Fair Saturday FAQ

About Fair Saturday

Fair Saturday is a global mobilisation that aims to create a positive social impact every last Saturday of November, the day following Black Friday, the greatest expression of consumerism. Artists and cultural organisations from all over the world get together in a global movement following just one requirement: to support a social cause of their choice through their event.

No. Fair Saturday is not against anything. It aims to respond to Black Friday in a positive way by prioritising culture and social empathy towards the most vulnerable in our society, providing an opportunity “to be” rather than “to have”.

Fair Saturday is an idea to place culture at the centre. To recognise the value of cultural and social organisations. To feel. To reflect. And to act for the common good. Not just today, but also hopefully the rest of the year.

The exact date of Fair Saturday changes from year to year. It takes place the day after Black Friday.

In 2023 Fair Saturday will be celebrated on 25th November.

Fair Saturday cities and territories

Fair Saturday is an open movement which means that it can take place in any city or region of the world. Each edition has official cities and regions that lead the project globally and wish to offer their communities a different day, in which culture and social empathy take the leading role.

2023 Fair Saturday Territories will be announced in the coming months.

The official territories for 2022 were Bilbao, Biscay, Lisbon, Huelva, La Rioja, Alava and Scotland.

To date, Fair Saturday has officially taken place in:

  • Scotland
  • Bilbao
  • Bristol
  • Málaga
  • Milano
  • Santander
  • Huelva
  • Lima
  • Mesagne
  • Pisa
  • Cardiff
  • Leeuwarden
  • Helsinki
  • Atlanta
  • Quincy
  • Lisbon
  • Massachusetts

Fair Saturday welcomes contributing events from across Scotland. Cities, towns, villages, islands, and communities in every area of Scotland are very warmly invited to take part and we would love to see every region of the country participating.

An official city/region promotes the organisation of the festival through its public institutions. Fair Saturday is in charge of developing the project throughout the year to ensure it is successful in the city/region and triggering each year a strong mobilisation in favor of arts, culture, and social projects. Likewise, the city/region will be part of the international network of official cities and regions of Fair Saturday. In Scotland, Fair Saturday is celebrated as a national event, but your city, area, or region can still apply to be a signature Fair Saturday hub. 

For more information, please click here.

Yes. Events for Fair Saturday can take place anywhere in Scotland.

Funding

Fair Saturday is a not-for-profit organisation registered in 2015. The Foundation’s income streams are mainly:

  • Partnerships with cities and regional authorities that wish to deliver the project in their territory
  • Brands that believe in the project and wish to be part of it
  • Public or private grants from organisations whose goals are similar to the ones of Fair Saturday

Fair Saturday does not ask for a commission from the events that take part of the movement. We only ask for transparency in terms of the social project you are supporting.

We do not provide grant funding to create new events; instead, we provide a rallying call for events and activities to take part in a globally recognised brand. Significant marketing and PR activity will take place around Fair Saturday.

Artists and cultural entities may decide to create new events on the occasion of Fair Saturday, but no funding will be provided for that matter. Equally, you may choose to dedicate an existing or already planned activity to Fair Saturday.

You are free to apply for grant funding or sponsorship elsewhere to help fund your event.

Organising a Fair Saturday event

Fair Saturday is a participatory festival that is based on the open organisation of cultural activities of every kind. We welcome every artistic discipline, from public or private organisations from anywhere in Scotland, and both amateur and professional artists at every stage of their career.

What is important here is to create. And to think that there are different ways of doing things. Cultural events that have taken part in the past include music, theatre, dance, performance, street art, visual arts, photography, literature, poetry, cinema, circus, creative workshops…

There is just one condition for taking part: to support a social cause. For more information about working with social causes, see the section on Social causes in the FAQs and our guide to working with social causes on our tools page (coming soon).

