NOV 2007

The Fringe, The Internet, & Democracy

With a limited number of venues available and demand expected to be high, how do we create a fair, unbiased process to select Fringe projects? This is a very sensitive issue as any “juried” selection process violates the underlying principles of Fringe. After all, the first fringe (1947 in Edinburgh) involved rebel artists setting up camp on the “fringes” of the much more effete and established Edinburgh International Festival.

Some Fringes navigate around this problem by establishing a “lottery” whereby Fringe projects are selected at random. Some approach it from a “first come, first serve” basis. Others utilize a selection committee staffed with press, artists, sponsors, et al. Almost all Fringes level applicants with a “fee” just to apply.

Amazing work has been produced using these paradigms, no doubt. We are trying something different.

Imagine this:

  • Artists log into our website and set up camp.
  • Each artist creates a MySpace/Facebook-like profile of their project.
  • To this profile they add text, links, video, pictures, music, blogs, podcasts anything to help articulate their artistic vision
  • The community at large votes on their favorite projects.
  • The projects with the most votes are entered into the Hollywood Fringe

To encourage participation from artists large and small, we will not be charging any fees to create a project profile on the website.