Scottish School Kids invited to inspire Edinburgh Festival Fringe 70th programme

2017 sees the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (EFF) celebrating an amazing 70 years.

Plans have been recently announced by the Society (EFFS) for the relaunch of the annual Fringe Schools Poster Competition, again supported by Virgin Money. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the competition invites school pupils across Scotland to provide artwork that will inspire for production the historic 2017 Fringe Programme cover.

Just under 400,00 copies of the Fringe Programme were printed in 2016 and winning entries selected from three age categories will go on to provide the inspiration for three individual cover designs for the prestigious 2017 version.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said, “The Fringe Schools Poster Competition has been an integral part of the Fringe for 36 years and we are very proud that the competition is one of the longest running arts outreach programmes in Scotland. …The Fringe prides itself on its ability to applaud diversity, promote inclusivity and inspire creativity in those who take part. The Fringe Schools Poster Competition was established with these values at its core, encouraging children to get creative.”

As well as the three main winners, 14 regional winners will be selected whose work will be featured in an exhibition of shortlisted entries that will take place at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh between May and August 2017 before touring to locations around Scotland.

Jon Bishop (aka The Grey Earl), illustrator, community artist and theatre-maker known for his popular illustrations including the ‘Batboy’ and ‘Stars are Braw’ series, has been engaged by EFFS to champion the competition. He will lead a Continuous Professional Learning session for teachers in Edinburgh, will sit on the competition’s judging panel and attend the prize-giving ceremony as guest of honour.

Jon said, "The competition is a fantastic initiative to get children thinking creatively and a great opportunity to encourage them to express themselves, be that through designing a poster, taking a photo, or writing a poem. I am really looking forward to seeing what schoolchildren across the country come up with, inspired by the array of colours and variety that the Fringe provides.”

This year’s competition will be judged in three different age categories from schools in Scotland: Primary 1 – 3, Primary 4 –7, and Senior 1 – 6. Pupils are unrestricted in their creativity; photographs, poems, animations, in fact all forms of expressive arts, will be accepted as potential sources of inspiration. Pupils have until the 03 March 2017 to submit their entries.

Full details of the competition along with the entry pack, prize information and learning resources can be downloaded at

The prizes for the top three artists and their schools are:

  • Pupils – £150 (cash) and £150 arts and culture voucher
  • Schools – £250 (cash) and £250 arts and culture voucher

A new trophy for special achievement in a school will also be awarded in 2017.