What Is A Fringe Festival?

Fringe out!  11 days, nearly 400 uncensored shows!

The 11-day IndyFringe Festival explodes on and around Mass Ave every August. More than 80 groups perform at multiple venues, with nearly 400 individual shows. 

True to the spirit of fringe, IndyFringe showcases uncensored and unjuried live theatre, rapid-fire - meaning minimal tech and time - short shows (around 60 minutes) and fast changeovers! 

Laugh or Cry? Music or Dance?

We cover every genre: comedy, drama, improv; musicals and magic; inspirational and experiential.

Our performers - 50% local and 50% out-of-town groups and one-man shows – receive 80% of ticket revenue, or more than $1.2 million over the past 11 years, and growing every year.

On the Fringe

Fringe started in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, as an alternative festival playing concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival. In 1948, a local journalist coined the name Fringe: "Round the fringe of official Festival drama, there seems to be more private enterprise than before..." (Read more about Fringe history at Wikipedia.)

And enterprising Fringe has been. Fringe festivals now play all over the world. The concept has rocketed in the United States in recent years, leading to the formation of the U.S. Association of Fringe Festivals. (Of course, IndyFringe is a founding member!)

No Rules

In the United States, no one organization or individual owns, controls or regulates the name “Fringe.” No national rules exist for how each individual festival operates; the festivals’ content, and structure vary from city to city.

Generally, however, all the festivals are committed to an open forum of expression that minimizes the financial risks for both artists and audiences.

Fringes work hard to keep production fees and ticket prices low to allow more people to participate.  With dozens of festivals in small and large cities, the United States now hosts more Fringe Festivals than any other country.