Get Your Fringe On: July 18-29

School’s out, the sun is shining and Winnipeg festival season is in full swing. Next up: the 31st edition of Fringe Fest.

From July 18-29, we’ll have the very best of independent theatre in our own backyard, with almost 180 acts performing at 30 venues. From solo acts to ensembles and improv comedy to unapologetic confessionals, there are bound to be at least a few shows that pique your interest. 

The festival launches at noon on Wednesday with a concert by Lounge FM on the outdoor stage and continues at 6 p.m. with entertainment by street performers Chris Without The Hat, Silver Starlets, Tianna the Traveller, and main-stage sets from Bunny and The Watership, Mulligrub, JD Edwards Band and DJ Mama Cutsworth.

Even if theatre isn’t your thing, the atmosphere during Fringe is worth a visit to the Exchange District. Inclusive, upbeat and NEVER boring, it’s perfect for date night, family night or a night on the town. With live music, local vendors and street performers (don’t forget to show your gratitude when they “pass the hat!”), there’s plenty to do and plenty to see.

And plenty to eat. In addition to bevvies in the ever-popular beer garden, you’ll be able to grab grub from food trucks like Better Than Baba’s, Fired Up, Habanero Sombrero, KYU Grill, Little Bones Wings, Mini O’s Mini Donuts, Nucci’s Gelato and many more.

As for music, Fringe puts on a daily noon-hour concert series as well as nightly shows featuring local favourites. This year’s lineup includes The Dirty Catfish Brass Band, Apollo Suns, Romi Mayes, Papa Mambo, The Noble Thiefs and plenty more.

For those of you with little ‘uns, there’s also Kids Fringe, which offers up free family fun like crafts, games and more from noon to 3 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 6 p.m. on weekends. The Kids Venue at The Forks also puts on specially-crafted plays for young families by performing companies from all over the world.

New this year, Fringe will host “Face to Face At The Fringe,” where you can learn more about life as a Fringe artist over beers. There will also be added bike racks across the street from Royal MTC by the south east end of the Centennial Concert Hall. Volunteers and safety staff will be onsite every day until midnight to make sure they stay safe.

Advance tickets and passes are now on sale and available at or in person at 174 Market Ave. Programs are available for $5 at Manitoba Liquor Marts, the Royal Manitoba Theatre
Centre and select locations around Winnipeg.

All 📷 : Leif Norman

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