The Winnipeg Fringe Festival starts tomorrow and much like the Folk Festival, you can’t really understand it until you’ve experienced it. This year is a big year for the Fringe. They’re turning 30!
But trying to figure out the Fringe Festival for a first timer can be like trying to read hieroglyphics. How can you know what you’re about to walk into? Will it be worth the $10-$12 admission? Am I going to want that hour of my life back? Is somebody going to be naked? These are all questions I asked myself before embarking on my very first Fringe Festival.
190 Shows (Over 1600 performances) at 31 Venues in 12 days! It can all be a bit overwhelming, So if you’ve never been before and are wondering what the hype is about or how to dip a toe in the waters; I’ve got you. A fringe show, can be a play, comedy, music, street performance, magic, just about anything really and by definition it’s experimental in nature.
First, check out the guide. The performances are all listed online and you can buy printed programs at Winnipeg Liquor Marts and the RMTC Box Office and a few other stores. $5. However sometimes changes happen between the printing of the program and the performance so checking online is your best bet.
If you really want to see a show buy tickets in advance. It’ll cost you a little extra ($2) but worth it to not wait in line only to be disappointed. You can buy tickets at the door for some performances, but watch out, many sell out – see you in the beer garden! There are also some deals to be had if you decide you want to fringe more ticket passports of 14 or 7 tickets, 2 for $12 shows and discounts for matinees, seniors, students & kids.
Be on time. They won’t let you in once the show has started. And sometimes, if a show is really popular, there’s a long line of people waiting for tickets at the door, so you’ll want to go early.
And if that doesn’t help you navigate the waters and figure out what the Fringe is all about, here’s a handy video. See you in the Exchange!