GREENSBORO, N.C. — Paul McCartney is famous for saying that half of genius is knowing where to steal ideas from. Well, maybe not steal, but more like borrow.
Greensboro’s Fringe Festival – now in its 15th successful year – would really like to see a 16th but needs a little support from the community.
The festival borrows its name (“Fringe”) from a famous version of the same concept, started in Edinburg, Scotland, 70 years ago, featuring plays, dance and storytelling with the one rule — that it has to be live and never-before-performed in North Carolina.
“It was meant to bring attention to artists who maybe just don’t have a main stage, don’t have a regular audience, yet, or don’t have a venue yet,” said Todd Fisher, festival co-founder and organizer.
This year, they decided to go bigger with the event, with more performances (though Fisher didn’t have the figure off the top of his head: “You do the math – I’m a dancer, so I can count to eight,” he jokes – but he did know, there are 48 performances) filling two larger venues than where they started 15 years ago. With that comes new challenges.
“You have to pay rent, liability insurance and those things can add up very, very quickly,” Fisher said.
And that can be tough to do when your event doesn’t charge performers to be part of it (remember, they’re still “on the fringe” of their success) and is essentially free for the audience.
“We’re just suggesting a donation.” Fisher said. “So you can throw some money in a hat, you can come support some new work and build an audience for these new artists.”
Fisher explains more, in this edition of the Buckley Report.
For more information on the festival, click here.