Your guide to the ultimate Edmonton Fringe Festival experience
Head down to Old Strathcona from August 11 - 21 to experience some of the best talent in town
By ATB Events Team 4 August 2022 4 min read
Following a successful and safe return to the stage last year, the 41st Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival promises to be one of its best yet.
This year’s iteration— Destination Fringe — features more than 160 shows at 27 venues. If you’re planning to head down to Old Strathcona for the 10-day festival - we’ve got the insider tips to help you Fringe with the best of them.
#1. There is no wrong way to 'fringe'
The Edmonton Fringe Festival is the longest running Fringe Theatre Festival in North America and ranks among the top 5 Fringe Festivals in the world. It’s a crucial event for our local arts community and helps shine a spotlight on our creative entrepreneurs in our community and beyond. It’s a festival about exploration, so you, the attendee, are free to explore, try new things and support the artists. Fringing is for everyone, and the festival is about creating memories. So, open up to new experiences and have fun!
#2. You will be entertained
You won't be bored, regardless of what you're hoping to see when you cruise down to Old Strathcona. With over 160 shows, indoor and outdoor venues, and beer gardens to cool down and relax in between experiences, you can see it all. Whether you're into comedy, theatre, circus, musicals, magic, poetry or more — there is undoubtedly something for you and every one of your friends and family members along for the ride.
#3. You don't need a ticket to attend
One of the best parts of the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is its accessibility. You can gain general admittance to the festival for free and walk around, exploring the vendors and some of its outdoor artists and attractions without breaking the bank. So, don't let a limited budget stop you from exploring your city.
#4. Dress for comfort
Like any festival, dressing in layers, popping on a pair of shoes made for walking and finding fabrics that scream comfort is critical. Keep in mind that 'Fringe Fashion' is very casual, so at the very least, come as you are. Fun, funky, sporty, edgy — all attire is welcome, so long as you feel good.
#5. Take advantage of public transit
When it comes to getting down to the festival, your best friend is public transit. Parking is limited in this district, so instead, consider the bus or taking the high-level streetcar, which drops guests off at the North Beer Gardens. Another fantastic option for those on a budget is the free Fringe shuttle, which drops you off at the French Quarters.
#6. Fuel yourself throughout the day
As you know, Alberta has been experiencing some extreme heat this summer — but that never stops a random rain or thunderstorm from showing up to the party. So regardless of the temperature, consider bringing a water bottle to refill throughout the day and stay hydrated. And try out one of 19 food vendors, like Royal Treats — who has been a vendor since the first Fringe Festival — to stay energized.
#7. Visit The Atrium
If you're a first-time attendee of the Fringe Festival, swing by ATB’s The Atrium. It’s a great meeting place for you and your friends, recharge with our phone charging stations, find out where you need to go or what you should see, and enjoy a comfortable shady hang out.
#8. Explore the Old Strathcona district
One of the most exciting parts of the Fringe Festival is the location. Old Strathcona is the best space for entertainment, with a variety of excellent food and drink options and small businesses that could use your support after a tough couple of years.
#9. Support local artists and vendors
Although you can attend the festival for free, something that's important to note is that 100% of all artist event ticket sales goes directly into that performer's pockets. In 2019, the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival put $1 million back into some incredibly talented artists' pockets, thanks to the attendees' support.
#10. Timing is everything
In art, timing is everything. So, do your best to arrive early for any artist events. The festival does what it can to respect the performers and entertainers, meaning latecomers are denied entry. This is also key for keeping their tight schedule on track. So, although you might be distracted by some exciting fire juggling on the festival grounds, make sure you give yourself enough time to get to where you need to be.
No matter your plans for attending the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival this August 11 to 21, you’ll have a great time.
ATB is a proud supporter of the Edmonton Fringe Festival since 2014. We’re thrilled to continue supporting the events that make Alberta a fantastic place to live.