Fair Saturday events are organised by the artists or venues themselves. They can either be events specifically planned for Fair Saturday, or you can dedicate an already planned event (such as a scheduled performance) to the celebration of Fair Saturday.

The event will be published in the Fair Saturday Scotland programme and globally in Fair Saturday’s programme through the website and mobile app weeks before the event. This way, it will be quite easy to share the event with everyone you want. What we ask is that you raise your voice for the cause you want to support.

During the event on Fair Saturday, you will need to allocate a few minutes for a representative of the social project to share their work with the audience. We ask that a representative of the charity you are supporting attends the event.

And lastly, we ask that part of the value generated by the event (not necessarily financial) is dedicated to the social project. It is up to the artists to decide who to support and how. There are lots of ideas in our Guide to working with social projects on our tools page.

The events that take part in Fair Saturday are produced autonomously. The Fair Saturday team may be able to collaborate on the organisation of the event and we will give you support throughout the process.

If you are an artist or a cultural organisation and you have a place to host an event or you have an artistic project and you have it all worked out, then you can either:

  • Organise a new event around Fair Saturday or
  • Add to the Fair Saturday programme an event that you have already planned for the day, as long as it fits with Fair Saturday’s ethos

Fair Saturday 2023 will be a hybrid festival that will be able to host both on-site and online events both live and on demand via pre-recorded content. In the case of live online events, the website does not currently allow you to stream live events directly, but you can enter a link to the live streaming platform of your choice in order to include it in the programme.

Therefore, the first step to participate is to register and upload information about yourself, your project, and little by little about the event(s) through which you plan to participate, whatever format you have in mind.

More information about taking part is available (and will be added to) on our tools pageIf you have an idea but don’t know how to pull it off, you have a venue and you are looking for artists or you have a show but don’t know where to perform, email us and we will try to help you: scotland@fairsaturday.org

This depends on the kind of event you are hosting and the technology you have available. Some events will always be pre-recorded, such as films. A music performance could be streamed live (especially if it’s being recorded in front of an audience), but you could also choose to record the concert and then show it later, which gives you the option to edit if you want.

For art workshops, live workshops can be great, but if you’re teaching a tricky technique then having a recording that people can watch as many times as they like can add value, so sometimes people deliver a live workshop and also record it for participants, or new participants to watch on-demand. If you don’t have a very secure internet connection it could work better to record your event and then upload the recording to the platform so you don’t need to worry about interruptions during the performance. It’s also possible to have an event that is mostly pre-recorded content but also has a live element, perhaps a commentary or Q&A with the artists’ section.

There is a lot of useful information and resources on VisitScotland’s webpage.

That’s a tricky one. Watch on-demand gives a lot of flexibility and means that people can watch it when it suits them, and your event won’t clash with other events, meaning that you can probably attract a larger audience overall. However, there’s more of a buzz around a live event, partly because you know that even if it’s digital, everyone is watching at the same time and you might have the option for people to interact and comment so it feels more like an in-person event. We have seen organisers make the most of both options by presenting their event at a scheduled time with a live element, and then offering the option to watch this event later on-demand, or (as above), offering the pre-recorded material on demand but adding additional live content at a scheduled time.

Of course! Fair Saturday is an open movement. You can organise a show as an individual, a business, a charity. We are very keen to showcase events by and for communities. So if you have an idea and you’d like to chat, email us and we will help you: scotland@fairsaturday.org

You can hold your show anywhere you want: a square, a theatre, a library, a shop, a school, a cafe or bar… You are free to choose where you want to participate.

We will try to help you look for the perfect place if we can. There are also online platforms you can use to look for suitable venues. Email us at scotland@fairsaturday.org for more information.

If you are based in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has some useful information on their website: https://www.edfringe.com/take-part/putting-on-a-show/finding-a-venue However, please remember that Fair Saturday does not work in the same way as the Fringe, so bear in mind that not all Fringe venues will be suitable or available for Fair Saturday events. It’s just a suggestion to help you get started looking and things to think about when you’re choosing a venue.

