter @LockdownTheatr https://twitter.com/LockdownTheatr
- Edalia Day’s review of VOD and streaming platforms https://www.edaliaday.co.uk/post/videoondemand
- Digital Tools for Artists to Run a Remote Career During Coronavirus https://www.artworkarchive.com/blog/digital-tools-for-artists-to-run-a-remote-career-during-coronavirus
- How to Live Stream Your Theatre Production https://www.girv.co/how-to-live-stream-your-theatre-production-1-streaming-platforms
To keep you entertained
- Those lovely folk at Nick Hern Books have set up a play reading group – read and discuss one free play a week, followed by a Q&A with the writer https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/playgroup
- Streamdoor – Stagedoor’s new service showing all the best theatre content currently online https://stagedoorapp.com/streamdoor
- Free streaming of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals from Friday April 3rd https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/andrew-lloyd-webber-stream-musicals-free-youtube_51313.html
- Alisa Kalyanova has created a brilliant database of free online theatre screenings https://t.co/KVCVL88Z9V?amp=1
- Shakespeare’s Globe to release six free productions from April 6 https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/shakespeares-globe-free-stream-hamlet_51295.html
- Enjoy 10 virtual tours of the world’s most famous landmarks courtesy of The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/mar/30/10-best-virtual-tour-worlds-most-famous-landmarks
- Got kids? Keep them entertained with this recording of In the Night Garden Live 2019 UK theatre tour – Igglepiggle’s Busy Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0dAA2J1P7Q
- National Theatre will be streaming NT Live shows for free from Thursday 2 April https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/national-theatre-live-youtube-free-stream_51268.html
- RSC are broadcasting six of their plays on the BBC between now and September as part of Culture in Quarantine https://www.rsc.org.uk/news/culture-in-quarantine
- ICA have a brilliant daily update with videos, films recommendations, articles and general art stuff https://www.ica.art/ica-daily
- Headlong and Century Films present a series of 8 digital plays written by a diverse group of celebrated writers in response to the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic. https://headlong.co.uk/productions/unprecedented
- A calendar of global live streaming events set up by a team in Canada https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com
- List of global theatre being streamed https://www.todaytix.com/insider/london/posts/how-to-watch-theater-around-the-world-from-your-home
- Theatre Resources for Isolation https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QjXMc4NusCr5hJZLwFHe_oavRwawROF_3KI-0JglF2Y/mobilebasic#heading=h.d2bjoiz76j85
- A list of virtual gigs https://gigs.guide/live
- Culture in Quarantine – BBC’s virtual festival of the arts https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2020/coronavirus-bbc-unveils-virtual-festival-of-the-arts-for-uk-in-isolation
- Wind in the Willows (Theatre Bath) free online stream https://www.willowsmusical.com/
- 15 Broadway Plays and musicals you can watch from home https://playbill.com/article/15-broadway-plays-and-musicals-you-can-watch-on-stage-from-home
- Live streamed digital drag and cabaret courtesy of Crayola The Queen https://www.facebook.com/CrayolaTheQueen
- All The Web’s A Stage – Online charity performances for Shakespeare Day https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/danny-mac-jodie-prenger-shakespeare-day-together_51221.html