What Is Fringe?

Welcome, one and all, to the annual Classic City Fringe Festival! If this is your first time hearing about the Fringe Festival then you may be wondering:


What Is Fringe?

Simply put, a Fringe Festival is a live performance art festival meant to provide exposure to artists working independently and outside traditional forms and structures. ‘Fringes’ administer shared risk: not a single pot of money coming from one place to produce a programmed event, it is about support, development, accessibility and everyone involved, including artists, venues, audiences and funders, investing together in a creative platform and delivering a unique & organic occasion.

The first Fringe Festivals were held in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1940s after several independent and experimental theater companies were denied access to the city’s thriving annual drama festival. Outraged but undeterred, the companies began their own alternative festival, held in pitched tents and storefronts on the outskirts of town, the fringe. Word of these performances spread until the alternative festival proved popular enough to become an annual event of its own. The idea spread to different cities around the globe and has nurtured generations of fringe artists in Europe and Canada. Recently the Fringe Festival movement has been gaining momentum in the United States as a showcase for artists and performers with something new and different to showcase… And that’s where we come in!

The goal of The Classic City Fringe Festival is to live up to that tradition, to gather and unify the fringe artists of Athens community to realize their own dreams and ideas and to showcase these for the entertainment and edification of the people of the Classic City. These fringe artists are the ones that inspire, challenge, shock, titillate, and of course entertain with performances and visuals unlike anything else the public will see the rest of the year. And so we want to invite everyone in Athens to join us in encouraging and enjoying our local artists and all that they can do. Our town is already renowned for its thriving arts and music scene. Now we have the opportunity to expand on that renown and open minds with new ideas.

The Classic City Fringe Festival is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, coordinating an annual event spanning several days and several venues, that unites and celebrates the amazing variety of fringe artists and performers who call Athens home and connects our community’s fringe artists with a larger World Fringe Network. If you would like to support our efforts thru Donations or Sponsoring, visit our “Support the Fringe” page for more info.


Who Is Fringe?

The Classic City Fringe Festival encompasses a wide range of performers and groups from the avant-garde to the family friendly. Showcases feature: street theater, circus and cabaret performers, burlesque and vaudeville, performance art and art installations, avant-garde dance and movement, comedy and improv, experimental art and film, music and more — all indie and diy artists offering cutting-edge performance outside the box. This way all performance styles including: theater, dance/movement, music, video/film, performance art, poetry, puppetry, comedy, improv, art installations, circus and cabaret, burlesque and vaudeville, and any other sort of performance-based art has a chance at gaining greater exposure to larger audiences.

For more information on this year’s line-up of performers go to our “Performers & Showcases” page. You can also check out this years “Schedule” of performances to see when you favorites will be taking place, and then buy ALL ACCESS passes on our  “Passes & Merch” page to make sure you get to see every show!