Flyer Etiquette etc

If 2,000 of the shows at Edinburgh printed at least 5,000 flyers (which is the minimum for most shows) then that would mean 1,000,000 flyers handed out over the festival.

That’s about 350,000 flyers being given out a day.These estimates are conservative, so the realistic figures could be higher.

In my short time flyering for Only Planet I’ve collated some basic etiquette etc* notes on how a fellow-flyerer should conduct themselves. Please feel free to comment/email me to add to this list (I’ll make sure you’re credited, because I’m polite that way).

* etc is for bits that aren’t strictly etiquette but are still flyer related


1. Do not flyer other flyerers.

In fact if you are an audience member who is sick of having A6 gloss paper pushed at you then you can hold a small stack of flyers in your hand and other flyerers will assume you are one of their own and won’t flyer you. GENIUS! The only exception to this is when someone states ‘FLYER SWAP’ and flyers are exchanged by mutual agreement.

2. Sitting down, does not mean sitting duck

Just because someone is sitting on a step, park bench or at a coffee table doesn’t mean they are looking for something to do. Give them a break people!

3. Be assertive, not aggressive

Blanket flyering means you push flyers out, but don’t necessarily match that with audience in (to your shows).

4. Embarrass yourself

Sing, dance or state your undying love for a statue if it works. Although don’t always assume it will, other people have had the same ideas and the statue will probably hand YOU a flyer…

5. If they are busy, or are trying to look busy, then they’re probably not interested

If someone is walking quickly, has headphones in, is mid-conversation, is texting or looking away then they’re not playing ‘hard to get’. They really don’t want anything from you.

6. Make your flyer funny (or at least notable)

This is more for the new comedy shows. If you are an unknown act and you manage to hand a flyer to someone they are more likely to attend if it has something to make them smile. If you can’t make them giggle with an A6 gloss card then a stage and a microphone probably won’t help you much anyway…Of course it’s not always the case and there are definitely exceptions to this, for example A Nifty History of Evil by John Robertson. His flyer is black, white and very dark. But it gets your attention so it works.

7. Have fun

If you’re getting silly with it, it tends to make people less grumpy, and sometimes they even take a flyer.

Offer them


‘Limited edition flyers, ONLY 60,000 left’

8. Bribe them

We give away free biscuits at our shows. I’ve also seen free pork pies, free cups of tea and free lollies (stapled to flyers). It actually works occasionally, and you can always eat what’s left over 😉


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