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Peregrinus I © Filip Rudnicki
Peregrinus I © Filip Rudnicki

FringeNYC 2016: What To Expect

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 2 August 2016
The New York International Fringe Festival (commonly known as FringeNYC) is North America’s largest theater and dance festival, and it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary this year from August 12th through August 28th. If you don’t know about FringeNYC, it’s a gathering where over 200 of the world’s best up-and-coming theater and dance groups perform in various venues throughout downtown Manhattan, and here’s what you need to know about it.

Before The Show

The first thing to do if you’re interested in seeing a show is check the schedule and purchase your tickets. Tickets cost $18 per show, and some sell out fast.

The options can be overwhelming, so if you’re new to FringeNYC and aren’t sure which shows are right for you, you can take the ‘Find Your Fringe quiz on the FringeNYC website. Just a few quick questions about your favorite color and TV show and you’ll receive a list of the performances best suited for you (you’ll also get a discount on tickets!). You can also check out Show-Score, a platform where you can find basic info and read reviews from critics on each show’s individual show page. You can even search by theme to find a certain genre of performance. 

If you’re a FringeNYC regular and you know you’ll want to see multiple shows, consider buying a pass for a discounted price. You can purchase a ‘fiver’ pass ($85 for five shows), a ‘flex’ pass ($150 for ten shows), or even a ‘lunatic’ pass ($500 for unlimited shows) and really get your money’s worth.

Line to enter a venue at FringeNYC

Line to enter a venue at FringeNYC

After The Show

FringeNYC is good for so much more than just a night at the theater, and the social events will be worth checking out. There will be multiple FringePLUS MeetUps after certain shows. These are special events where you can mingle with other FringeNYC goers and meet the artists. You can even get discounts for upcoming performances by showing your program to ‘FringeNYC Ambassadors’ – staff members who will be wearing FringeNYC T-shirts.

Another way to score a discount is by rating the show once you’ve seen it. Show-Score is sponsoring FringeNYC this year, and they’ve created a show page for each show on which audience members can rate performances after they’ve attended and receive discounts on future ticket purchases.

"Zuccotti Park - a musical about the human side of economics," is one of hte many performances at this year's FringeNYC

‘Zuccotti Park – a musical about the human side of economics,’ is one of the many performances at this year’s FringeNYC

Beyond The Shows

Aside from the shows, you can check out tons of other FringeNYC events, many of which are free to the public. There’s FringeART – a free art installation in Cooper Square – FringeAL FRESCO, an array of free outdoor performances, parties at FringeCLUB where you can mix with other FringeNYC goers, and so much more.


But Remember…

There’s only so much you can do to prepare for FringeNYC. Buy your tickets, be on time, have a good attitude, but really, you never know what the shows will bring. There’s everything from comedy to burlesque to opera to dance, and the shows have historically wowed and surprised. So while you can do a few things to ensure the best experience, perhaps the best way to prepare is simply to expect the unexpected.

A moment from "Flight," an acrobatic dance/theater show at FringeNYC.

A moment from ‘Flight,’ an acrobatic dance/theater show at FringeNYC