By Bud Sonka
The San Diego Fringe Festival is one of the largest performance events on the West Coast. It attracts local artists and people from all over Southern California and beyond. The Fringe Festival offers the opportunity to see art without censorship in a venue that values artistic integrity. It includes puppetry, dance, circus, comedy and spoken word in what is described as a “Carnival of Theater.”
The Fringe began in 1947 when eight groups appeared uninvited to the newly formed Edinburgh International Festival and performed their shows “on the fringe” of the main festival. While the main festival still exists, The Edinburgh Fringe is now the largest theater festival in the world: more than 500 companies from around the world give thousands of performances during the 5 weeks of the festival.
In Canada the Fringe started in Edmonton, Alberta thirty years ago. Since then dozens of Fringe Festivals have formed throughout the world including almost 20 in the United States.
San Diego’s Fringe Festival will run from July 3-13 2014. The festival is operated by volunteers–mostly local–and the performers themselves receive all of the proceeds from ticket sales.
Festival coordinator Todd Blakesley is currently looking for a few more places for the performers to bed down. All they really need is a living room couch, or floor space for a sleeping bag. Access to the kitchen, refrigerator, a shower is extra but nice. Close to downtown San Diego would be really nice. If you can help, call Todd at 619-990-9781.