What’s a Fringe Festival?
In 1947, eight theatre groups turned up – uninvited – to perform at the newly established Edinburgh International Festival. The groups performed at venues they arranged themselves. The following year, Scottish journalist Robert Kemp coined the term “fringe festival” to describe these renegade shows.
Today, there are over 200 fringe festivals worldwide, with around 20 existing within the United States. Each fringe festival is a creative and economic engine for its host communities. For example, last year the Edinburgh Fringe saw 41,689 performances of 2,542 shows in 258 venues lasting the entire month of August. It grosses over $100 million annually for the Scottish economy.