The rules of CoDI

Your show must have a dangerous idea at its core.

  • There are many opportunities to talk about interesting, excellent research at Edinburgh’s many festivals. CoDI’s selling point is that it asks the questions researchers (and members of the public) might skirt round in a more conservative setting.

At least 50% of your show (and hopefully more) must be spent on audience interaction.

  • CoDI is not a public lecture format. We advertise it as debate and discussion, so we need lots of that!
  • Your audience may take your show in a direction you’d not envisaged, and you need to be okay to go with this. (For example, please never stop a question by saying you’ll cover the answer ‘when you get to that bit’ in your talk.)

You must come to the information sessions and bootcamps.

  • These events are where we answer many of the questions you have about performing at CoDI.
  • We don’t have capacity to undertake 1:1 meetings outside these sessions except in the most exceptional circumstances. We also don’t have capacity to respond to a lot of emails on topics covered in the sessions.
  • Unless you’ve been to CoDI bootcamps before, we expect you to attend all bootcamps – and absolutely require you to attend at least one bootcamp.

You must promote your show – or get people around you to help.

  • We will take care of central marketing through the Edinburgh Fringe programme. This will be both print and online.
  • We will market the programme as a whole through social media, and will tell your university’s central press and communications team about your involvement.
  • Our 2020 summer intern will be able to support targeted promotion of individual shows BUT only if you provide guidance on the likely audiences. Please do engage with the intern and respond to them with the information they need. Please bear in mind the intern will also be working on many other shows.
  • We expect you to tweet and Facebook like crazy (#CoDI2020), tell your department, hopefully write a blog and/or make a short video trailer using your phone, and employ any other means at your disposal to sell your show.

Please do not plan to have more than one performer.

  • We have reduced this number even more as of October 2018 – it used to be capped at two.
  • With two people on the stage, you need to have an excellent rapport to ensure both have equal stage time and profile, and each fulfil different roles. Even professional double-acts take time to develop this. The tendency is for one person to dominate.
  • Having a lot of people on the stage can create a ‘wall’ with the audience.
  • You end up with a panel discussion instead, which is better suited to the Book Festival.
  • By the time everyone on the stage has spoken, the hour will be up and there’ll be no time for the audience!
  • It makes it hard for the MC to interact with you, which alters the dynamic from what the shows are sold as.

No electronic projection of any kind.

  • The audience will look at the projection, not you, so it closes down the interaction.
  • You will not have time to set it up.
  • It will inevitably not work on the day. We can absolutely guarantee this!
  • CoDI is not a public lecture, and it is not TED. They are both great, but CoDI is not they.
  • There is nowhere to store projection equipment at our Fringe venue.
  • We cannot afford to hire projection equipment, and definitely cannot afford for it to get stolen or damaged.
  • Please, please, please don’t ask us to use a projector or screen a film. [That’s enough about projection now – Ed.]

Nothing else that needs to be plugged in.

  • We have no idea if there will be power sockets near the stage.
  • If your electronics don’t break, the power to the site will cut out. We’re not being dramatic – this actually happened in year one and we had to pull the show.

You have ten minutes – maximum – to set up your show, and 5 minutes to get it out.

  • If you are the former, please head straight to the exit as soon as your show ends. Your fans will follow you.
  • Please do not put flyers on the seats before your show as picking these up (when the audience inevitably ignores them) takes time we won’t have!

Please bring your friends, family and colleagues – but they need to pay.

  • There will be some complimentary tickets available, but these will be strictly limited and certainly no more than two per show.
  • If your own supporters don’t think you’re worth paying to see, you need new supporters!

Please tell us about any props or very controversial topics for our risk assessment.

  • We need to do a risk assessment of the events so that they are covered by university liability insurance.
  • Please tell us about any props you plan to use – especially if they involve naked flames, flashing lights, big bowls of unwrapped sweets, peanuts, or anything else that could be in any way dangerous to anyone.
  • Please alert us if you think taking part in CoDI may pose a risk to your own safety. (This has come up in previous years with shows about the Colombian cocaine industry, terrorism, freedom of speech and shows with feminist themes.)

Tell us if you don’t want reviewers.

  • By default, your show will be open to Edinburgh Fringe reviewers.

<< Back to CoDI 2020 menu