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 😉


I rarely fall for people, I have excellent balance

Dear Internet,

Yes, I’m single.

Something comedians often use as a punchline on stage.

‘So I’m single…’

Or they tell ‘hilarious’ stories about their partner and then admit they’re just kidding

‘I don’t even HAVE a girlfriend’

(by this statement you could assume that all comedians are ONLY  boys or lesbians… but actually it’s just that most of them are boys, and the girls usually joke about being lesbian anyway… )

This blog is not a cry for help. I’m not in need of advice, please don’t tell me how fabulous I am, or how it’s ‘their loss’. Once a very close friend told me that the reason I hadn’t been in a relationship for such a long time (2006 – 2010, why does that read like a gravestone?) was because there was something ‘wrong inside’ that I wasn’t dealing with, but apparently once I figured out what it was then ‘it would start happening’.

I hung up on them.

Although denial is often the first sign of a problem (and I’m sure I do have problems) I’d like to strongly deny that something ‘wrong inside’ is the reason I’m not in a relationship. There are plenty of people who have something ‘wrong inside’ and still manage to find themselves in relationships.

The thing is no matter how many people you’ve gone out with, how long you’ve been married, how you found your partner or how many of your friends you have set up with other people, you cannot give me a sure-fire recipe to finding a successful relationship.

Relationships are not like baking a cake.

There is not a universal set of instructions where you get guaranteed cake (read relationship). There is no recipe that EVERYONE can follow. Someone isn’t single because they missed one small step, and that’s why it didn’t work…

“Oh he doesn’t want to go out with you?
Let’s see… oh you forgot the put the self-raising flour in… the heat is on way too high…oops, you followed a recipe for flatbread…”

It’s not that I don’t get a bit sad about it occasionally, or feel a bit like a lesbian that hasn’t realised she’s a lesbian (there’s that lesbian reference I promised in the first paragraph!) or that I’ve stopped falling for people..

I still have crushes, I still fall in love with strangers in supermarkets when we buy the same brand (oh how very GEN-Y of me…), I’m not a nun and I haven’t been celibate for half a decade. There have been boys.

It just doesn’t work out for me most of the time.

Yes, yes, there is advice for people like me. For the singles.

I admit I’m not good at flirting. I suffer from chronic FLIRT-FAIL resulting in frequent mis-interpretations.

Mainly because so many boys think a smile and a hug is a ticket to my bedroom… uh, no thank you, I was just saying hello.  Although you won’t know if I do like you – because you’ll get the same hug and smile that everyone else gets.


I also realise that I hang out with the same friends and social circles frequently, and actually very rarely meet anyone ‘new’ (although at a certain age most people aren’t  really ‘new’ and ‘second-hand’ seems a more appropriate term).

YES I’VE HEARD OF INTERNET DATING! eHarmony actually looks quite good, so maybe when I get back from travelling…

I know there are things I can do.

And sometimes it does make me sad.

When it does I appreciate your hugs, your advice and occasionally I even buy into your ‘fabulous’ descriptions of me and generic statements about fish swimming in sea (although you have to admit a lot of fish look similar and smell quite bad). But please, don’t feel sorry for me or feel that there is something to ‘fix’ in this situation.

That’s it. That’s all.

Now…I’m off to the supermarket.