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 850 performances of 167 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 Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, 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. Pro tip: 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 850 performances of 167 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 go live mid-November on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, all shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Attend: Thanks to the new day pass system, attending Fringe is easier and cheaper than ever.

Volunteer: Our 400+ 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 Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, 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 + Token = Your Admission

Everyone needs a valid pass to see a show. In addition to your pass, you will receive a token at the venue which guarantees you a seat. Turn in your token to the usher when you enter the theater.

More information about passes and policies here.


Optional reservations guarantee a seat for a particular performance and can be purchased online in advance. You must also have a valid to get in. Day passes can be bought online with a reservation to save time, and can be picked up at the venue box office 30 minutes before the performance.

More information about reservations here.


For everyone's safety, Fringe does not allow late seating or re-admission. Photos and video are prohibited without written permission from the production staff. Fringe cannot provide refunds or exchanges.

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Passes, Reservations, and Tokens

Pass + Token = Your Admission

Every attendee, regardless of age, must have a day pass, a VIP Pass, or an Artist & Staff Pass to receive a seating token for entry. If you have a day pass voucher, it must be exchanged for a day pass at the box office.

Day Passes

Day Passes can be purchased at any Fringe venue 30 minutes prior to showtime, as well as reserved online with a seat reservation. Day passes are not transferable.

  • $16 Weekdays
  • $22 Saturdays and Sundays
  • $5 Children* under 12, Any Day

*Please check online schedules for age appropriateness and/or restrictions of individual shows.

VIP Passes

VIP Passes can be purchased in advance of the festival for $200 and allow the holder access to any show, on any day, at any time, in any venue without having to stop by the box office. It is THE comprehensive festival entry option that is only on sale until the limited number available are sold out. Once they are gone, they are gone. VIP Passes do not guarantee a seat in a particular show.

Get a VIP Pass

VIP Passes will be mailed to patrons who purchase prior to July 20, 2017. Purchases after July 20 will require selection of a Will Call Location; Rarig, Intermedia, or Ritz.


Optional reservations may be bought in advance through the Fringe website. Advance sales stop at 1 pm on weekdays and 2 am on weekends. Your reservation guarantees you a seat at that particular the show. You can pick up your reservation/seating token at the venue 30 minutes prior to the show. Once reservations are purchased, they are guaranteed and will NOT be resold.

You will need both a token and a valid pass for show entry. Pass + Token = Your Admission

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.


Fringe accepts cash, all major credit cards, and checks made out to "Minnesota Fringe."

Refunds and Exchanges

There are no refunds or exchanges on passes, reservations, or buttons.

Late Entry

There is no seating for late arrivals.

It is summer in Minnesota, construction is everywhere. Please plan accordingly and give yourself ample time. Check the venue page for construction/accessibility updates.

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