1st Fringe Festival in Budapest

25 January 2006

First time ever in Hungary, the organization of a Fringe type Festival will take place during the 2006 Budapest Spring Festival. This movement originates from the Edinburgh International Festival, initiated in 1947 and has been a related program to the various international world-wide festivals ever since. The essence of the Fringe is, that the organizers who have carefully selected the programs for the mother festival, shall ensure a platform for a series of events, where all applicants can perform, parallel to the main festival program. The festival shall ensure a place for their performance however, all other costs are to be accounted for by the performers, who’s only income is from the number of tickets they sell for their show. In order to maximize ticket sales, the performers can advertise their show prior and during the festival, thus creating a busy, colourful, spectacular feeling of being in a great “big cavalcade”, so very unique to the Fringe Festival. The campaign for the very first Budapest Fringe Festival proved highly successful, as 217 (!) soloists, theatre- and dance-art companies, classical and light music bands have applied to participate. Among the candidates there are poetry readers, guitarists who also sing, string-quartets, punk-rock bands, theatrical companies, symphony orchestras, contemporary dance artists, belly-dancers, story-tellers, performance artists, fire-jugglers and an abundance of other colourful performances. Aside from the totally amateurs many professionals have also applied. Among the many Hungarian Fringe applicants were number of foreigners as well, mainly from the neighbouring countries: Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, but applications also came from countries farther away, such as France and Japan (!). The Fringe locations are: • Merlin Theatre (Big Hall, Small Room, Fitting room and Café) • Korona Theatre (beside Merlin Theatre) • Örkény Theatre (at Madách Square) • Pavilon (in the Városháza Garden) • Gödör Klub (at Erzsébet Square) For self-advertising, the Városháza Garden and the Deák Ferenc Square are available without restrictions but at one’s own responsibility. Shows can be attended either for free, for 500 HUF (or the multiple of this price) via the 500 HUF Fringe-ticket, determined by the performers. If you wish to attend a program by all means, it is advised to arrive early to the location of the show. You may receive further information regarding the exact time, date and location of the events, from the Budapest Fringe Program Magazine, appearing at the beginning of March. The organizers and performers of the Fringe look forward to seeing you there!