ANTWERP FRINGE FESTIVAL 'Make your transition'
I, aka the Fringe-virgin, was about to write something about the concept of Fringe because this awesome art concept has finally reached Antwerp. I started to look for some background information about Fringe in general and the Antwerp Fringe Festival in specific. Since I like being well prepared for a festival, I figured I might as well share my findings with you in a blog.
The concept of a Fringe Festival popped up for the first time in Edinburgh in 1947. At that moment a great international theatre festival took place. Not all groups where selected to play at the festival and eight of these excluded companies decided to simply (p)artycrash the festival and play on the side, in bars, shops or on the street. Almost 60 years later, this event grew into a whole philosophy. It came together with a network which is spread all over the world with up to 300 Fringe Festivals. All those festivals have a different way of working but they start from the same ethos: innovation, experience, dialogue and democratisation are central concepts in every festival. Fringe is about taking risks, doing ground breaking things and trying to broaden the theatre public.
After talking with Céline and Séverine, members of the core organization team of the festival, I found out that Antwerp Fringe Festival existed because these girls tried to create chances for themselves and fellow sufferers in a plagued by crisis Belgium. They promised each other that if after a year from graduating, they still haven’t found something amazing to work for, they would claim their own place. They want to motivate people to never give up and also create their own possibilities: Make your own Transition.
To select groups, they sent out an Open Call. 140 projects answered. Out of that large group they selected projects that fitted the most in the ‘fringe-ethos’.
I must say, after finding out all this information about the Fringe Festival, I wondered why I didn’t heard of it sooner. I’m very curious for their originality and I hope to feel inspired by their new view on theatre. I’m active in a theatre company and I discovered how hard it is to get a diversified public and to address all different kind of people. That’s why I really hope this festival is going to succeed this goal.
I totally recommend everyone to go and have a look at the festival. I’m very curious what to expect but I doubt it would disappoint after everything I heard about it. The festival takes over the city (especially the neighbourhood around Conscienceplein) for two days (Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of September). The price can’t be a reason not to go. Because democratisation of theatre is a very important principle in this concept, most groups apply a Pay What You Want – principle or ask a maximum of 3 euro or 10 euro for the whole day. For diner the festival recommends you to go to Via-Via (very nice place with good food by the way), where audience and artists can have a bite.
And if you have a hard time selecting which pieces to see, according to Céline and Séverine,That's it van Sandman, Members of the Blue House and En nieuwe tijden gaan wij bouwen van De Kajotsters are really worth your time.
I started researching without even having an clue about the whole Fringe scene. But by now, I’m really excited and looking forward to this weekend. Keep your eyes open for my follow up report!
Hope to see you all there!
Pics Antwerp Fringe Festival