MIDDLE IMAGE: SOMEWHERE DIRECTORS KATH PIERCE (R) AND THOMAS ANDERSON-THATCHER (L)

Somewhere, Scotland’s LGBT+ culture and enterprise hub, have launched their awesome ‘Somewhere at the Fringe’ campaign. Building on the success of their work during the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the team are championing the fantastic work made for, by or about our LGBT+ community during this years Fringe. With the most comprehensive guide to LGBT+ shows, Somewhere is the destination for everything LGBT+ at this years Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We caught up with Kath Pierce, Founder of Somewhere, to find out more.

For anyone who doesn’t know about Somewhere, please tell us more

Somewhere is a new grassroots bootstrap social enterprise focused on supporting the LGBT+ community through innovative projects and partnerships, with particular interest in LGBT+ arts/culture and enterprise/research. Having just completed our first year of research and partnership development, including collaborating with the University of Edinburgh Business School to launch the flagship “Somewhere EDI” MBA LGBT+ Scholarship, we’re very excited about our second year of Somewhere at the Fringe. It’s shaping up to be bigger, bolder and queerer than 2018 already.

There’s a real buzz around the second ‘Somewhere at the Fringe’. We’d love to know more

Put simply, it’s a way to shine a big rainbow light on the tiny percentage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which is LGBT+ and by that we mean shows ‘by, for or about’ LGBT+ people. Last year the LGBT+ Fringe comprised of just 3% of the overall Fringe output, and this year it’s improved to 5%, however there’s still so much to do. Our Somewhere at the Fringe campaign has been designed to champion the wide spectrum of LGBT+ shows, giving them the love, support and shout outs that they all deserve. We really want to hype up and share the amazing work of as many LGBT+ shows and performers as possible.

We are particularly proud of our Somewhere at the Fringe Guide which brings together all the LGBT+ shows, totalling more than 200 this year. You won’t find a comprehensive guide like this anywhere else.

“Our Somewhere at the Fringe campaign has been designed to champion the wide spectrum of LGBT+ shows, giving them the love, support and shout outs that they all deserve.”

Why is Somewhere at the Fringe needed?

We hope that by giving LGBT+ Fringe artists a platform, it will increase queer visibility at the festival and encourage greater numbers of producers and performers to take part in the Fringe. We want a far greater representation of LGBT+ stories and performers than there currently is and we’ll keep shouting until we get it.

We’re especially delighted to announce that this year we have a fantastic team of volunteers doing reviews, interviews and features of LGBT+ shows, which means we’ll have a much broader representation of LGBT+ voices in our Somewhere at the Fringe content. A big thank you to our fantastic team.

What is your experience of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Last year, we launched our first Somewhere at the Fringe campaign which focused on reviews and interviews, and it was an opportunity for me to throw myself into the Fringe experience, which is incredible in itself. Most of the shows are around an hour long which meant I was able to see quite a few shows in a day, which gave me scope for seeing lots of different kinds of genres and performances. I also loved all the different performance spaces. The city of Edinburgh plays a huge part in the Fringe as you get to access spaces in the city that otherwise wouldn’t be open to the public. And financially, most tickets are very reasonably priced so it is possible to see quite a lot without needing to spend a fortune, but crucially there are many free Fringe events worth checking out.

What are you most looking forward to about this years Fringe

More than anything it’s the breadth of stories and all the fantastic input to come from our volunteers. I can’t wait to see which shows will capture the teams imagination and create a buzz. Fringe shows also often reflect the political environment and it’s both a landmark year as the 50th year since the Stonewall riots which birthed the global Pride movement, and a year which has seen a continued rise in discrimination and violence against the LGBT+ community, and especially against our trans family. It’s especially important we help give voice to these minority voices who deserve to be heard above the noise of the mainstream Fringe.

SOMEWHERE AT THE FRINGE : SOME OF THE AWESOME SHOWS FEATURED IN THEIR 2019 LGBT+ GUIDE | L-R : STEPHEN K AMOS – ‘TALK SHOW’, SADIE CLARK – ‘ALGORITHMS’, NATHANIEL HALL – ‘FIRST TIME’, ‘MY FATHER THE TANTRIC MASSEUR’, RACHAEL YOUNG – ‘NIGHTCLUBBING’, CRAIG HILL – ‘BOTTOMS UP!’, ZOE LYONS – ‘ENTRY LEVEL HUMAN’ & JAMES BARR – ‘THIRST TRAP’ | ALL PHOTOS BY THOMAS ANDERSON-THATCHER

Thomas Anderson-Thatcher, Somewhere Director and Founder of Inclusive Networks, tells us more about Somewhere at the Fringe

We’ve spotted the Somewhere 50. What’s this all about?

2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York and the moment in history which marks the birth of the global Pride movement. With that in mind, we have decided to feature our ‘Somewhere 50’ for this year’s Fringe, covering comedy, theatre, spoken word, cabaret, dance and physical theatre, music and special events. The #Somewhere50 showcases a quarter of the whole LGBT+ offering (200+ shows) at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and throughout August we’ll be sharing lots of original interviews, reviews and features from our fantastic team of volunteers.

There are of course many more fantastic shows than the 50 we have featured and we’ll be doing our very best to shout about and support as many shows as possible over the Fringe. Feel free to tag us in your social media posts!

“We’re especially delighted to announce that this year we have a fantastic team of volunteers doing reviews, interviews and features of LGBT+ shows, which means we’ll have a much broader representation of LGBT+ voices in our Somewhere at the Fringe content.”

For the first time Somewhere will be celebrating the best of this years LGBT+ Fringe shows with special Somewhere at the Fringe awards?

We will indeed. As Somewhere develops and our voice gets louder, we want to continue to celebrate and shine a light on the amazing talented people and fabulous shows that make the Fringe so unique and special in different ways. We’re excited to be launching our first ‘Somewhere at the Fringe Awards’ and we’ll be announcing the recipients at the end of August. We can’t wait to end the Fringe on a real high.

How can people find out more about Somewhere?

If you’d like to know more about Somewhere, some of the team will be at the Sustainability Hub at the Bayes Centre courtyard, Edinburgh on 23rd August 2019, 11am-6pm. I’ll be there too, along with Kath. Come along and say hi and let us know how your Fringe has been, and how we can make #SomewhereAtTheFringe 2020 even queerer. You can also visit our website and follow us on social media, links below.

KEEP CONNECTED WITH SOMEWHERE:

Visit their website at somewhereedi.org