Friday, January 23, 2009

Fringe Dud! San Francisco Fringe Festival

Fringe Duds: Not Nice But True Reviews from Fringe Performers.....
You will Not make money, perhaps not even break-even at the SF Fringe. Sadly, the Fringe hangout, Original Joes, burned down and there is no Fringe Hangout Central or Opening Party, thus, community and making friends is difficult. The theaters are run by wonderful people, in the worst section of town.

The Best of the SF Fringe awardees are generally Not the Best, but the most marketable or the favorite of the Artistic Director, as in “her taste”. Most of the local SF –based shows are amateur, college-ee stuff, which get huge crowds, as they are local shows. The really great shows are generally the out-of-towners (usually Canadians), who’s shows are poorly-attended because the only people seeing theater in SF, are friends of performers.

SF is a huge small-theater town and is over-saturated with cultural events. The SF Fringe is not on most people’s radar or agenda. Out-of-Towners can expect small audiences, scenic junkie-alley and possible contempt for bad Best of Fringe recipients. Great tech crew, great theater folks, but a huge challenge in marketing, socializing, and disappointing award-choices.


tricky said...

I don't entirely agree. I went in '07 and had pretty good crowds and I'm from out of town. I also attended other out-of-town shows with good crowds. The key was to get some good reviews- either from press (I got lucky that they showed up at mine) or from the on-line reviews. They have an EXCELLENT system in which anyone can leave a review- these seemed to be very fair and unbiased in my opinion. The little cafe that's set up at the EXIT Theater was a good place to meet potential audience, also. True- it's a crappy part of town (but this IS a fringe festival). And SF is pricey, and there's no billeting, so it's not super easy to make a buck, but I'd go again- esp if I could find a free/cheap place to stay. There are hostels really close to the theater- maybe i'd stay in a dorm room, there.

Anonymous said...

This review echoes exactly what I've heard about the SF Fringe over and over, actually. D'oh.