Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fringe 101: A Brief History

To clarify for people who don't know about the Edmonton International Fringe Festival - and for myself, because I didn't know and thought it would be interesting - I present a tiny bit of history on Fringe Festivals (gathered from Wikipedia and other sites). The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world and was founded in 1947 when a number of groups had performances at the "fringe" of the Edinburgh International Festival. Since then similar events have cropped up all over the world, including Adelaide (in South Australia, which is the second largest Fringe in the world), Montréal, Prague, New York, Dublin, Boulder, Winnipeg, San Francisco, Melbourne, Toronto, Minnesota, and of course Edmonton. Interestingly (for me), the Edmonton Fringe Festival is the largest Fringe festival in North America. It was founded in 1982, has both indoor & outdoor performances, and currently accepts particpants based on a random draw lottery system. Plus, it has the three things that are absolutely necessary for an Edmonton festival: buskers, beer, and green onion cakes. I can say that it's probably the most enjoyable festival I've ever been to - theatre or otherwise.

More on my individual Fringe experiences later on in the week. For now, though, please observe a moment of silence for Robert Moog, the man who changed music forever with the keyboard - and later company - that shared his name. And then listen to Abbey Road or Innervisions.

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