Fringe Festival sets attendance, revenue recordsby Chris Roberts, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival has set new records in attendance and revenue.
Attendance rose nearly 9 percent over 2009 with more than 50,000 tickets sold. The festival's 169 shows generated more than $355,000 in revenue, an increase of nearly 13 percent over last year.
Fringe Executive Director Robin Gillette said this year's success is mainly due to the Fringe attracting a broader range of performers.
"I think the Fringe is getting better and better every year at opening our doors wider, to make it clear that all sorts of artists are invited, and then to have those artists open doors to their communities, to have all of their people come in, and the potential audiences are huge, and the Fringe is just doing a better job at achieving those audiences," Gillette said.
Gillette said the overall level of artistic talent on stage at the Fringe was also greater than its ever been.
She said fringe-goers also viewed the festival's $12 ticket price as a bargain in a severe recession.
"Because the experience at the fringe starts in the lobby, talking to strangers, talking to people you know, it continues when you're in the space seeing a show, and then it continues afterwards," Gillette said. "If it's hanging out over a beer at Fringe Central talking to people, if it's going home and writing an online audience review, the experience is so much bigger than the show, but it still only costs the $12."