In the city of Edinburgh in 1947 eight theatre groups turned up in uninvited wanting to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival, an initiative created to celebrate and enrich European cultural life in the wake of the Second World War. Not being part of the official programme of the International festival didn’t stop these performers – they just went ahead and staged their shows anyway.
Today, world-wide fringe festivals, which happens in various cities and capitals of the world, are hosting more than 170 thousand artists & 19 million spectators, in 250 different venues and 60 thousand events. Fringe festivals, which are held in different scales and forms in each city, often provides an opportunity for emerging artists, who produce alternative and innovative works, to showcase their works in an international and dynamic platform.
Istanbul Fringe Festival had a remarkable 1st edition in September 2019. Festival has hosted 16 international and 4 local companies, through 25 performances, 6 workshops and various side events, such as artist talks, panels, as well as parties. Festival brought together approximately 4000 participants and 120 artists from all around the world.
Due to the measures taken in response to the global pandemic Istanbul Fringe Festival 2020 took place as an online format and became the first digital performing arts festival of Turkey. Istanbul Fringe Festival 2020 Online hosted 15 different performances from Turkey and abroad on digital platforms and received more than 30 thousand views on Youtube, Instagram and Zoom.
In its third year, Istanbul Fringe Festival 2021 took place as a hybrid format; it has hosted 5 thousand spectators in physical shows and much more through performances took place on digital platforms. Moreover, Performances that are within Istanbul Fringe Festival 2021 selection but only took place as online shows during September 2021 due to Covid-19 measures, will take place as physical (in-place) shows between November 2021 – May 2022 in the scope of Istanbul Fringe Festival 2021 – Extended.
Preparing for its 4th Edition, Istanbul Fringe Festival will be once again in Istanbul in third week of September 2022.