If you live in Edmonton, you’ve probably noticed the brightly-coloured signs and white tents popping up along 104 St. in Old Strathcona — not to mention a brigade of witty, eye-catching posters flooding signposts and businesses in Whyte Ave. The signs are a sign of one thing: the annual Fringe Theatre Festival is here!
The excitement is palpable — locals and visitors from all over the world converge in Old Strathcona for this renowned ten-day festival of non-stop fun and entertainment. Local and international artists are here for the festival to show you their best characters, tickle your funny bone, move you to tears, and show you an unbelievably good show!
During the duration of the festival there is always a show to see! From comedy to improv to drama to burlesque to “Kids Fringe”, there’s something for everyone. Plus, don’t be surprised if an impromptu show breaks out in the streets — street performers are always up to entertain! Shows start early at 11 am, and the last show of the day begins at 11 pm (with an official after-hours show, Late Night Cabaret). Most shows are performed multiple times throughout the festival, but check the schedule to make sure you don’t miss out on the ones you want to see!
Here are 4 Top Tips for Enjoying Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival:
1. Get the App! Download the FREE “From Fringe With Love” app to your iPhone or Android and get instant access to schedules, purchase tickets, find family-friendly Fringe activities, and share your thoughts via social media! Visit fringetheatre.ca/apps.php for more information.
2. Get a Program! The most Fringe-tastic way of planning your theatre outings is to pick up an Official Fringe Program! The program includes a complete list and description of shows, a list of times each show is performed, and a complete schedule. Programs are $7 and available at Edmonton Safeway locations, Edmonton Chapters, Coles, and Indigo locations, Tix on the Square, and Audreys Books. Visit fringetheatre.ca/programguides.php for a detailed list of locations.
3. Get Relaxed! Re-fuel at the food trucks and concessions and browse for unique, fun wares at vendors available on-site throughout the festival when you need a break from Fringe-ing (the official verb for festival enjoyment!) Don’t miss local designer Salgado Fenwick’s pop-up fashion truck for locally-made silk-screened clothing and decor!
4. Get a Spot! Parking near the Fringe Festival grounds is extremely limited and fills up quickly — walking and public transit is encouraged! Old Strathcona is very walk-able and parking just 3 or 4 blocks away will get you a good spot and let you enjoy a brisk walk. An ETS Day Pass (good for 1 adult and up to 4 children) is only $9. Get more information at fringetheatre.ca/transportation.php.
Fringe Theatre Festival; August 15-25, Old Strathcona. Various venues, costs, and showtimes; visit fringetheatreadventures.ca for schedule and details.