What is “Fringe”?


While Fringe festivals have become popular in the United States over the last decade, they aren’t a new concept. The term came from Scotland in the 1940’s, when groups who were not selected to perform in a local theater festival set up performances on the fringes of the main event. Festival goers visited these fringe groups in the evenings after the festival closed, and eventually the fringe performances became the main attraction. The idea of an open, unjuried performance arts festival caught on and Fringe festivals began popping up throughout Europe before making their way to North America.

Today, North America is home to more Fringe festivals than anywhere else in the world. There are Fringe festivals in many major cities in the United States and Canada, and though no one group governs the festivals each share a love of the performing arts and freedom of artistic expression. Each individual festival sets their own rules for participation and price of admission. In general, most festivals are unjuried, uncensored, and performers are encouraged to apply whether they are professionals or amateurs.

You never know what you are going to experience at the next Fringe Festival! Because of the open and unjuried structure of Fringe, festival goers can expect to see many original works in everything from theater to dance to film and more. Most pieces are short one-act pieces so festival goers can see several performances over the course of an evening at the festival. Pieces are kept technically simple in most cases, which helps keep the cost of the festival low. It’s easy to get involved in the Fort Collins Fringe Festival, either as a performer or as an attendee. You can learn more about participating and attending the 2015 Fort Collins Fringe Festival by clicking here.

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