The ABC of Orlando Fringe: Post-Pandemic Edition | Art Stories & Interviews | Orlando
Whether it’s your first or your 30th fringe, you should read our updated guide to get the most out of the festival. For more information on shows, festival guidelines and event schedules, please visit orlandofringe.org/may2021. You can also purchase tickets there and keep an eye on Orlando Weekly show reviews at orlandoweekly.com.
Apps and links
The official Orlando Fringe smartphone app is no longer available. However, you can find the daily low at orlandofringe.org/may/daily-schedule. You’ll need a QR code reader to scan the digital programs that replaced dead trees this year and to tip the artists.
Bars and restaurants
The food stalls on Fringe Lawn offer everything from carnival-style fast food to high-end goodies, as well as the ubiquitous beer tent and a City Beverage-sponsored full-alcohol bar, this year with Red Bull. Along Orange and Mills Avenue and Virginia Drive also has plenty of places to have a drink or a bite to eat.
Go first because there is no re-entry when you leave a show. Those at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center and the Orlando Repertory Theater are the best; Avoid the portable devices on the lawn unless you are desperate.
There are two (one in the Lowndes, one in the Rep) where you can buy tickets in person, but you’d better buy online in advance. BYOV tickets must be purchased online. Tickets cost up to $ 12. Regardless of where you buy them, you pay a service fee of $ 1.25 per seat.
The $ 10 button is a one-time purchase that funds Fringe’s operations. Ticket sales (minus the service fee) go directly to the shows. Buttons can only be bought in cash at each venue or by credit card (with a service fee) at a festival box office. Without a button and a ticket there is no entry to a show so don’t lose it.
Social distancing measures mean seating in the fringe venues has been reduced by 50 percent. Make sure you get your tickets early, as popular shows are sure to sell out and all sales end five minutes before the performance starts.
Cash or credit
The on-site ATM pays fees and is cleaned quickly on weekends. However, you can swipe your card (or tap your phone) to pay for drinks and merchandise.
Join Club Fringe with a minimum donation of $ 25 for access to the OMA’s air-conditioned private lounge, which offers free refreshments, phone chargers, and other perks. Visit orlandofringe.org/clubfringe for details.
Edge shows have the option to offer students, seniors, military, and / or theme park employees a $ 2 discount. The only catch is you have to buy your tickets in person at a box office to get those savings.
Indoors, masks are still required for all fringe guests and performers (vaccinated or otherwise). Vaccinated performers can remove masks during the performance. You can take them off by eating or drinking outside.
Between the shakes and the rep is a wide strip of grass that houses the beer and wine tent, grocery vendors, an ATM, and a beer and liquor tent (which now offers table service), not to mention a seething mass of theater humanity. The lawn opens at 5 p.m. on weekdays (noon on weekends) and closes at 1 a.m. every evening.
The hippest kids in town head to Kids Fringe at the air-conditioned Orlando Garden Club, which is filled with free outdoor entertainment both weekends (Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) – puppet shows, concerts, hands-on art activities, and a Fringezilla birthday scavenger hunt – that parents will enjoy too. The capacity for indoor shows is limited. Free tickets are distributed 15 minutes before each performance. Follow @kidsfringe on Instagram and Facebook for updates.
Even if you’ve paid for a ticket, you won’t get on again after the doors close. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the performance starts and allow plenty of time to park and go to the venue. It can be at the other end of the complex.
It’s always free to hang out on the lawn, where food, drink and local bands play during the festival. New this year is a second “Play What You Can” stage in the Shakes courtyard with more free shows.
Limited as always as the Orlando Rep and Lowndes Shakespeare Center properties are at full capacity at all times. The Magruder Eye Institute is only open to Fringe customers at night and on weekends. There is limited free on-street parking along Mills Avenue and Princeton Street. (Parking in AdventHealth’s Alden Street garage is also free, but don’t tell them Fringe sent you.)
To make Fringe more accessible to the hearing impaired, ASL interpreters from Signing Shadows will be present at more than a dozen selected performances. For more information, see orlandofringe.org/may/accessibility.
Follow the festival at facebook.com/orlandofringefestival, on Instagram (@orlandofringe) and on Twitter (@OrlandoFringe and the hashtag # OFringe30) for the latest announcements and information.
Each venue on the edge has a color-coded name. Orange, yellow, pink, brown, blue, and red are all located in the Lowndes Shakespeare Center. Green and Silver are in the Orlando Repertory Theater; and gold is at the Orlando Museum of Art. BYOV shows take place at Häos on Church Street, the Abbey on South Eola Drive, and other location-specific locations. Make sure you leave enough time between shows if your venues are far apart.
The Fringe art market went online this year, but 100 percent of the purchase price of an artwork still goes direct to the artist.
Don’t forget: hat, sunscreen, umbrella. It will be hot and it will rain. But who cares? You will be ready for anything.