Fair Saturday 2023 will take place on Saturday 25th November, and all events will take place on this day. Exceptions will be made in very particular situations.

This year’s deadline is 1st October 2023. However, if you would like to get involved, the sooner you contact us the more support we can provide.

We may accept proposals after the deadline. However, proposals received after the deadline will not have the same promotion than those submitted before the deadline.

Ticketing

Not all of the events have to be free to enter- that is to be decided by the artists or cultural entities in charge of the organisation of the show. You can decide whether to sell tickets or not and fix the price.

Culture has a value. Even if the event is free, the audience can set a value to the show through a donation (if you wish) and the artists can choose to make a donation to their charity (the artists define the quantity to be donated to the charity). Alternatively, the artists can ask the audience to make donations in kind e.g. to a food bank. It may be that for free events, the audience or community is the beneficiary, and that’s fine too!

This is hard to advise on because it depends on quite a number of factors. If you have a loyal, well-established audience then you will probably do better by charging a fixed price for tickets. If you don’t know your audience very well, and they don’t know you, then you might encourage more people to watch if they can choose what they pay. If you let the audience fix the price, then it can work better to ask them to choose their price at the end rather than the start. It also really helps to let the audience know what to expect from your event, so we encourage you to provide running times, a little blurb about your event and who you are, and the social project, if you are supporting one. The best advertisement for your event is a great trailer to give them a taste of what’s to come!

At the Fair Saturday Foundation, we have developed a new ticketing platform (fstickets.org) so that you can price your event, either offline or online if you wish. In both cases, we will make this platform available to you through our Events App, which you will need to access in order to participate in St Andrew’s Fair Saturday.

In the future, we also plan to make this ticketing platform available for you to use independently at other times of the year.

In case you want to participate offline or online with a live event, you can choose to use our ticketing platform or the one you prefer. If you decide not to price the event, for security and capacity control reasons you can also use this platform to manage the people who can attend your event. If you choose to participate online with pre-recorded content, the only ticketing option will be through our ticketing platform.

You will be able to promote the ticket sales from our website and mobile app. Our ticketing platform is a non-profit platform that seeks to maximize the benefits for the artistic and cultural sector. The only commissions to be paid are those set by the payment gateway. Fair Saturday does not charge any commission to the artist or the audience.

More information will soon be available in our ticketing guide on our tools page.

Working with social causes

Yes! Linking events with social projects is one of the things that makes the Fair Saturday Movement so unique. It’s our way of showing what culture can do, trying to create a fairer, more empathetic world, and saying thank you to all those people and organisations who are working to create a better world too.

There are 3 main ways that we recognise the work of social projects through Fair Saturday (you might not do all three at an event):

  • Showing how proud we are of the work they do.
  • Helping them spread their message through their communication channels and giving them some time before the show to share it with the audience.
  • Generating funds for the chosen project by freely and voluntarily donating part of the value generated in the event (tickets, donations, etc.).

The connection between the artists, the social project, and the audience adds a special element to each event, which is why we ask that you promote a social project alongside your event, invite someone from the social project to attend your event, and tell your audience about their work, and read our Fair Saturday text at the start of your event. 

It might be that the social project is the community, especially reaching out to people who might not normally have access to cultural events. That’s fine too!

Whatever way you choose to support the social project, just make sure that who is supported and how is clear to everyone there.

No! We believe that culture is not just important; it’s essential. Culture is at the very heart of Fair Saturday, and artists and their work must be properly valued by the audience. There is never any question that artists should be expected to perform for free, or even donate a percentage of their fee to charity. If an artist chooses to donate a percentage, of course, that is allowed, but it is not expected. Donations to charity should be made after the event costs are covered, and that includes the people working on the event.

We also create our own Fair Saturday events as part of the festival and we pay artists fairly and make sure all artists are paid before donations are made.

