posted on August 27, 2010 by Ian MacPhee
So you've heard about these "Fringe Festivals", after all they have them all over the world, but you're not really sure what they are or if they're for you. Well as someone who's attended "The Fringe" in Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and even Edinburgh (The Granddaddy of them all) I can assure you they're worth getting to know! This year in Victoria there over 400 performances of 65 shows in 17 venues over 11 days so odds are there's gotta be something you'll love.
First and foremost a Fringe Festival is a theatre festival but unlike traditional theatre festivals "Fringes" are unjuried. In other words there's no group of people deciding if the performances you're about to see are "appropriate" or "good enough". The plays are chosen by lottery so technically you could end up watching a naked clown stand on his head for an hour! OK that's a bit of an exaggeration because the performers are here to earn a living and they want you to enjoy their shows. In fact they want you to enjoy them so much that you will rave about them and influence other festival goers to choose their show over another.
Audience feedback is a huge and fun part of the festival. When you're lining up for a show you'll hear your line mates talking about other shows they have seen. In today's techy world you can also read reviews online of follow reviewers on Twitter (#yyjfringe). There's even an iPhone app.
Tickets are cheap at $11 and at least 50% of the house is reserved for rush seating with tickets on sale 1 hour before show time. You need a $5 VISA button to get into any shows and these proceeds go to Intrepid Theatre who put on the Fringe. If you would like to donate more please do so as our provincial Gov't has decimated Arts funding this year and Intrepid could use your support.
For up to date information and last minute schedule changes be sure to check out the website
If you've seen any shows be sure to post your reviews alongside mine in the comment section below.