Fringe Festival 2009: basking in the afterglow


by Erica Mauter | August 11, 2009 • Preliminary numbers are in and they are saying that this was the best-attended Minnesota Fringe Festival to date. is a cityblog for and about life in the Twin Cities, published by Erica Mauter. Contact

• 46,189 tickets were issued to an estimated 15,100 patrons (2008: 40,926 tickets; previous record in 2006: 44,692 tickets)
• gross box office revenue over $330,000 from 162 different productions at 22 venues (2008: $297,374 from 156 shows; previous record in 2006: $338,181 from 163 shows)
• 87 certified sell outs
• Single-performance attendance record: Sideways Stories from Wayside School at the Rarig Center Thrust with 402 tickets issued.
• traffic up 35% over last year
• approximately 3200 audience reviews, vs last year’s 2200


Fringe Famous, home of quasi-anonymous theatre snarkitude, has updated the Hall of Fringe Fame with 2009 inductees. They’ve also awarded this year’s Fringies.

The Fringey Awards announced Sarah, Your Ovaries Are Drying Up: The Musical as the grand prize winner and recipient of a giant fake check in the inaugural fringe show trailer contest.

I worked my first volunteer shifts inside actual venues. The amount of work involved varies wildly depending on a lot of factors. As a volunteer, I’d like to thank Fringe-goers for their patience and understanding. Most lobbies are not set up to accommodate every body that can fit into the theater at once. And yes, we do hear your feedback on whether the rush line should be inside or outside or go this way or that way.

It was also a pleasure to attend Fringe University on Sunday morning at Fringe Central and hear Fringe staffers give the shpiel on the Fringe’s year-round activities and the inner workings of the festival. The crowd on hand asked some interesting questions and got, I think, interesting answers.

Please do fill out the online audience survey. It’s short and sweet, but there is the opportunity to sign up to give more in-depth feedback, so please do that if you have lots to say. Knowing who’s coming to the Fringe helps immensely!

Now, time for all the staffers to get some sleep.

Disclaimer: I’m on the Minnesota Fringe Festival’s Board of Directors. Opinions expressed here are mine alone and do not represent the official position of the Fringe unless noted.

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