Looking back on the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 Podcasts

And that, as they say, was the Fringe. Everyone is going over their August performances, from the Fringe office to the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. Let’s do the same with the Edinburgh Fringe podcast. This was the ninth year of the daily podcast from the Capital, with music, guests, and Fringe news, bringing as many different facets of the Fringe as possible to the show. Not just the comedy, or the theatre, but the whole smash.

In short, if you were at the Fringe, it was a backstage pass. If you weren’t, my goal was to make you as jealous as possible.

This year saw one of the biggest changes to the show since it launched. Working with Castle FM, the show was broadcast live on Castle FM’s live stream, before being rebroadcast across Edinburgh on 98.8 FM, and then available as the regular Edinburgh Fringe podcast from the usual sites and RSS feeds.

This meant a slight change in format. The guests remained, but I was able to bring in a lot more music from many of the acts performing at the Fringe, as well as committing to four interviews in each weekday podcast. And while some of the interviews were pre-recorded in town, the vast majority of them were done in the studio, live, with no safety net.

It needed a bit more organising, and of course the interviewees had to be in the studio, ready to go, when the faders came up on the microphone. For that effort, I think it added a lot of energy to the show. As to the audience reaction, the quickest check was through iTunes, and the podcast charts. The Fringe podcast reached #2 in the Performing Arts chart (beaten only by the Radio 4 Play For The Day, I finally overtook The Archers); #3 in the Arts chart; and peaked at number #51 in the overall chart. I’d call that a success.

The question is, what happens next?

Answer number one is Fringe 2014. It would be the tenth year of the podcast, and that’s a pretty important number for me (and for podcasting). But that’s not until August next year, which is eleven months away. I still think there’s a gap in the market for a podcast that brings good chat, great music, and brings the best of Edinburgh to listeners in the capital (and further afield) all year round…

There’s an idea.

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