There are lots of other ways to support social projects that aren’t financial. More information is on our tools page.

Artists and organisers choose which social cause they want to support, and how. A social cause should be a charity or SCIO registered with OSCR, Community Interest Company (CIC), or social enterprise. If you are not sure if your chosen project qualifies, just drop us a line and we’ll take a look on a case by case basis.

How you support the social cause is totally up to you as the event organiser, and it doesn’t have to be a financial contribution. We have made a guide to working with social projects (soon available on our tools page), but here are just some ideas:

      • % of the ticket sales
      • % of the artists’ fee
      • Allowing the charity to raise open donations from the public
      • Allowing the charity to sell merchandise during the event
      • Partnership with a private entity that will make a donation to the charity
      • Collection of goods for the charity
      • Auctions
      • Inviting the charity’s beneficiaries to a premium experience in the event

    The artists and cultural entities participating are not obliged to donate 100% of the proceeds, they decide the % to be donated. There is not a minimum to be donated.

    We know that the past few years have been very difficult for artists and cultural organisations and we want Fair Saturday to be an opportunity for you to be able to work and support yourselves so this should be taken into account when looking at donations.

Yes. Many of the organisations that create events for Fair Saturday are social projects themselves, and it’s fine to use this opportunity to raise money for your own work. Even better if it’s a specific project you can talk about. Why not invite one of the people who are involved with or benefit from your work to come and share their experience with the audience. 

If you know or if you are a social cause (see above), you can take part in any of the following ways:

  • You can be an official Fair Saturday Social Project and be chosen by an artist
  • You can look for artists and cultural entities in your city and invite them to participate in the movement with you
  • You can organise your own cultural event for Fair Saturday. We will help you every step of the way. You can raise funds for your own cause or you can choose another charity to support.

Promotion

Yes, every artist and cultural entity participating is free to look for sponsors to fund their event. Fair Saturday will not be responsible for the agreements incurred with third parties.

This can be defined, but can include:

  • The posters and designs of the event
  • The webspace associated to the event, both on the website and the app
  • Mentions in posts made on social media related to the event

Fair Saturday events receive considerable marketing and PR, locally, nationally and internationally.

All of Fair Saturday’s events will have:

  • A place on the international website to promote their show
  • A place in the international mobile app
  • A listing in the Fair Saturday Scotland pdf programme
  • Promotion through social media
  • Templates for personalised designs and promotion materials for their show

Moreover, the complete programme will be promoted through social media, generic posters and publicity in media partners.

As for us, we will not ask for anything in return. The Fair Saturday Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that is funded by private partners and agreements with public institutions. We will not ask for any fees for participating in Fair Saturday and for the services and resources we provide.

In terms of your own promotional activity, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has some useful suggestions and things to think about when promoting your event: https://www.edfringe.com/take-part/putting-on-a-show/marketing-and-promotion  However, please remember that Fair Saturday does not work in the same way as the Fringe, so bear in mind that not all guidance will be applicable to your Fair Saturday event. It’s just a suggestion to help you get started looking and things to think about when you’re planning your promotion.

If you are taking part in Fair Saturday you will be able to use our logo when promoting your event. For more details on how to use the logo, please contact us at scotland@fairsaturday.org

Nearer the time, we will also provide promotional materials for your event with the Fair Saturday branding.

Other ways to get involved

There is no national volunteering programme for Fair Saturday however if people are interested in volunteering then we would love to hear from you.

If you are passionate about art in all of its forms, you find yourself dreaming of a better world and you have time to share with us, you can:

  • Join the Fair Saturday team of volunteers and help us coordinate the events taking part
  • Collaborate in the creation of content for social media and help us share what we do
  • Help us spread the word and share the project with whomever you deem interesting (media, artists, businesses, etc.)

You can find more info in our Guide for volunteers on our tools page or email us at scotland@fairsaturday.org if you have any ideas or need more information.


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