Deconstructing the Fringe

What is Fringe?

It all started in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, as an alternative festival that played concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival. Though not invited to participate, groups of actors, musicians, and the like performed at various venues on the fringe of the EIF. In 1948, Robert Kemp, a local journalist, gave it the name Fringe: “Round the fringe of official Festival drama, there seems to be more private enterprise than before…” (Read more about Fringe history at Wikipedia.)

And so the Fringe as we know it was born. Fringe performing arts festivals can now be found all over the world, with dozens thriving in the United States today.

In the U.S., no one organization or individual owns, controls or regulates the name “Fringe”. There are no national rules for how each individual festivals operate; festival content, finances, and structure vary from city to city. Generally, all festivals are committed to an open forum of expression that minimizes the financial risks for both artists and audiences. Fringes work hard to keep production fees and ticket prices low so that more people can participate in our festivals.

The KC Fringe stage is for the diversity, innovation and creativity that can be found throughout our community. This event is an example of how the arts bring people from all walks of life together, inspiring participants and attendees to embrace creativity and dare to be different.

And now we are celebrating the 18th Annual KC Fringe Festival, July 15 – 31st.

  • Fringe shows span across 13 venues
  • Features 55 different productions
  • Over 350 participating artists
  • Galleries showcase 23 Visual Artists across multiple mediums
  • More than 284 opportunities to find your Fringe this year!

Let’s get our Fringe on in support of the Arts. There’s something for everyone! KCFringe.org

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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