2016 Minnesota Fringe. August 4th through August 14th

We're getting rid of the mandatory Fringe button...and that's just the start. For 2016, one purchase of the brand new Fringe Day Pass gets you into any show in the festival that day. No more single tickets, punch cards, or Ultra Passes. From now on, there's only one thing on the menu. This is the biggest change to the Fringe since we started picking shows by lottery, and we couldn't be more excited.

Why are you doing this?

Great question! The Fringe's mission is to connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences, and it's very hard to be adventurous when you're paying a la carte. When money's on the line with each show decision, it's very tempting to make the "safe" choice, and that's not what the Fringe is about. We heard from audiences that they wanted to see more shows, and we heard from artists that they wanted more butts in seats.

Didn't the old system work just fine?

Kind of. It was great for people who had been coming to the festival for years, but we heard from lots of first-timers that the buttons, the passes, the reservations, plus the multiple lines at the venues were confusing and discouraging. We get that, and don't want to be getting in the way of a great time at the Fringe.

We also realized last year, as we welcomed record-breaking crowds to the festival, that we'd reached a limit on the number of people we could get through the lines and into the theater in 30 minutes. We needed a way to streamline our ticketing process to keep the lobbies from descending into chaos.

How much will day passes cost?

$16 on the weekdays; $22 on the weekends.

Can I still get a button if I want one?

Yes! The 2016 Fringe button will still get you great deals on performing arts events year-round, and we're looking to expand the discounts to even more events and local attractions to make the button even better.

Will there still be an Ultra Pass?

Nope, but we will provide a way to buy packages of wristbands to cover all the days of the festival.

Will there still be advance reservations?

Yes. We'll sell reservations online to hold your seat at any Fringe show. If you already have your wristband for the day, you'll be able to bypass the box office entirely and walk straight up to the theater.

How will this affect artists?

Fringe artists will still get lanyards and passes to attend shows, so they don't have to be on stage wearing a wristband. Based on the small scale experiments we ran last year, we believe artists will see increases in both attendance and payouts. The total amount of money divided among artists will be larger, and we're increasing the payout percentage to 70% of ticket sales.

Artists will also now be paid for every person who attends their show, including volunteers and other artists.

How can I get my show in the 2016 Fringe?

Applications are now live! As always, the application will take two minutes to fill out and won't require you to have a show ready.

I still have questions!

Come join us at the Fringe office on Monday, November 23rd at 7pm for a town hall meeting, where we'll cover all the details that didn't fit on here. Everyone's welcome, and your questions and concerns will be a great help to us as we work on the rest of the plans for the 2016 festival.

Minnesota Fringe