The idea of organizing Istanbul Fringe Festival came about in 2017 among a group of friends who have followed and experienced other Fringe Festivals in different countries and cities. The group found the idea of organizing a Fringe festival in Istanbul really exciting.
After an intense period of communication with World Fringe Network working on the project, the group started working on Istanbul Fringe Festival 2019 for the first edition.
In its first year, the Festival received an unprecedented interest from both artists and viewers. The open call received more than 150 applications from artists all over the world and in September 2019, festival hosted more than 100 artists both from Turkey and abroad in 20 different shows and reached a total of 4000 viewers.
With that, the group brought an international performing arts festival to Istanbul which offers the works produced within the fields of performance, dance and theater along with a rich program of workshops and talks.
Istanbul Fringe Festival has been a member of the European Festival Association since its first year, has the EFFE logo, which is given to the notable art festivals of Europe, which is in contact with the society and contributes to the development of international dialogue. Istanbul Fringe Festival was also earned the EFFE Label 2021 Creativity Award, which was specially designed for the pandemic period, thanks to its rapid adaptation and new procedures it implemented during the pandemic measures. The award, given by the European Festivals Association, celebrates festivals that show strong will to meet their artists and audiences under the difficult conditions of the 2020-2021 period, and that give examples of resilience and creativity.