Minnesota Fringe Fest Returns After Hiatus

After a two-year hiatus from being mainly in-person, the Minnesota Fringe Festival is returning to Minneapolis this summer, running from August 4-14. Known for offering an experimental platform for local and national artists, the 29th annual festival will host 595 live performances in 11 days at 11 locations around the city. 

The festival will feature many different genres of theater including storytelling, comedy, drama, dance, horror, improv, opera, and more. The 119 shows were selected by random lottery, with submissions from local, national, and international applicants.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic made the fest go virtual, and the 2021 edition featured a hybrid of virtual pre-recorded and live shows online, as well as some in-person, independently produced performances.

With over 1,000 artists participating in the event, and an anticipated audience of 35,000 over the course of the festival, it has become the Midwest’s largest performing arts festival, and an integral part of the Twin Cities art scene.

“Every interaction with the hundreds of artists we serve each year creates a unique thread that is woven into a beautiful tapestry of talent to inspire the creative community of Minnesota,” said executive director Dawn Bentley in a press release.

In an effort to uplift artists who are underrepresented this season, Fringe introduced an Equity Lottery, designating the first 10 percent of festival slots for BIPOC producers, writers, directors, and choreographers. They are also continuing with their Touring Artist Initiative, which reserves 10 percent of festival slots for artists outside the metro area.

This year will also feature the Beyond the Box project, a collaboration between Minnesota Fringe, Vibrant and Safe Downtown, and the Downtown Improvement District. The project will feature public, outdoor performances as a way to “celebrate the reanimation, renewal, and changing relationship to public spaces.” You can watch the event at the Xcel Energy Plaza on Nicollet Avenue. 

Fringe theaters will be grouped into two hubs, Cedar Riverside and Uptown, both of which are easily accessible via public transportation. Free metro transit rides will be available Friday-Sunday through the Fringe website. 

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased individually ($15 for adults, $7 for kids) or through multi-show passes available in 5-show ($65) or 10-show ($110) bundles.

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