Fringe Update (July)

Greetings, Fringe Fans-

It has been an exciting several months in Fringe-land as we continue to build your 2010 Festival. Let it be known: This is a big and bold effort spearheaded by many creative and driven people. Our dreams are sometimes bigger than our means, but is anything great ever born from feeble dreams?

For those of you who need to be in-the-know on recent developments, we’ve assembled this little update. Have any questions? Feel free to email us and we will get right back to you.

Thanks for following us as we build this festival – there will be many, many ways for everyone in our community to jump on the team in just a few months.

Stay Fringey!

Ben Hill
Festival Director
The Hollywood Fringe Festival


We are less than one year away from the first, annual Hollywood Fringe Festival. The official dates are June 17 through June 27, 2010: 11 days of theatre, music, comedy, variety, and madness. Start getting geared up!


We are most heartened by your enthusiastic response to the idea of a Fringe Festival in Los Angeles! A couple months ago, our facebook page reached 1000 fans shortly after being launched. Still not a fan? Join up to catch the latest developments.


Many of you have asked how you can help; you are all fantastic. The bulk of the help will be needed during the festival itself and the weeks leading up to it. Here’s where we need help right now:

  • Letters of support from our community – send them to [email protected]. We need these for grants so send them asap!
  • Leads on press outlets
  • Leads on theatrical, event, and nontraditional venues in Hollywood
  • Evangelize at (Fringe/Other) Festivals – we can send you postcards to distribute
  • $$$ – For now, you can give on our facebook cause or send a check to 6133 Fountain Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028 (we are tax exempt)
  • Interested directors for our board – responsible for overseeing the financial interests of the festival
  • Active involvement from community organizations and interested corporate sponsors

…with the launch of the new website, we are dedicating an entire section for volunteer contribution and sign up. We need your help!


You have no doubt heard about the website we have been developing for the last two years. Borrowing from the success stories of social networking sites, we are leveraging the advancements of sites like Facebook and Twitter with the singular purpose of launching a community-based arts festival. Launching in just a few weeks, the official website of Festival 2010 will start accepting project submissions. Coming just a few months afterward, we begin online venue booking and festival registration.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the launch – there will be lots of fun little features to help you promote your Fringey ideas.


This year we have established relationships with the pillars of our community, including The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the LA Stage Alliance, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Actors Equity Association Los Angeles, the Entertainment District BID, the Sunset & Vine BID, The Hollywood Media District BID, and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. We have also garnered the support of community leaders including LA Council President Eric Garcetti, Assemblymember Kevin de Leon, and Assemblymember Mike Feuer.

We are in the process of building up our board of advisers and directors. Exciting announcements on this front coming soon.


It’s the heat of the Summer and Fringe Festivals are afoot nationally and internationally. As you read this, the Capital Fringe in Washington DC is in full-force. Orlando launched the season with a splash. FringeNYC is right around the corner and Minnesota Fringe Festival is set to launch at the end of the month. And lest we forget, our sister Fringe in San Francisco hosts their festival in September.

Some of your own Hollywood Fringers will be making the long trek to the Fringe motherland in Edinburgh to talk on a panel of international Fringes this August. Learn more about the hosts of this panel at


Fringe Festivals span across many venues traditional and non – it’s part of what makes it such an exciting event, the whole community gets involved. We have been meeting with dozens of venues around Hollywood. We will start announcing official Fringe venues in the coming months. Have a venue in Hollywood and interested in participating? Contact us at [email protected]

One Year More

When we began planning this enterprise almost two years ago, we had little concept of what exactly we were getting ourselves into. Already, days are filled with artist communication, venue booking, community organization, fundraising opportunities, event preparation, and promotion. Not to mention the wild, intellectual challenge involved in modeling an event of this scope. With every person I meet expressing enthusiasm that LA is finally getting a Fringe Festival, I am further convinced this endeavor deserves every drop of sweat we’ve already invested.

Without further ado, I am proud to announce the dates of the first annual Hollywood Fringe Festival:

June 17 to June 27, 2010

…that’s eleven days of theatre, music, visual art, madness, chaos, parties, and the unexpected – all beginning one year from today.

I know many of you are excited to register. Fear not! Thy day cometh. Keep your eyes attached to this space – later this Summer we will open the floodgates on registration with the launch of the official festival website.

