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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Showtimes

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.

Reservations

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.

Rules

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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Minnesota Fringe Audiences

Take our 2017 audience survey!

Buy a 2017 Fringe Festival Button!

Minnesota Fringe has a mission to connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. Without our patrons attending shows put on by the intrepid producers who share their work on the stage, we can’t meet our objectives. In other words, you complete us.

Fringe audiences number nearly 50,000 each year and represent the full spectrum of age, race, ethnicity, gender identification, ability, and geography. Attendees are loyal and passionate, which is no surprise in a region known for its tremendous support of the performing arts scene. Our festival takes place in a metropolitan area often ranked in the top 3 nationally for seats per capita and in a state that is home to more than 400 theaters. Minnesotans consistently demonstrate they value the arts!

Attendance

Attending the festival is uncomplicated and inexpensive thanks to the day pass system introduced in 2016. For a low price, an audience member can see any show at any venue on that day -- with only one visit to the box office. Simply purchase a day pass online for pick up or arrive in person at your first show location, then wear your day pass for entry into any additional show that day.

If you’re a hard core Fringe Fan, then you should take advantage of our VIP Pass. One payment will nab you a pass that is good any day, any place, any time. A limited number of these passes exist, so get yours as soon as they go on sale July 1. Buy before July 20th, and we'll mail it to you.

Day passes are only $16 on weekdays, $22 on weekends, and $5 for children under 12 any day. VIP Passes are $200 and sold only in advance of the festival. For more detailed information, visit our page on Box Office Policies.

You can also attend the Minnesota Fringe Festival for FREE! Just hop over to our Volunteers page and sign up for a minimum of three shifts to receive day pass vouchers as part of your Fringe benefits package.

We have a deal for you!

Maintaining a year-round connection to adventurous artists is important to Fringe. Even with the implementation of the day pass system, there is still a huge advantage to purchasing a Minnesota Fringe Button each year. For just $4, you can have a piece of wearable history that will provide a plethora of discounts and deals to theaters around the Twin Cities all year long. Sign up for our Fringe File Newsletter to be notified of Current Button Discounts.

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