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.

Fringe Central

republic surly

Thursday, August 4 through Saturday, August 13 at 11pm
@ Republic, 221 Cedar Ave.

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Republic, is the official post-show hangout destination of the festival from August 4 through August 13. It's the place where everyone - artists, audiences, volunteers, staff, your mom, etc. - can get together and swap show reviews over a beer and some fries. Head to Central following the final show of the evening (things really get swinging after 11pm), and we'll see you there!

Every night

There'll be Surly brews flowing for your drinking pleasure. Our recommendation? All of them.

Thursday, August 4 - Opening Night

We'll kick things off with a bang! Help us ring in the 2016 Minnesota Fringe in style.

Tuesday, August 9 - Pub Trivia

Assemble your geekiest squad for a special Fringe trivia session with the folks from Trivia Mafia. Sign-up starts at 11pm; questions start firing at 11:30pm.

Wednesday, August 10 - Volunteer Appreciation Night

Salute the spectacular team of 350+ volunteers who make our box offices run like clockwork.

Saturday, August 13 - Encore Announcement

We'll announce the winner of the Fringe Encore - the show in each venue who sold the most tickets and gets an encore performance on Sunday, August 14 at 8:30pm.

Fringe Recovery Brunch
sponsored by SmartyPants Vitamins

Saturday, August 6, 9:30am-11:30am

Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W Lake St
After a late night partying at Fringe Central, head to Bryant-Lake Bowl for a power brunch to kick off a Saturday at the festival. A special Q&A session with Minnesota Fringe Executive Director Jeff Larson will start at 10am.

Saturday, August 13, 9:30am-11:30am

Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W Lake St
Gear up for another big day at the Fringe. There'll be another fancy Q&A session - this time with a fabulous mystery guest!

Closing Night Party

Sunday, August 14 at 9:30pm

The Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave.
We'll sign each other's yearbooks and bid a fond farewell to the 2016 Minnesota Fringe Festival, so take Monday off and dance the night away with all your new Fringe BFFs.