This is the first installment of a series of blog posts written by the HFF17 interns. Our yearly group of interns are an essential part of our festival team and this year’s bunch was absolutely outstanding. We owe them our deepest gratitude.
Upon graduating from college, your world is turned completely upside down almost immediately. The structured class schedule and being steeped non-stop in your studies and peer group requires some serious transitioning out of. This was the place I was in when I applied and interviewed for the Fringe Events internship, and I was slightly terrified at the inevitable rebuilding, relocating and re-establishing that was about to take place. I knew that I would miss the community from college the most — I went to a small liberal arts college in Boston, and was very fortunate to find student theatre, a cappella, fitness, and a fraternity that would serve as my supportive tribe throughout college.
I was drawn to Fringe for this very reason, a convening of people driven by their passion for theatre-making, brought together for three weeks every year to celebrate their collective artistry. This is especially invaluable in the disjointed Los Angeles theatre scene, where the aftershocks of these connections will enrich the remaining eleven months of the year in tremendous, undetermined ways. It was truly a privilege to contribute my time and energy to such an event, and it was inspiring to see an organization accomplish exactly what it intended with the help of a talented, generous and hardworking staff.
It was a running comment through this year’s Fringe that it was “blowing up” in a way different from past years, there was a sense of infectious momentum throughout the entire festival. My specific area of responsibility was producing the networking & social events, such as the Opening Night, Runway, Prom, Awards and Closing Night, and this energy could not have been more apparent. The creative spirit was palpable and participants were so eager and enthusiastic be there, I knew very quickly that I found the community that I had set out to find. I look forward to supporting the Fringe and its mission in any and every way in the future, and will be riding the wave of inspiration I’ve gained from the experience in the meantime.
This year’s numbers reflect a growth trend that has been in place since the festival began in 2010:
- The festival sold over 65,000 individual tickets (from 17,000 in 2010).
- The festival sold an estimated $540,000 in tickets this year (from $50,000 in 2010, almost 1,000% growth).
- In its eight year history, Hollywood Fringe has returned over $2.3 million to artists.
- 375 productions participated in this year’s event (from 180 in 2010), mounting 2,064 performances at 51 spaces throughout central Hollywood and some West Hollywood locations.
- 1,802 artists and producers participated in this year’s Hollywood Fringe.
The central Fringe organization doesn’t retain any of the ticketing proceeds; all $540,000 have been returned to Fringe artists and venues.
Want to see Fringe continue? Please make a tax-deductible donation at hollywoodfringe.org/donate.
The 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival is now over (official numbers to be announced next week!), which means it’s time for us to start planning for next year. We rely heavily on feedback from our community and humbly ask for you help evaluating how we did during this festival.
First, please take a few minutes to fill out our HFF17 Survey, which you can find at www.hollywoodfringe.org/survey.
Second, please attend our Post-Fringe Town Hall, which will be happening Monday, July 24th at Sacred Fools from 8-10pm. Festival Director Ben Hill will moderate a discussion about how we can work together to further build, strengthen and improve our community. Reserve a seat by visiting the link above.
Embracing the Fringe
I have never been the cool kid or the popular one – the girl that everyone wants to be like and hang out with. Don’t get me wrong. I’m super rad awesome (do people say “rad” anymore?) – but in a geeky, loner, chicken wings and beer kind of way.
Google says that Fringe means “not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral, or extreme.” That’s pretty much me – minus the extreme. I’m not extreme at all.
The noun form of Fringe means “an ornamental border of threads left loose or formed into tassels or twists, used to edge clothing or material.” Yeah, that’s me too; a frayed edge; dangling decoration, hanging out on the borders of all that is mainstream and #basic. I like that.
I know now, that I am Fringe and that you – the one reading this, is also Fringe. Fringe is a state of being – of existing. Fringe is determination, passion, and hard-work. Just look at the amazing staff, interns and volunteers that put on the Hollywood Fringe Festival. These amazing people – my friends – constantly put in 110% to make this festival happen. And they do this because they believe in it’s importance. They believe in its ability to positively impact the community and artists and local businesses. They come up with radical programs and strategies and welcome diverse voices and faces to the table.
This is what Fringe is. Fringe is acceptance and love; friendship and commitments and most importantly – it welcomes the unconventional, peripheral, and extreme. It embraces the differences and then gives it a platform to show itself to the world.
As I wrap up my two years of being the Publicity Manager of the Hollywood Fringe Festival and pass this honor to someone new – I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all of my dear Hollywood Fringers – staff, interns, producers, actors, writers, designers, and spectators. Thank you for teaching me so much and allowing me to make the mistakes that I’ve learned from. Thank you for so much support and encouragement. Thank you for all the hugs and the laughs. Thank you for sharing your profound and inspiring art with me. Thank you for giving me a home away from home – a place to roll around in my awkward geekiness and feel safe. I am so proud to have been on the Hollywood Fringe staff and look forward to continuing to being part of the Fringe community.
Cheers to all you frayed edges, dangling on the borders and making the world a better and more beautiful place.
Peace and Blessings,
…And the lights have come down on our 8th Hollywood Fringe Festival.
It has been such an amazing journey to see this festival grow into the force of nature it has become in Los Angeles. Every June, for the past 8 years, thousands of artists have performed for tens of thousands of audience members. We had incredible, record setting numbers this year (exact audience numbers to be revealed soon) and we are growing every year. 375 shows! 2000 performances! Over $2 million back to participants since our inception in 2010!
Those are amazing numbers. I love those numbers! And I am proud of them.
But what I can’t quantify is the way it feels to walk into Fringe Central and see this unbelievable community we’ve helped build. To see the camaraderie, the enthusiasm, new friendships, old ones, deep conversations, laughter… Our Fringe community is about more than numbers. It’s about support, collaboration, friendship. I think I’m most proud of that.
This will be my last year as a member of the Hollywood Fringe staff. Don’t worry! I’m not done with the festival completely — but I will be taking a step back from activities day to day. At the end of this year, I’m excited to be moving into more of a leadership role, on the festival’s Board of Directors.
Thirty years from now, when June rolls around, I want to be able to walk into Fringe Central, saddle up to the bar, look around, and still see our incredible Fringe community thriving and celebrating. And I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that future happens.
There are too many people to thank for their support over the years. But this festival wouldn’t happen without the shared vision that Ben, David, Stacy and I had over 10 years ago. And we couldn’t have done it year to year without the hard work of Meghan, Lois, Stina, Vanessa, Bella & the rest of the amazing staff who put their everything into the festival.
I love this festival and I love the family that I’ve found within it. Thank you, everyone.
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.