Fringe Festival is a celebration of performing (and some presentation) art: five days of art and live theater at its most creative happen in a total of 34 venues throughout the city taking place November 20-21-22-23-24, 2013. The Main Festival site is located in Plessy Park in the Marigny at the corner of Dauphine and Press. Thousands of guests take part in the festivities and performances each year, making this one of the largest-attended live theater events in the area.
What will you see? Well, it could be just about anything: drama turned into comedy, performance turned into musical, and vice versa. Acrobatics, puppets, shadow-theater… maybe so! Performances will take a hard look at relationships, situations, sexuality, politics, history, mystery, and laughter. Or any mix of the above.
While 2013’s lineup has yet to be released, 2012 found nearly 70 unique performances at seven Fringe Venues and 29 miscellaneous venues all over the city. Fringe Venues offer performers four different performances, making for almost 125 total shows that festival-goers can choose from!
There is even a family-friendly Free-For-All Tent offering workshops, arts and crafts, and yes, even more performances! Learn to hula hoop, make your way through an obstacle course, listen to talented children sing and see them dance, learn to repair a bicycle, create your own painted masterpiece, see some magic… there are so many things to see and do at this unique community entertainment site.
Meanwhile, outside of the performance areas… The Fringe Parade takes place on Saturday November 23 at 2:00 p.m. This year’s “Superstition”-themed spectacle marches up St. Claude Avenue from Poland Avenue to St. Roch Avenue, with a detour down to the Main Festival and Free-For-All tent areas. Bands, floats, costumed performers, riders… you’ll see a little bit of everything pass by! The parade is, of course, free for all to watch.
If you aren’t a lover of theater, you can always take part in the free Fringe Festival Yard Art Tour! The Fringe Festival offers both online and printed map to a wild variety of artistic presentations that can be seen from the sidewalk and/or street! Some might even be interactive, so be prepared to venture off the walkways or out of the car to take part (if you want to).
How do you attend Fringe? Well, some of the activities (Parade, Yard Art Tour, and some shows) are free – you just have to show up! For admission shows, you first need a fringe button to show you’re with the Festival – these cost $3 and are available online and at all venues. Once you have the button, you can choose how many shows you want to see. A single-show ticket is $8, a six-show pass will run you $40, and an All-Access Pass is $99. Tickets can be used on any day of the event, but seating is first come, first served. Tickets are also non-transferable.
While the main Festival area is a little bit further out than some, there is a bus line (#88) that can take you right to the Main Site and Free-For-All Tent area. Other bus/streetcar lines can get you to performance sites throughout the city. Avenue Inn is situated in a great, centralized location for access to all parts of the city, so why not plan your stay here for the Fringe Festival?