After asking fans to vote on dozens of ideas for this year’s Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival theme, the most popular submission for the 37th year of the festival was positively prehistoric.
“Fringe ‘O’ Saurus Rex” will take place in Old Strathcona from Aug. 16-26, and will feature buskers, outdoor performers, artisans and vendors.
“Whether it’s an obsession with dinos from early childhood, or a love for prehistorical pop culture, we think Fringers will really connect with the theme,” Fringe artistic director Murray Utas said.
The Fringe invited the public to get creative and received just under 600 submissions for this year’s theme. The list was then whittled down to remove inappropriate and trademarked ideas. From there, the top 50 submissions were put out for more than 12,000 stakeholders — artists, sponsors, volunteers and staff — to pick their favourite.
This year, 1,646 votes were cast and the list was further narrowed down to the top five themes — which were sent to staff for the final say. After three rounds of voting, “Fringe ‘O’ Saurus Rex” emerged as the most popular theme.
The 2018 Fringe festival will feature more than 1,600 live theatre performances in over 40 venues featuring artists from around the world.
“Throughout the Festival we’ll see Fringe ‘O’ Saurus Rex come alive, guiding you through 11 days of incredible theatre performance that truly celebrates the global arts community as it comes together right here in our own backyard,” Utas added.
The Edmonton Fringe is the largest theatre festival of its kind in North America. Last year, festival goers set a record by buying 130,000 tickets. Nearly 810,000 people took in the festival over 11 days, bringing in nearly $1.2 million for the artists. The theme in 2017 was “A Midsummer Night’s Fringe.”
WATCH: Cleanup was underway in Old Strathcona following the 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. As Kim Smith reports, organizers said the 2017 event was a major success that broke records.