Catherine Bangel, who handles media and publicity for the Edmonton Fringe, told me that the loss last year of the local alt-publication, VUE Weekly, left a gaping hole when it came to reviews. Victoria artist Monica Ogden, whose show Monica vs. I understand the frustration, but it is not the job of the media to promote an arts event or sell tickets.
It must be so disappointing for a Fringe artist, operating on a shoestring with reviews essential to getting bums in seats and overseas festival bookings, to give out free tickets to media and not see any coverage materialize.
- VUE Weekly closing its doors after more than 20 years as Edmonton’s alternative paper.
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But I would have thought that Fringe artists would want an arts writer with a media publication to see their work — even if the exposure was not guaranteed or immediate. Lane had an interesting point: why are artists covering the cost of media comps? Maybe festivals, in future, could share that expense. For media accreditation at the Vancouver Fringe, the festival covers the membership cost; the individual productions cover the tickets.
I am a Fringe fan.
I fell in love with it in the back of a car in the s in Toronto, during a site-specific work for an audience of two. I did consider just buying my own tickets — which I know are a bargain and almost always well worth it.
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And like pretty much everyone else I know, I cannot afford to pay to do my job. It was the ultimate Fringe experience: a brilliant concept Romeo turns out to be a real Lothario, which Juliet finds out by scrolling through the text messages on his phone , very wonky, I was unsure what was happening at times, I laughed a lot, I was in and out in an hour. I would love to hear from Fringe artists, organizers and audiences about this.
You can reach me at mlederman globeandmail. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way.
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