Festival Favours: Group Leader Handbook

About the Project

This summer, Edinburgh International Festival is looking to bring a slice of the Festival to communities across Edinburgh as they begin their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when we are limited in how we can interact with the citizens of our city, we are bringing artists and creativity into the communities of Edinburgh through our Festival Favours project.

Festival Favours offers organised groups, clubs and societies, as well as community centres, care homes and social spaces across the city, the opportunity to receive a gift from the International Festival in the form of an artist or creative individual who will look to bring joy, culture and creativity to their participants.

About the Festival

Established in 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival is a world-class cultural event that has been bringing together audiences and artists from around the world for over 70 years.

For three weeks in August, Scotland’s capital becomes an unparalleled celebration of the performing arts and an annual meeting point for people of all nations. The International Festival presents a programme featuring the finest performers and ensembles from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre.

Our impact extends beyond the annual programme: our community learning and engagement and professional development programmes run throughout the year, reaching the widest possible audiences and contributing to the cultural and social life of Edinburgh and Scotland.


You will by now have been connected with your Festival Favours Liaison. However, if you ever need something and can’t get hold of them, the whole Festival Team can be contacted by emailing engage@eif.co.uk.

Group Leader Responsibilities

Festival Favours is designed to bring creativity to the citizens of Edinburgh by meeting local communities in their own spaces, bringing artists and activity to them and connecting with their participants at times and venues that suit them as a collective.

This style of delivery is also designed to support with COVID-19 mitigation by limiting the number external individuals connecting with a community group, fitting in with measures groups already have in place.

With this in mind, there are some things we require from the Group Leaders of each community group to support the success of each Favour. These were outlined in the agreement you signed to participate in Festival Favours, but we felt it would be good to expand on them here to support the delivery of your Favour.


The Festival Favour activity we will be presenting to your group will have been designed based on your application and in discussion with you directly. The International Festival will risk assess this activity and manage a lot of the set-up and planning.

However, on the day you will be the lead and main point of contact. Your International Festival liaison will discuss this with you in further detail, but if you have any concerns or questions please do ask; we do not want the Favour to be a burden to you and your group.


As Group Leader you are responsible for the management and wellbeing of the participants of your group. This is something we know that you will already be familiar with doing for your regular meetings with the group – managing a register of attendees, holding key information on participants that might be required dependent on the activity, dealing with enquiries or questions that participants might have, and informing the artist of anything they should know about attendees.

We are sure that you will already hold key information about the members of your group, but we would be grateful if you were able to ensure you have the following details:

Full name
Contact phone number (for track and trace purposes)
Any access requirements
Any medical info that may be necessary
An emergency contact, where appropriate

We have created a register template that you may find helpful.

We will not ask for any of this information from you but would ask that you have it on file in case it is needed at any point during your Favour.

We will also look to you to inform your participants about the activity and make sure that any requests we might have from the artists are passed on to those that are going to attend the activity. For example, wearing loose clothes for a dance workshop or older clothing for an art activity.


For the ease of participants, we have looked to design your Favour activity to take place at the venue or location that you and your group use regularly. If this is not possible, your International Festival liaison will discuss other options (see below).

If your Favour is taking place at your own regular location, you will be responsible for the management and safety of the space. We will provide information on how the venue should be set up, which we would ask you to do in advance of the activity. For example, clearing chairs and tables away for a dance or movement workshop. On the day of the activity, you will be responsible for making sure all attendees including the artist are aware of any safety measures including fire evacuation procedures and COVID-19 safety measures.

If your regular venue is not available, or is unsuitable for the activity/artist we are offering you, we will source a location for the activity to take place that is suitable for you and your participants, and work with you on management of the space.

Risk Assessment & COVID-19

We want to ensure that your Festival Favour is as safe as possible for you, your participants, and our artists. As such we have created a COVID-19 Risk Assessment that provides an overview of all elements of COVID-19 planning and the precautions required. This has been sent to you or can be found here.

We have also produced a basic risk assessment, which identifies key things we would ask that you make sure are arranged for the Favour such as removing any trips or hazards, making sure all attendees are aware of the fire safety procedures and use of any electrical equipment. This has been sent to you and can also be found here.

Photography and Filming

Festival Favours is all about bringing joy to your group and we would like to make sure that where appropriate we capture and celebrate the activity, your group and its participants.

As such, we would be most grateful if you were able to have all participants attending the Favour sign a photo release form to allow us to use images of them and the activity. This form will have been provided by your International Festival Liaison or can be downloaded here.

It may not be able to get a photographer or video crew to your group depending on their schedule during August, but we will try and capture each Favour. You are also of course welcome to capture the activity and please do share anything that is appropriate with us.

Communications and Social Media

Once all our Favours have been allocated to community groups, we will look to do a public announcement about the project and recipients. If you are able to hold off talking about your Favour on your website and social media until this time we would be very grateful.

However, from then onwards please do celebrate your Favour online. Our social media handles are:

Twitter: @edintfest

Facebook: @EdIntFest

Instagram: @edintfest

Our hashtag is #edintfest.

If you make sure to tag us, we can retweet/share on our channels to help spread your messages.


This handbook contains lots of information and logistics in order to ensure the smooth running of your Festival Favour. However, the project has been designed to bring fun and creativity to you and your community group; it should not be a burden. It is the start of a new relationship with you and your group.

As such, please do not hesitate to contact your Festival Favour liaison at any point during the planning and/or delivery of your Favour, and raise any issues, concerns or questions you may have.

We are very excited about bring you your Favour this Summer and connecting you with some exciting artists.


Caroline, Neil, Amy, Calum & Grace

Learning & Engagement Team