Participate in the Philly Fringe!

Note: The deadline for 2010 Philly Fringe registration has passed. For more information please contact John Emory, Fringe Coordinator, at

How to Participate in the Philly Fringe

Welcome to the fourteenth annual Philly Fringe! Our mission is to provide an opportunity for artists to produce and present their art in an exciting festival atmosphere.

The Philly Fringe is open to any artist who has a piece of work to present and can find a venue. We do not invite anyone to perform, nor do we produce Fringe shows. In the tradition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we ask that you challenge yourself to be an artistic pioneer by taking your work to new levels of artistic innovation and presentation.

Self-producing an event for the Fringe enables you to reach new audiences, choose your own venue, set your own schedule, and have artistic, financial, and organizational control over your performance. While you produce your work, we help you with marketing and box office support. Every year we produce 40,000 Festival Guides that highlight every Fringe show and are distributed throughout the entire city. We will also provide you with a large list of press contacts so you can professionally market your own show.

This year's Festival dates are September 3-18, 2010

The process can be somewhat daunting, so we will outline everything you will need to do to produce a successful show, followed by a more comprehensive overview.

Firstly you will need to submit a participation form and fee ($80 one time, non-refundable fee) by April 2, 2010. The Participation form will become accessible on January 25, 2010.

You will have the option to attend our New Artists Workshop on March 16. This workshop will be geared towards people like yourself who are new to the Festival or unsure of the Festival procedures. This will allow you to ask us questions about participating in the Fringe before the participation deadline.

Each year we produce Festival Guides and distribute them all over the city. Every Fringe artist gets a space in our guide to help market their show (on the participation form you will have the choice of a 50-word description of your show or a photo and description for a fee of $100 or $200, respectively). We highly suggest using both a photo and a description in the guide to help market your show.

After you submit your participation form, it would be best to start looking for a venue. When approaching the venue, it might be in your best interest to ask the venue if you could rent the space for a % of your door sales so you won't have to pay out of pocket. There are many other ways to work with the venue in deciding what the rental costs will be. Finding a venue is usually the hardest part of producing your show, so make sure you are working on this early. You will want to stay in close contact with your venue in the months leading up to the Festival to finalize the details about your rental and use of the space.

On May 4, we will host a Marketing Workshop. This workshop will be geared towards getting people to come see your show. We will outline different marketing strategies and innovative ways of gaining attention for your show.

Then next two deadlines are for the 50-word description and for the photo. The 50-word description is due on May 14 and the photo (w/ credits) is due on June 4.

At this point you will have received your Artist Agreement. This is a contract that you will be producing a show for the current Fringe year. You will be required to provide your venue location, the name of your show, your dates and times for production and a marketing fee. This fee is to cover our guide production and design. If you choose to use a Photo you will need to provide the names of any people pictured and credits for the photo being used.

The Artist Agreement and Marketing (for the Guide) Fee are due on June 11, 2010.

This is where everything really starts to kick into gear and you get busy producing your show and making sure all the dots are connected.

Once we have all the Artist Agreements, we start the lofty task of putting together the Festival Guide, while you put the finishing touches on your show.

On August 3, we will host the final workshop, based around our Box Office procedures. This is a very important workshop, as the box office will be your main source for selling tickets. Our Box Office opens on August 23, two weeks prior to the Festival opening on September 3.

It would be best to determine the number of shows in your production's run based on realistic estimates of audience demand and venue size. Having too many could be costly and divide your audience, where having too few shows could hurt word of mouth and people won't hear about your show until it's too late.

Please see below for more detailed information on each of these topics.

CALL FOR ARTISTS! - January 25 - April 2, 2010

If you are new to the Philly Fringe, please be sure to read all information below before registering. If you still have questions, please contact John at (215) 413-9006 x18 or

Be one of the 200+ acts that turns our city into a performing arts Mecca and gives Philadelphia a creative blast of energy every year.

