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.

Yep. That's right. Each year we select our lineup by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and pulling 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 and provides the support to make producing a show as easy as possible.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in the 2017 festival, applications will go live in November here on our website.

Minnesota Fringe is one of many fringe festivals across the nation and around the world. Check the rest of 'em out here.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences.



Shows start and end on time at the Fringe. With 880 performances of 169 shows in just 11 days, we're on a tight schedule. Shows 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 the weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. Here's why. Beyond keeping the festival running on schedule, our primary reason for no late seating is safety.

Safety for people on stage: 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 our patrons: Entering a darkened theater (and possibly the first time a patron has been in a particular space) and trying to find open seats is not only dangerous for the late patron but also for our volunteers and any seated patrons as well.

Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Republic, 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 (or two) and talk. Talk about what you loved. Talk about what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the shows and find out what you should see tomorrow. You never know what will happen at the Fringe, but dropping by Central gives you a serious head start.


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.


Choosing a Show

With 169 shows to choose from, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose your perfect lineup?

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

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Pro tip: Lanyards indicate Fringe artists - they'll be glad 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.

Get Involved

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

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!

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

Create your own show: Applications for the 2017 festival will go live mid-November on this website. The 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.

Box Office Info

Reservations are optional and may be bought in advance through the Fringe website. Advance sales stop at 1 pm on weekdays and 10 am on weekends. A reservation guarantees you a seat for the show. You must also be wearing a day pass wristband to get in. Day pass wristbands can be purchased at any Fringe venue 30 minutes prior to show time, as well as online with a reservation.

Purchases made in advance allow you to bypass the venue box office completely. Check in with a Fringe volunteer at the house door to pick up your reservation starting 30 minutes before show time. Once reservations are purchased, they are guaranteed and will NOT be resold.

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

Kids at Fringe: There is a recommended minimum age for each (see individual show pages on our website). It is up to the parent/guardian to make the final decision; Fringe makes no guarantees about content.

Day pass wristbands: ALL patrons must have a wristband to see a show. Your wristband serves as your pass to any show in the festival on a given day. Wristbands are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends.

Wristbands for kids 12 and under will be available in the venues during the festival for $5 every day.

Late seating: Nope.

Refunds: Nuh uh.

Submit a button discount

Welcome to Fringe File! As a service to our audience and our community of performing arts producers, Minnesota Fringe publishes a listing of Twin Cities shows that offer ticket discounts with a Fringe button.

Fringe File is most useful to the audience when the information is quickly scannable—the listings are meant to be browsed like a menu. To make the listings as consistent and usable as we can, we've adopted this form to present each show's information in a uniform way.

Please note: The Fringe File is put on hold during July and August each year. The final newsletter of the season is sent out in late June and will resume in early September.

To submit an image (and we strongly encourage you to do so!), email Amber Bjork. You can read the complete set of image specifications and Fringe File's guidelines to get a better idea of the best practices for a successful Fringe File listing. And, as always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Fields marked with * are required.

Example: This and "credit name" (below) will appear as "Written by John Doe"

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$2 off each ticket with a Fringe button.
$10 each with a Fringe button.
2-for-1s on Thursdays with a Fringe button.

If you wish to offer an online promo code, it must contain the word "Fringe" and be in addition to—not in place of—a button discount.

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Fringe File guidelines and image specifications

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1. Fringe File listings are limited to ticketed performing arts events that offer Fringe button discounts. Each event listing, regardless of run dates, may be published in no more than two editions of Fringe File. Listings do not have to be consecutive. We place this limitation on Fringe File listings to provide a focus for the end users; this way, our readers can associate Fringe File with current theater discounts. Fringe File is a call-to-action for people looking for something to do.

2. A "performing arts event" is defined as an individual show (e.g., "Adventures in Mating" at Bryant-Lake Bowl) or a multiple event festival (e.g., Twin Cities Horror Festival). Shows that are part of a multiple-show festival will not be listed individually. Standing discounts and season discounts will not be published. Because Fringe File comes out every two weeks, we want to keep the content fresh and engaging. Fringe File should be seen by readers as a go-to resource for events that are happening now.

3. Each producer is limited to a total of eight individual listings per editorial year (September 1 through August 31).

4. To qualify for inclusion in Fringe File, producers must promote the Fringe button discount in the ticketing section of their website and on any promotional material that mentions discounts.

5. Listings include a show description that is limited to 300 characters. Fringe may edit listings for punctuation but not for spelling or grammatical idiosyncrasies. Fringe will have to reject any listings that come through this form with characters that cause coding problems; to eliminate this possibility, please follow these guidelines:

A. No all-capital phrases or sentences.

B. Show titles within the body of the listing must appear in "quotes," not with _underscores_ or CAPITALS.

C. No HTML accepted within the description.

D. No line breaks, links or URLs within the description.

E. No bold or italics within the description.

F. No ticket prices within the show description.

To make Fringe File as useful as possible for our readers—and the producers who offer Fringe button discounts—we are keeping listings short and punchy. This is an advertisement for you, the producer, so keep it short, simple and straightforward: this is a place to whet your potential audience's appetite, not provide them with a whole meal's worth of details about your show.

Because this is targeted to a Fringe audience, we also don't allow listings for discounts or ticket prices not directly tied to a Fringe button. Again, to increase the effectiveness of not just your listing but Fringe File as a whole, it's important to maintain focus on what our readers want—and what they expect to receive from Minnesota Fringe.

6. Although not required, we strongly encourage producers to also submit an image for their listing. Listings that include an image look more professional, are more eye-catching and generally rock a lot harder than text-only listings. While we will do everything we can to maintain the integrity of the image, please be aware some elements may be cropped out.

A. We accept JPEG format (for photos) and GIF or PNG (for illustrations). Photos are recommended over illustrations.

B. Document weight (file size) should be no greater than 20k.

C. Color is preferred; black-and-white is accepted.

D. Please do not submit a postcard design. Any writing, logos, etc., on the image may be too small to be readable, become distorted or get cropped.

E. Submit your files to Amber Bjork at amber@fringefestival.org

Fringe File is published every two weeks. Note: Fringe File is not published in July or August.

To be included in Fringe File, show listings must be received no later than 9 a.m. the day of publication.

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