About Minnesota Fringe

There is one big thing that makes Fringe different from any other event in town: All the shows you'll see at Fringe were selected randomly by lottery.

Yep. That's right. Each year the lineup is crafted by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and drawing them out, one by one. From stage veterans to people who are brand new to theater, Minnesota Fringe is a forum for anyone with a story to tell. We also provide the necessary support to make producing a show as easy as possible, regardless of where you land on the artistic spectrum.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in our next festival, applications will go live in November here on our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a reminder as well as information about other theater events happening around town.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote creative freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. Thank you for joining in this adventure!

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Shows start and end on time at Fringe. With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows in just 11 days, we have to run a tight schedule to avoid descending into chaos. Performances are no more than 60 minutes long with a half hour between each show.

On weekdays shows begin at 5:30pm, 7pm, 8:30pm and 10pm. On weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. In addition to keeping our schedule, late seating is a safety issue for artists and audiences.

Safety for artists: Some of our theaters require that patrons walk across parts of the stage to reach the seating area, and many of our production companies’ stage work encompasses entrances and exits from the house.

Safety for audiences: Entering a darkened theater, possibly for the first time, and trying to find open seats puts patrons and volunteers at unnecessary risk.

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Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, serves as the late-night watering hole for artists, staff, volunteers and audience members alike. Come in after a day full of shows to grab a beer and some bar food. Talk about what you loved and what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the scenes and actors on the stage. Find out what you should see tomorrow or dream up your own idea for next year. You never know what will happen during Fringe, but dropping by Fringe Central gives you a serious head start.

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What to Wear

Shorts and a t-shirt. Seriously. Also, a pair of comfy shoes will serve you well in case you have to wait in line. Most Fringe shows take place indoors in air-conditioned venues, so having a layer to throw on in case you get chilly is also advisable.

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Choosing a Show

With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose the perfect lineup?

Search by genre: You can filter for genres when trying to decide what to see.

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Lanyards are worn by Fringe artists and there are at least a thousand of them dying to tell you about their show.

Read and write reviews: See what audiences are raving about on our audience review page, then return the favor and let others know what you thought.

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Get Involved

Fringe isn't just a festival - it's a community, and it couldn't exist without people like you.

Create: Applications for the 2018 festival will are live on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Volunteer: Our volunteers are near and dear to our hearts and make our festival go, so we shower them with lots of love and complimentary seats! Sign up for a shift now!

Socialize: Join us any night of the festival at our official hangout, Fringe Central sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, for a beer, a burger and maybe even some late-night shenanigans.

Support: Help us create Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl by donating to or sponsoring our annual festival. Gifts of any size make a large contribution to our ability to meet our mission.

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Box Office Info

Pass, Reservations, and Tickets, Oh My!

In 2018, Fringe will still offer passes but is also re-introducing single tickets options to see shows. We are re-tooling our Box Office policies to reflect our changes. Please check back for more information in the spring.

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Fringe Central

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Fringe Central

@ Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown,
1111 Washington Ave S.
Thursday, August 3 — Saturday, August 12 @ 11pm

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, is the official post-show hangout destination of the festival from August 3 through August 12.

Closing Night Party

@ The Triple Rock Social Club,
629 Cedar Ave.
Sunday, August 13 at 10pm

Spend your final Sunday evening at The Triple Rock Social Club mingling with the masses one last time.

Fringe Central and Closing Night are the places where everyone - artists, audiences, volunteers, staff, lumber-sexual bike messengers and your mom - can get together and swap show reviews over a beer and bar food.

NEW! Alternative Box Office

Purchase a Day Pass at Fringe Central then skip the lines at the venue every day during the festival!

Weekdays 1pm-3pm and Weekends 11am-1pm we'll open our Alternative Box Office at Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown so you can grab a Day Pass while you eat. Spin our "Fringe of Fortune" wheel for your chance at discounted or FREE passes.

Every night

Head to Fringe Central following the final show of every evening (things really get swinging after 11pm) for festival festivities. See you there!

There will be five flavors of Surly brews flowing for your drinking pleasure. Our recommendation? All of them.

You can also imbibe Joia Spirit. Enjoy a Moscow Mule, Sparkling Greyhound or Cosmopolitan on the patio before summer ends.

Saturday, July 1 - Website Launched

Full festival schedule, passes and reservation sales available.

Monday, July 17 @ 7:30pm - Fringe Previews #1

Three-minute previews of 30 different shows at the University of Minnesota Rarig Center Thrust stage.

Monday, July 24 @ 7:30pm - Fringe Previews #2

Three-minute previews of 30 different shows at the University of Minnesota Rarig Center Thrust stage.

Wednesday, August 2 @ 7:30 PM - Touring Artist Showcase

Previews from shows by artists from around Minnesota and across the country @ Mixed Blood.

RSVP on Facebook

Thursday, August 3 - Opening Night

Kick things off with a bang by welcoming the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival in style.

Friday, August 11 - Volunteer Appreciation Night

Salute the spectacular team of 400 volunteers who make our box offices run like clockwork. This special evening brought to you by Peace Coffee, our official volunteer sponsor who keeps our crew firing on all caffeinated cylinders throughout the 11 days of Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl.

Saturday, August 12 - Encore Announcement

Be the first to hear this year's winners of the Fringe Encore - the show in each venue that sold the most tickets and gets an encore performance on Sunday, August 13 at 8:30pm. Don't forget to book your reservation before bar close!

Closing Night Party


Sunday, August 13 at 10pm

The Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave.
Closing night sponsor, Luther Westside Volkswagon, helps drive the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival off into the sunset. Bid a fond farewell to this year's amazing artists, thank volunteers and staff for pulling off a Herculean happening, and dance 'til you drop with your new Fringe Friends.