How it Works...
Here’s a little handbook describing how the Fringe Festival operates.
The Fringe Organization
About the Fringe Organization
The Fringe organization exists as a hub to the various Fringe stakeholders: venues, artists, and audience. It is not a curating body, rather it provides an open environment in which artists stage their projects. It does not recruit or show favoritism between projects registered with the festival. The relationship between the Fringe and other key stakeholders is decentralized – with venues and artists operating independently.
The Fringe organization fulfills these roles:
- Festival promotion to the community and the press
- Tickets sales through online, phone, and central box offices
- Artist support through housing and production assistance
- Coordination between Fringe venues
- Production of promotional events for venues and artists
- Publication of The Fringe Guide and management of the Fringe website
- Promotion of the Hollywood Fringe brand
- Recruitment of a volunteer base
During and prior to the Festival, the Fringe throws promotional events:
- Opening and closing night parties
- Outdoor events for visibility to community/tourists
- Mixers and other opportunities for promoters, venues, artists and the community to interact
- Planned nights-out at regional establishments
- Best-of-Fringe events during and after the festival
The Fringe provides opportunities for artists to walk away with various awards. The available awards are announced as the Festival approaches.
For information on the International Competition, check out this article.
The Fringe supports itself primarily through:
- Artist registration fees ($175-$250 each)
- Advertising income from the Fringe Guide and Website
- Special event production
- Raised income through grants, sponsorships, and individual giving
- Fringe merchandise sales
About Participants at the Fringe
The Hollywood Fringe is a self-produced festival; participants are responsible for staging and promoting their own projects. The Fringe promotes the festival as a whole; the participants are responsible for ensuring patrons are aware and interested in their project. For participants, the Fringe is an opportunity for exposure, experience, and income.
To register, a participant must first secure a venue; the Fringe Website assists in establishing initial contact with registered Fringe venues.
To maximize participation, venues and participants negotiate directly accommodating the unique needs of both parties. The Fringe provides both participants and venues guidelines protecting the “spirit” of Fringe: Massive opportunity with minimal barriers.
All participants in Fringe must meet the following requirements:
- A rental contract with a registered Fringe venue
- Payment of the Festival Registration Fee ($175-$250)
- A general liability insurance policy
- Agreement to the Fringe terms and conditions
…if these basic qualifications are met, any artistic project can become a Fringe show.
Festival registration for shows declining to charge a fee to patrons (free performances), are subject to the reduced fee of $175 for inclusion in the Guide and the Website. Projects with a single performance (one-offs) also register at this reduced rate.
The participant is free to produce any content of any length without fear of censorship from the Fringe. All programming is subject to the venue’s limitations and the agreement between participant and venue. Participants may set whatever price they so choose, though they are encouraged to keep prices at a marketable rate for a successful run. Generally, prices to Fringe shows are cheaper than traditional runs.
All genres of art are acceptable, including theatre, comedy, variety, music, circus, dance, exhibitions, performance art, and family programming.
The Fringe will provide opportunities to advertise projects in the Fringe Guide and on the Website for a reasonable fee. The Fringe will also coordinate promotional opportunities at major tourism hubs prior to and during the Festival.
Participants and instructors seeking additional funds during the Fringe may register as a workshop. Workshops are subject to the same registration fees and benefits as traditional projects including venue availability. Tickets to workshops are sold through the Fringe box offices and at the door of the venue. They are listed in the Guide and Website along with all other projects in the Fringe.
The artist receives the following benefits with their Fringe registration fee:
- Inclusion in the Fringe Guide
- Tickets sold through the online, phone, and central box offices
- Production assistance and producer workshops
- Access to special promotional deals through our media partners
- Access to promotional opportunities at Fringe events
- Discounts at local businesses including housing support
- Access to promoters in the LA entertainment industry and beyond
- Help through the whole process through participant support
All tickets sold through the Fringe box office are subject to an 8.5% service charge paid to the Festival. All tickets sold at the venue’s door are subject to the rental agreement between participant and venue.
Artists from all around the world are invited to participate in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. International artists are responsible for obtaining performer visas at their own expense; the festival will draft invitation letters on request.
About Fringe Venues
Fringe venues are entirely independent and self-run; the Fringe does not control programming at Fringe venues, nor does it act as a party to rental agreements between participant and venue companies. Venues are free to program or outsource programming at their establishments. Venues must conform to certain requirements to qualify for registration.
All venues must register with the Fringe free of charge. They must conform to these basic requirements:
- A guaranteed safe atmosphere for participants and patrons
- Legal rights to operate and rent the venue
- A physical address within the Fringe boundaries
- A signed contract with the Fringe Festival
The venue determines its festival programming. Diversity in programming is encouraged to provide a true festival atmosphere, though the Fringe makes no such requirements. The venue can choose any artistic company that has created a project on the Fringe Website. Participants may proactively contact venues to establish relationships, or venues may search and recruit projects on the Fringe Website or beyond.
The venue company is responsible for carrying out the terms of participant payment based on their individual rental agreements with artists. Sales sold at the door of the venue are subject to the agreement between the venue and the artist. Any arrangement can be made with the participants including:
- 100% of box office revenue to their resident artists in exchange for a fair rental rate.
- 0% of box office for free rent
- Box office split with guarantee
- Box office split without guarantee
- Any other arrangements agreeable to both parties
Staffing the venue for box office, house management, and tech is the responsibility of the venue. The Fringe will attempt to assist venue staffing with members of its volunteer base.
Venue Technical Requirements
Venues and participants will be responsible for arranging time for technical rehearsals of productions. Artists are encouraged to keep technical complication to a minimum, both in the spirit of Fringe and to facilitate this process. Generally, venues are asked to provide a rep lighting plot and a basic sound system.
All venue-sold ancillary revenue including alcohol, food, and merchandise benefits the venue company or is subject to any pre-existing agreements. Ancillary revenue sold in Fringe-run venues benefits the Festival.
Venues choose how to participate in the Fringe. Options include:
- Programming multiple shows back-to-back in their venue
- Programming a single show in their venue
- Renting the venue wholesale to a presenting organization interested in programming the venue themselves
- Construction of a party atmosphere including performance events
- Creating an environment strictly for workshops
…the only restriction is that each individual show interested in promotion through the Festival must register with the Fringe and meet the basic artist requirements (see above). Traditionally the responsibility for paying the registration falls upon the participant; venues may choose to fund their participant’s registrations based on special agreements.