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.

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. Thank you for joining in this adventure!



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.

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 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.


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 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.

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 Republic, 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.

Box Office Info

Day Passes serve as entry to any show in the festival on a given day. Day Passes are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends. Day Passes for kids 12 and under are available at any box office during the festival just $5 every day.

Day Passes can be purchased in advance with a reservation or at any venue box office during the festival.

Weekdays 1pm-3pm and Weekends 11am-1pm the Fringe Central

Alternative Box Office is open at Republic so you can grab a Day Pass while you eat lunch and skip the lines at the venue.

A limited number of VIP Passes are available 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.

VIP Passes will be mailed to patrons who purchase prior to July 20, 2017. Purchases made after that date will require selection of a Will Call venue: Rarig Center, The Ritz Theater, or Intermedia Arts.

Optional reservations guarantee a seat for a particular performance. You must also be wearing a day pass wristband to get in. Day passes can be bought online with a reservation to save time. 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."Advance online sales stop at 1pm on weekdays and 2am on weekends. That's right, last call at Fringe Central is also last call at the Box Office.

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.


As a nonprofit organization, Fringe works with a variety of organizations to expand our impact on the community. From web advertisements to sponsorship, opportunities come in a variety of levels and are tailored to meet both the goals of the organization and the needs of our corporate partners.

Web Advertisement $350

  • Rotating standard web ad on a desktop, tablet and mobile friendly site
  • Limited availability – contact Dawn or submit your online request to secure your spot before July 1 web-ad-example
  • File Specs:
    • 72dpi, RGB color, PNG, JPG or GIF (no transparency or animation)
    • Desktop and tablet (horizontal banner ad)
      • 968 px (w) x 100 px (h)
      • 1936 px (w) x 200 px (h) for hi-res devices
    • Mobile (horizontal ad above footer)
      • 320 px (w) x 50 px (h)
      • 640 px (w) x 100 px (h) for hi-res devices


Sponsors can reap the benefits of inclusion on a website that receives over 1.2 Million page views from 92,500 unique visitors each year as well as exposure to 50,000 audience members in the full spectrum of ages, gender identity, and diversity reflective of the geography in which they reside. Fringe attendees are passionate about the event; often taking in more than a dozen shows and returning year after year.

Each package listed also includes the complement of our media partners and social media promotion from various Fringe networks including:

  • 8,400+ Facebook Followers
  • 5,700+ Twitter Followers
  • 550+ Instagram Followers
  • 21,000+ Newsletter Subscribers

Sponsor packages and benefits

Producers Circle $1500

Brand exposure on various sundries produced by Minnesota Fringe to help identify artists, volunteers and patrons. These wearables are found throughout the festival at every location to provide maximum exposure.

  • Logo space on artist lanyard, volunteer t-shirt, or patron wrist band.
  • Listed as official sponsor on Fringe sponsor page with link to sponsor website
  • Standard rotating web ad on Fringe show pages
  • Two Day Passes good for select days of the festival

Fringe Central $3000

The designated post-show destinations where artists, audiences, volunteers, and staff can get together and swap show reviews over a beer and bar food. Special events include: Opening Night, Fringe Trivia After Dark, Volunteer Appreciation and Encore Announcements.

  • Prominent signage at Fringe Central location and ability to host announcements during designated special evening
  • Voice over mention of sponsorship in pre-show announcements run prior to select performances at every venue
  • Listed as official sponsor on Fringe sponsor page with link to sponsor website
  • Standard rotating web ad on Fringe show pages
  • Two VIP Passes good for any show on any day of the festival

Venue Support $5000

With 12 venues and 15 stages to choose from, a sponsor providing venue support will have access to audiences in the exact location that best suits their needs. Prominent signage and space for product samples or more information in the location lobby ensures patrons know everything they need to about your business in addition to the fact that you are a strong supporter of the arts in Minnesota.

  • Prominent signage at venue and access to lobby space
  • Voice over mention of sponsorship in pre-show announcements run prior to ever performance at that venue (56 performances occur in each venue)
  • Listed as official sponsor on Fringe sponsor page with link to sponsor website
  • Standard rotating web ad on Fringe show pages
  • Four VIP Passes good for any show on any day of the festival

All sponsorship agreements must include a cash element, but Fringe is open to partial in-kind opportunities as means to eliminate line items in the production budget. Contact Dawn to place an ad or learn more about how your business can access maximum exposure to adventurous artists and audiences throughout the year.


surly vw norcostco
republic peace_coffee footer-mnsab footer-cleanwater nilan
footer-mcknight smartypants footer-metrotransit
cedarprint footer-oneneck growler
Joia Spirit