When I first found out VISI received permission from the Fringe Festival to construct an online video contest for participating Fringe Festival shows, I was giddy. The Minnesota Fringe Festival is 11 days of nonstop performing arts action. With multiple theatre locations and dozens of shows a day, choosing which Fringe Festival to see rivals an Olympic sport for some. For the casual festival-goer, the choices can be daunting. In 2008, the Fringe Festival issued 40,929 tickets to 154 shows.
VISI has launched the first annual Fringey Awards – and the exciting part of it is the mutual benefits it will give to Fringe Festival shows and festival-goers alike! Since the participating artists get a portion of box office sales for their show, it behooves them to promote their show as much as possible. By submitting their web trailers to the Fringey Awards, they increase their online advertising and a chance to win $500 to boot. The video submissions can be excerpts from actual Fringe Festival performances or simply teasers.
The benefit to the theatre-goers is being able to get a sneak preview of the shows before attending the festival. Any visitors to the Fringey Awards site will also be able to vote for their favorite trailers through July 28th.
Now that voting on the website is live and we’re spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter, I can say I’m still pretty giddy about this event. VISI is enabling the Minnesota Fringe Festival to further their mission: connecting adventurous artists to adventurous audiences. Go see a show!