16 days of theater • dance • comedy • musicals • circus arts • visual arts • poetry • opera • puppetry • storytelling • rock n roll performed all across the city at art galleries • theaters • basements • churches • rock clubs • abandoned lots • row homes • flatbed trucks • storefronts • sidewalks • parks • bars • graveyards • museums • underpasses • parking lots • cafes • train stations • night clubs • swimming pools • buses • rooftops • benches • booths • boats • driveways • cars • tennis courts • grass-fields • places you didn't know existed.

The Philly Fringe wants you! Join the ranks of the risk-taking artists who have made the Festival a Philadelphia tradition since 1997.

Fringe artists pay a small, non-refundable Festival participation fee, and nominal marketing fee. In addition, there are a series of deadlines leading up to the Festival that you must meet in order to participate.


Before you decide to participate in the Philly Fringe, think about whether you are ready to present your work to a Fringe audience. You might consider some of the following questions:


The first step in becoming part of the Philly Fringe is to fill out and submit an Artist participation form, along with your non-refundable $80 participation fee. Artist participation forms will be available on this page starting January 25 and due on April 2, 2010. Forms must be submitted with a one-time, non-refundable $80 participation fee.

On the artist participation form, we will ask basic questions regarding the discipline, title for your work, company or artist name, and basic contact info. We will ask you if you would like just a description or a photo and description for the Festival Guide. Click here for more info on this process. We ask that only one member of your group or company is responsible for all contact and interactions with the Fringe staff. This person will be in charge of completing all necessary forms and agreements and returning these on or before Festival deadlines. It is very important that you provide a current email address when filling out the participation form, as almost all communication from Festival staff will be conducted via email.


After we have processed all participation forms in mid-April, you will receive an email from the Fringe Coordinator with instructions concerning your participation. At this time, the 2010 Fringe Manual will become available on the Manual page.

Working from our own experiences and artists' feedback, we have developed the Fringe Manual to address important elements of the Fringe process. The Fringe Manual offers information on everything from securing a venue, to preparing a press packet. The Manual also includes an Artists' Resources section where you'll find names and contact information for local costumers, technical equipment rental services, photographers, and more. The manual is downloadable in full or in sections as PDF documents. (If you have trouble downloading the Manual, please contact us and we will send one via snail mail.)


After we have processed all participation forms in mid-April, this page will serve as your one-stop source for information concerning all Fringe instructions, forms & documents, and press info. You will be asked to fill out and return several documents throughout the Festival process. All of these forms may be downloaded from the Resources page. These documents are: Press Pitch Worksheet, W-9 and, General Liability Insurance Form. You can also find many helpful tips from the other documents provided, such as a Venue List and tips on press, advertising, and other marketing opportunities.


A list of 2010 venue suggestions is also available on the Resources page. Aside from the challenges that come with creating and producing your own work, finding a venue may be your most difficult task. Please be aware that we will not find or assign you a venue or location. You are responsible for finding your own venue. Our only requirement is that your venue or show location be within the city of Philadelphia. Some exceptions will be made for participants planning to stage a show outside of city limits. Productions that do fall outside of city limits will be required to reserve a Philly Fringe sandwich board and introduce each performance with a curtain speech about the Festival.

Look for a venue that will allow you to reach your audience and meet your artistic and financial needs. If you plan to use a public space, be prepared to investigate whether this will require a permit. You will need to set up all financial arrangements with your venue.


In mid-May, we will send you an Artist Agreement in the mail. At that time, you will need to fill in your venue and ticket information and finalize your schedule. The Artist Agreement will ask you specific questions regarding the location, contact information, and wheelchair accessibility of your venue; the title, running time, and ticket price for your show; and all of your marketing preferences. You will also be asked for a signature of indemnification. The Artist Agreement is the final word concerning the details of your show, so be sure that all info submitted is correct. You must have your Artist Agreement completed and returned, and the remainder of your artist fees paid no later than June 11.

All artists are required to have a description of their event in the Festival Guide. This Guide description or blurb can be no longer than 50-words, at a cost of $100. If you wish to include a photo or graphic image with your description, the total cost will be $200. We strongly encourage you to submit an image with your Guide description. With so many events to choose from, Festival goers may be more attracted to your show if they are offered a strong visual representation of your work. Your Guide description must be submitted by May 14, 2010 and your image (if desired) must be sent to us no later than June 4, 2010. Image specs will be communicated to you by email in April.


