St Andrew’s Fair Saturday FAQ

About Fair Saturday and St Andrew’s Fair Saturday

What is 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 festival following just one requirement: to support a social cause of their choice through their event.

Fair Saturday has been a great success, growing year on year. In 2019 Fair Saturday delivered +800 events in 140 cities, involving 15,000 artists, attracting 250,000 attendances supporting social causes.

What is the difference between Fair Saturday and St Andrew’s Fair Saturday?

St Andrew’s Fair Saturday is Scotland’s contribution to Fair Saturday, and combines the celebration of the Fair Saturday Festival with the celebration of St Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s national day. Scotland is the only place which takes part in Fair Saturday as a whole nation, and artists and cultural organisations from all across Scotland join together in the global festival by organising their own events which support a social cause of their choice and the wider celebration of St Andrew’s Day.

Does Fair Saturday/St Andrew’s Fair Saturday oppose Black Friday?

No. Fair Saturday/ St Andrew’s 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.

When is St Andrew’s Fair Saturday?

The exact date of St Andrew’s Fair Saturday changes from year to year. Usually, it takes place between Fair Saturday (the day after Black Friday) and St Andrew’s Day (30th November).

In 2021 St Andrew’s Fair Saturday will be celebrated from Friday 26th November to Tuesday 30th November. 

What is the difference between the Fair Saturday festival and the movement?

We use the term “festival” when we talk about the global cultural initiative that aims to create a movement with a positive impact on society – every last Saturday of November on an international level – involving cities, artists, cultural organisations, and social projects all over the world.

Thus, the term “movement” fits our ideas and reflects the aim and aspiration of Fair Saturday. Although you can find numerous references to both, we use them to refer to the same concept and project.

Fair Saturday & St Andrew’s Fair Saturday cities and territories

Where does Fair Saturday take place?

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. The official territories for 2020 were Bilbao, Biscay, Lisbon, and Scotland.

St Andrew’s Fair Saturday is a nationwide celebration, with events and participants from all across 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

Is St Andrew’s Fair Saturday a city only approach and what does it mean to be an official city or region?

St Andrew’s 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, St Andrew’s 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.

Can I organise an event in my city even though it is not an official city of the festival?

Yes. Events for St Andrew’s Fair Saturday can take place anywhere in Scotland.

Funding

How is Fair Saturday/St Andrew’s Fair Saturday funded?

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

St Andrew’s Fair Saturday is supported by the Scottish Government.

How much does it cost to take part in St Andrew’s Fair Saturday and can I apply for grant funding from St Andrew’s Fair Saturday?

St Andrew’s 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 St Andrew’s Fair Saturday.

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

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

Organising a St Andrew’s Fair Saturday event

What kinds of artists and events can take part in St Andrew’s Fair Saturday?

St Andrew’s 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).

How does a St Andrew’s Fair Saturday event work?

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

The event will be published in the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 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. (See the section on Social causes in the FAQs and our guide to working with social causes on our tools page.)

During the event on St Andrew’s Fair Saturday day, 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 is dedicated to the social project. It is up to the artists to decide who to support and how.

Who is in charge of the production of the events?

The events that take part in St Andrew’s 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.

Who does Fair Saturday consider event organiser or participant?

Broadly speaking, a Fair Saturday participant is whoever is involved in the delivery process of the festival and can range from the ones producing the events, the artists, the cultural and social organisations to the audience that attends the events on St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Day. With the term “organiser” we refer to the ones responsible for organising resources to create and make the events possible for St Andrew’s Fair Saturday.

How can I participate as an artist or cultural organisation?

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 St Andrew’s Fair Saturday or
  • Add to the festival’s programme the event you had planned for the day/Include your recorded event in the Fair Saturday Events app

St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 2021 will be a hybrid festival that will be able to host both on-site (subject to restrictions at the time) and online events through the Events App, in the latter case, both live and deferred via pre-recorded content. In the case of live online events, the Events App does not currently allow you to stream live events directly from the platform, 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 in our Events app 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. You don’t have to have all the information already, you can edit your profile and information over time as many times as you want.

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

If taking part online, is it better to have a live or pre-recorded event?

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.

If taking part online, is it better for an event to be shown at a scheduled time or watch on demand?

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.

Can I organise an event if I am not an artist?

Of course! St Andrew’s Fair Saturday is an open movement. You can organise a show as an individual, a business, a charity… Artists are not the only ones to organise cultural events. Email us and we will help you: scotland@fairsaturday.org

Where can I hold my event?

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.

St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 2021 will be a hybrid festival with events both onsite (subject to restrictions at the time) and online. More information about taking part is available (and will be added to) on our tools page

Can I organise a St Andrew’s Fair Saturday event on another date?

St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 2021 will take place from Friday 26th November to Tuesday 30th November, and all events will take place during those days except for the opening event and the event closing the edition. Exceptions will be made in very particular situations.

What is the deadline to submit my event in St Andrew’s Fair Saturday?

This year’s deadline is still TBC. 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

Must all the events be free to enter?

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 will set a value to the show through a donation and the artists will 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.

Is it better to charge for tickets or ask the audience to choose how much they pay?

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!

How can I sell tickets for my event?

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

Do I need to support a social cause?

Linking events with social projects is one of the things that makes the Fair Saturday and St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival 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 be able to do all three at one 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. 

I need to support myself. Do I have donate part of my fee to charity?

No! We believe that culture is not just important; it’s essential. Culture is at the very heart of St Andrew’s Fair Saturday and 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.

Which social causes can benefit from St Andrew’s Fair Saturday?

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 can I collaborate with a charity?

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 2020 has been a very difficult year for artists and cultural organisations and we want St Andrew’s 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.

We are a social cause as well as artists. Can we support ourselves?

Yes. Many of the organisations that create events for Fair Saturday and St Andrew’s 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. 

How can I participate as a Charity?

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 St Andrew’s 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 festival with you
  • You can organise your own cultural event for St Andrew’s 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.

You can find more information on our guide to working with social projects [Coming soon]

Promotion

Can I look for sponsors for my event?

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

What kind of visibility would the partners be granted?

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

What PR tools can St Andrew’s Fair Saturday provide?

Fair Saturday and St Andrew’s Fair Saturday events receive considerable marketing and PR, locally,
nationally and internationally.

All of St Andrew’s Fair Saturday’s events will have:

  • A place on the international website to promote their show
  • A place in the international mobile app
  • Promotion through social media, blog and newsletter
  • 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 St Andrew’s Fair Saturday and for the services and resources we provide.

How can I use St Andrew’s Fair Saturday logo and branding?

If you are taking part in St Andrew’s 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 (toolkit) for your event with the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday branding.

Other ways to get involved

Can I volunteer with St Andrew’s Fair Saturday?

There is no national volunteering programme for St Andrew’s 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 St Andrew’s 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 on the “Guide for volunteers” or email us at scotland@fairsaturday.org if you have any ideas or need more information.