Festival Program Guide

July 21, 2017

By Erin Voaklander

Fringing Since 2006

Where can you look for answers to all of your Fringe questions? We’ll give you three guesses!

…We bet you answered: our Festival Program Guide.  You’re right, smarty-pants!  Every Fringer’s ultimate source for behind the scenes scoops, schedules, artist info, and much more.

Do you ever wonder how we do it? How we turn millions of tiny details into one bright, shiny, info-packed guide?  The process is a big one.

We begin with a Festival theme and our amazing design partners at PlumbHeavy Design Co. From concept to production, PlumbHeavy Design utilizes their imagination and creativity to transform the Fringe Theme into a work of art, with bold, full colour illustration. Their manifestation of our theme not only influences the visual appearance of the guide, but often the humor and stories captured inside.

While we work on the visual design concept, our artistic programming department spends months receiving artist and show details – liaising with show producers to understand their show needs and descriptions – which directly impacts show schedules and venue allocations. From special events to indoor performance artists and buskers our programming team crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s to ensure a smooth Festival.

Meanwhile, our production team works alongside programming to sort out the technical details of shows and the Festival – lighting, sound, projections, staging, seating, and even special effects like fog. Together, programming and production work to balance the needs of every artist and bring all the puzzle pieces together to create the full picture: our Master Schedule.

Of course, the guide is more than the bare necessities. It also includes behind-the-scene stories, scoops, and special discounts. The communications team oversees the guides development, including creating humorous content and heart-felt stories to give you an insiders peek at Festival.

With the theme as their inspiration, the communications team spends an entire day locked in a room brain storming how they can bring this years Festival to life through story-telling and adventure. And, since the best stories are told with photos, we also partner with our Fringe Multi Media Volunteer Team, dbphotographics, EPIC Photography, and Marc J. Chalifoux Photography to capture incredible images that are used throughout the guide.

Every aspect of Festival is compiled, organized, and considered as we anticipate the information Fringer’s will need to fringe. Finally, we send everything off to PlumbHeavy Design. They do their design magic, then we review, revise, and repeat a few times.

Finally we reach the pivotal point, the final proof.  After each department has scoured the guide for mistakes and updates, we send it off to the printer, R.R. Donnelley Edmonton. The last step of production is swift and celebratory – the printed proof. We receive a printed copy of the guide, apply our autograph to authorize print production and away it goes to be printed and bound by the thousands.

As they say in the biz, the Festival Program Guide has officially gone to bed!  By then, our team needs some sleep, too.

But we don’t rest long…

Within two weeks the guides arrive at the ATB Financial Arts Barns to be sorted and distributed across the city at our retail partners, Safeway, Sobeys, Chapters, Indigo, and Coles, who sell the guides on our behalf!

Of course, you can also stop by the ATB Financial Arts Barns, Tix on the Square, Audreys Booksorder them online (and have it shipped via Canada Post to your door!), or buy one on the Festival site.

Festival Program Guides go on sale this year starting August 1. So what are you waiting for? Go buy your guide and get ready to come and play at the Fringe Festival on August 17.

We can’t wait to see you soon!

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