The Philly Fringe has a long tradition of press coverage from local newspapers and magazines including Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Philadelphia Magazine. We strongly encourage that you prepare a press release, press photos, and information about your event for local press. Please return these materials no later than June 4, 2010 (along with Guide image). While we only market the Festival as a whole and not individual Fringe shows, we sometimes get press requests for certain shows. We will forward all press materials you send us when receiving inquiries from the press. That being said, we encourage all Fringe artists to promote their events to local media independently. We will provide access to Festival logos and press lists for your use.


Fringe artists set their own ticket prices. Prices should be set in increments of $1. In the past, artists have set their ticket prices within the $10 - $20 range, but feel free to set yours higher or lower based on your running time and needs. Of course, you can decide to make your event free. We begin internet ticket sales for Fringe shows in mid-July and will begin selling tickets through our Box Office on Monday August 23. Before setting the ticket price for your event, please be sure to familiarize yourself with Festival discounts as we will require you to honor them for any sales through our Festival Box Office or website. Once the Box Office is open, artists are welcome to sign out a certain number of tickets to sell independently of the Box Office or web sales. While the number of tickets you may sign out will vary based on the number of shows and your venue's capacity, our general rule is that you keep 25% of your total number of tickets to be sold through our Box Office. It is an important customer service that we can provide tickets to ALL Fringe events through our Box Office. Please note that artists keep 100% of the revenue from any tickets he or she signs out.

Box Office Fees

Ticketed - All tickets to your show sold at our Box Office or through our website will be subject to a 10% fee deducted from your sales to cover a portion of our administrative costs.


The more you see, the more you save!- Buy tickets to 2 or more shows and save 20%. Students and Festival goers 25 and younger- $15 Live Arts Festival tickets and $5 off Philly Fringe tickets if original price is $15 or over. Groups of 10+ save 25%. The All-Access Pass ($325 for a one-person pass, or $650 for a two-person pass) grants admission to every Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe show. To purchase or learn more about All-Access Passes, please contact the Festival Box Office at 215.413.1318. Discounts cannot be combined.

Artists in possession of an Artist Rush card will receive $5 off any ticket purchased at the door up to ten minutes before the show. For more info on Artist Rush, refer to the bottom of the Deadlines & Fees page.

We strongly encourage you to have visible outdoor signage for the convenience of your audience. You may provide this on your own, or rent a sandwich board sign from the Festival for $40. This fee includes the frame itself, the sign, and the design. For anyone mounting a show outside the city limits, we will require you to rent a sandwich board through the Festival.


All participants must provide proof of general liability insurance that lists 'Philly Fringe' as an additional insured. You may obtain this insurance though your own carrier, or through the Festival's insurer, Domenick & Associates, (215) 629-5701, who has insured Fringe artists for years. 2010 rates are $105-$194. For more information about insurance, visit the Resources Page. We strongly encourage artists to use Domenick & Associates, as they know exactly what we need and will make the process much simpler on your end.


Artists are solely responsible for obtaining all rights for using copyrighted text and/or music in their show as well as paying all related royalties. We strongly recommend that you take all necessary steps to comply with all copyright and licensing laws. Failure to do so could result in having your show closed down by representatives of the copyright and license holders.


For Producers: Producers who are interested in using AEA members in the "Theatre" section of either the "Live Arts" or "Philly Fringe" portions of the Festival must be signed to an appropriate (SPT, Guest Artist, Special Appearance, etc.) AEA contract.

For AEA actors, there is an AEA "PHILLY FRINGE" code crafted for the "Theatre" section of the "Philly Fringe" portion of the Festival that can be utilized only by AEA members for AEA member-produced productions.

All Actors Equity concerns should be directed to the AEA business representative at (212) 869-8530, the Philadelphia AEA Liaison Committee at or you may call the Philadelphia AEA Hotline at 1 877 AEA 1913, ext 832 for more contact information.

If you have any questions concerning the Festival process, please contact:

John Emory
Fringe Coordinator
215-413-9006 x18

Office Hours:
Monday & Tuesday: 11am - 6pm,
Friday 12pm - 6pm