By Erin Voaklander
Fringing since 2006
A Midsummer Night’s Fringe sparkled in the heat of the summer sun, brought Edmonton to life with creative magic, and filled the heart of Old Strathcona with love and laughter.
Festival grounds received nearly 810,000 visits over 11 days. Crowds spent sunny days and starry nights watching jaw dropping performances from outdoor artists – all while audiences crowded into more than 1600 live theatre performances at 41 venues.
During this amazing Festival, patrons purchased a record setting 130,000 tickets, providing artists nearly $1.2 million in ticket sales.
“Every year this Festival grows and keeps gaining momentum, with record setting ticket sales this year. We are always looking for ways to take it to the next level and make it better for all who come,” says Artistic Director Murray Utas. “Our job is to create a space for artists to get their work to the masses, and we think we’ve done that. We saw so many new works this year and performers from all over the world came just to entertain Edmonton. We are so pleased to wrap up another year and already can’t wait for 2018.”
If you didn’t get to take in a Fringe show, you have one more chance to experience four of the top shows during our Holdover Series, Aug 30 – Sept 2.
Thanks to the ATB Financial Golden Ticket, the Festival was golden in more ways than one. Our 2016/17 Golden Ticket winner, Wesley, enjoyed a whopping 40 shows and a variety of other Festival delights! Our new Golden Ticket winner, Andrew, is veteran Fringer who is looking forward to celebrating a decade of volunteering in 2018 – 100 show tickets, dinner with the Artistic Director, a stay at the Metterra Hotel and more! Factor in Andrew’s volunteer shifts and I have a feeling he may just be our busiest winner yet!
On top of that, our 50/50 Raffle helped create a pot of gold to support Fringe artists AND make one lucky Fringer richer. Hold fast to your 50/50 tickets & keep you fingers and toes crossed til the draw on Sept 8!
The Fringe grounds provided some of the best outdoor patios in the city. The Maclab Wine Tent featured limited edition wines and sparkling live musical performances. The Big Rock Brewery Beer Tents were the perfect spot to meet old friends & make new ones, sip cool drinks, and soak up the cozy ambiance created with help from our friends at Special Event Rentals.
The last day of the fest has passed us by but this doesn’t mean we can’t daydream about next year! You are invited to help us determine next year’s Festival theme! Submit your theme suggestions online and be a part of choosing the 2018 Fringe Theme.
Plus, Fringe Theatre doesn’t stop with the Festival. We fringe all year long at the ATB Financial Arts Barns – check out our exciting Current Season featuring Relaxed Performances and Pay What You Will tickets. Join us in keeping the spirit of Fringe alive until next year’s Festival!
I’m signing off the blog with a smile on my face, a wee tear in my eye, and a full heart. A Midsummer Night’s Fringe was full of love and sprinkled with magic. Thank you, artists, volunteers, sponsors, donors, staff, and audience – you are, as they say, everything.
Til over the next Fringe we may gaze, we seek happy nights to happy days.