Thanks to everyone for your support thus far…it has only begun.

Ben on the Hollywood Fringe

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our review on the fantastic (and newly designed) website

Lots of information on our model and ideas is posted there for your enjoyment.


Fringe as Economic Stimulus

There is much talk in the news about stimulating the economy through federal funding. To most economic observers, this is a wise move on the part of the government – greasing the skids for communities and businesses to invest in local development.

This can’t be the end of the recovery story, though. As citizens, it’s our responsibility to act on a local basis and make the occasional spending and giving decisions which best enrich our community.

We have structured the Fringe in Los Angeles to provide an injection of enthusiasm, patronage, and funding to the arts in Los Angeles and the communities that support them. With arts on the rise, our city becomes a more attractive destination for cultural tourism. As a community’s culture prosper, more people seek to live in and visit that community. This clustering of development around culturally-rich neighborhoods increases the bankrolls of local businesses, contractors, and governments. More money is reinvested in infrastructure and beautification further increasing the desirability of the community…a healthy and thriving arts scene is key to this formula.

How does the structure of our festival encourage this stimulus effect?

First in our minds is attracting massive artistic participation. We accomplish this through low application and production fees and our policy of “come one, come all”. As described multiple times on this website, the Fringe is “unjuried” – there is no central organization calling the shots on which artists are allowed to participate. Find a venue? You have a show. The word “Fringe” itself attracts artists around the world with its reputation for vitalizing artistic community and careers for the past 6 decades.

Second comes the task of bringing audience to enjoy these Fringe shows. Besides the obvious tasks ahead of us (read: making parking easy and convenient), we wield the ultimate tool for attracting mass attendance: Low Ticket Prices, Lots of Selection. For art lovers, this will be a “kid-in-a-candy-store” environment. Traditionally, a big chunk of fringe-goers are not regulars to the performing arts – though this changes once they attend a Fringe. Many local Fringe artistic companies note a spike in their attendance post-Fringe – patrons who never thought to catch an exciting new play over that Jim Carey film at the cineplex suddenly roll by the theatre box office.

Next comes the huge benefit to local businesses that participate in Fringe-happenings. Edinburgh Fringe Festival (the original Fringe) famously pumps over $100 million dollars into its local economy. Artists from out-of-town need places to eat and stay – visiting patrons need meals and shopping between Fringe shows. Sponsors of Fringes find their name printed on periodicals handed to thousands and thousands of patrons not to mention the associated media coverage. Increased cultural tourism leads to community beautification which leads to even more tourism. Businesses prosper as the Fringe grows.

Looking to Summer 2010 – we all hope media talk of “recovery” replaces the glum stories on “recession” and “stimulus”. Even in the best of economies, we at the Fringe will always be in the stimulus business.

Fringe Artistry by Gavin Worth

“Self Portrait” by Gavin Worth

I’ve received a lot of questions about the source of our graphic design imagery – particularly, the name of the artist who created our mascots the fringe freaks.

The answer is Gavin Worth, our resident graphic magician. You may have seen some of his work gracing the walls of December’s ARTBASH.

Interesting story about the Freaks. About a year and a half ago, we were playing around with different brand aesthetics for the Hollywood Fringe. (read more) We had an idea of what we wanted: Something in the form of street-based graffiti art with a Hollywood-edge. You can actually check out our flickr gallery to see some ideas we were exploring at the time.

In a random moment of inspiration, Gavin produced this image . Funny how many great things begin as a disparaging joke about someone’s mother (for the record, Ken’s mom is a beautiful and intelligent woman and not at all freak-like).

Something about those freaky little figures clicked…so we ran with it. As a potential brochure design, Gavin put together this image – a chalk drawing on a sidewalk near his house. We’ve since featured the freaks on our business cards, website, and post cards.

We are currently in the process of creating life-sized freak costumes (lots of chicken wire, paper mache, paint, and spandex). You just may see them wondering the streets of Hollywood in the very near future.

Check out more of Gavin’s work at

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Advertising with the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an excellent way to promote your project, organization, brand, or cause. Buy an advertisement now on our website or printed guide.Advertising with the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an excellent way to promote your project, organization, brand, or cause. Buy an advertisement now on our website or printed guide.