The Hamilton Fringe Festival has some big news: They’re back.

The week-and-a-half long festival is returning with live-at-a-distance and in-person outdoor shows, community events and some digital experiences from July 14-25, 2021.

“As it has for so many arts organizations, the latest round of pandemic-related restrictions presented a huge challenge to the festival and artists involved. We’ve had to pause some really exciting plans and community collaborations,” notes Festival Director Christopher Stanton. “But we’re heading into the 2021 Hamilton Fringe Festival feeling a lot of excitement and optimism. Having been through some of the same challenges last year, we’re going into this summer’s festival with a lot more learning and experience under our collective belt. With over 30 shows on offer live and online this year, we’re all very excited to share the work of these Hamilton Fringe artists.”

The Festival format bears some resemblance to last year’s altered event, which was also forced to shift how shows were presented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While presented in the midst of uncertainty, the 2020 Hamilton Fringe Festival reached over 9,000 audience members through digital programming and delivered 100% of ticket revenue directly to artists.

Regardless of format, this year’s Fringe Festival promises a return as much as possible to the celebratory and off-kilter format that the event has become known for. This year, the Hamilton Fringe Festival will feature the work of over thirty local arts companies through the following unjuried performance series:

  • Theatre On Demand– Full-length Fringe plays performed, recorded live and streamed on-demand throughout the festival.
  • Family Fringe On Demand– Family Fringe plays performed, recorded live and streamed on-demand throughout the festival.
  • Digital Exclusives– Forty minute long performances streamed on-demand throughout the festival.
  • Skip the Glitches- The popular 2020 series is back with twenty-minute long performances that can be experienced on a front lawn.

“This year, the Hamilton Fringe Festival will highlight the storytelling and artistry of our new BIPOC and Disability Justice lottery-winning artists Luis Arrojo (BIPOC Artist Category) and Rex Emerson Jackson (Disability Justice Category)––one in each of our new digital streams,” shares Heather Kanabe, Hamilton Fringe Executive Director. “In addition to our unjuiried shows, we will also launch our new Fringe All-Access series with a performance selected by our Community Curators Circle made up of arts enthusiasts from across disciplines and to represent the diversity of our artistic and local community. We are excited to continue to do the work to break down barriers and provide a platform for diverse and underrepresented voices in Hamilton’s performing arts community.”

In addition to these offerings, the Festival will once again offer digital Fringe Club programming and a Kids Club Camp. Festival organizers are also hoping to re-introduce an outdoor and in-person Fringe Club patio to provide additional space to socialize, reflect and celebrate Fringe artists.

The digital format provides the opportunity for the Fringe to continue its mandate of making shows more accessible. A number of shows will incorporate ASL interpretation, closed captioning, and/or transcriptions. The on-demand streaming format will also allow a more relaxed performance experience for audiences and the Fringe promises to continue their work to actively invite underserved audiences to take part in the Fringe experience. Tickets will be offered in a tiered Pay-What-You-Can-Afford pricing model, ranging from $5-$20 along with six-play and ten-play passes also available. Ticket sales begin June 1st, 2021.

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