The first Minnesota Fringe Festival in 1994 featured 52 shows and filled 4,630 seats with audience members. After 25 years of significant growth, the 2019 Festival will showcase nearly 700 performances of over 130 shows and for up to 50,000 attendees. Amidst many changes over the past quarter century, Minnesota Fringe remains steadfastly committed to core principles: producing opportunities for artists of a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities and experience levels; novel ways of engaging with the performing arts; and a continued commitment to accessibility for artists and audiences.
In the interest of fairness, Fringe Festival artists are selected by random luck of the draw through an un-juried and un-curated lottery process. Anyone can apply to be a festival artist and, if the application is chosen in the lottery, they have a guaranteed slot that year. If their lottery number isn't chosen, artists are placed on a waiting list for openings in case other selected performers need to drop out.
Fringe Festival shows are 60 minutes or less with a half hour break between each performance. Attendees can purchase a ticket to shows online in advance or at the venue, purchase admission credits to see multiple shows at a discount or become a Fringe with Benefits member to obtain a VIP pass for unfettered access to the entire festival. In 2019, admission packages to Fringe Festival will also allow for crossover to Family Fringe shows. Main festival venues are chosen in clusters to make traveling to multiple shows simple by walking, biking, personal and public transportation options.
The 2019 Minnesota Fringe Festival will take place August 1-11.