It was a record-setting year for the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, with 147,358 tickets sold over the course of the 11-day event.
The total box office revenue was $1.72 million — up 18 per cent from 2018 — with $1.4 million of that going to participating artists.
“This year has truly been a year where patrons are willing and eager to take a chance,” Fringe artistic director Murray Utas said.
He said the “randomizer” feature on their website alone generated over $120,000 in ticket sales, “which is a true testament to the openness of festival audiences to experience new, daring and exciting theatre right here in the heart of Old Strathcona,” he added.
LISTEN BELOW: Murray Utas joins the 630 CHED Afternoon News
The randomizer is an app on the Fringe website created by marketing agency Kick Point. It allowed festival-goers to click a Magic 8-Ball-like button on the website and be given a random show suggestion.
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The fringe festival grounds received 848,263 visits, while audiences took in more than 1,900 live theatre performances at 50 venues, festival organizers said Monday.
There were 258 indoor shows at this year’s festival — 30 more than in the past — and 36 different outdoor buskers to entertain visitors in Old Strathcona.
This year there are four holdover shows for theatre lovers to take in from Aug. 28 to 31: TEDxRFT from Rapid Fire Theatre, Reality Crack from Vibrate, There Ain’t No More from Breaker/Fixer Productions and The Green Line from In Arms Theatre Collective.
This year’s theme was “Where the Wild Things Fringe” — a nod to 1963 children’s book by Maurice Sendak.
—More to come…