Whether you’re visiting our site for the first time, or are ready to apply for our upcoming festival, we’re so glad you’ve found us! This page is specifically designed for Artists interested in participating in our festival (if you’re looking for general information about PortFringe, you can find that here). If you can’t find what you’re looking for below, contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application-Specific Dates and Deadlines for PORTFRINGE 2020:
December 1, 2019 – Applications open
January 31, 2020 – Application and fees close
By February 12, 2020 – Lottery Results Sent to Artists
February 29, 2020 – All Production Fees Due
March 2020 – Artists and Shows revealed to the public
Is PortFringe the Right Fit for You?
read more about our festival culture here.
You may be choosing PortFringe because you’ve heard good things. You may be choosing PortFringe because you think Maine in the summer sounds like a must-do. You may be choosing PortFringe because you’ve participated before and you get it. Or you may be choosing PortFringe because it’s one of the most financially-accessible festivals in the world (no. like really. it is.) Let’s the record straight on that last point. Our entry fees are low because we want to you to take an artistic risk. Innovate. Collaborate. Experiment. Try something new. Because here’s the thing – PortFringe is imploring you to think about your fringe experiences differently. Dig deep. Reflect harder. Ask yourself the tough questions about how, where and why you fringe. What does fringe mean to you?
Quite simply, If fringe to you means sold-out runs and five-digit payouts for a show you could do with your eyes closed at this point, then frankly – you’re missing entirely the opportunity you are being offered at PortFringe. Is bringing a show you’ve performed at dozens of other festivals over the past years playing it just a bit safe?
Everything we do, we do it for you, Artists. We are passionate about being uncensored and un-juried, and we will give your show the warm embrace of our festival, regardless of what you choose to present. It’s just that PortFringe is the ideal laboratory for experimenting with your art. A testing ground for Your Big Ideas. If you’ve been looking for a reason to step outside — maybe even WAYYYY outside — your comfort zone, PortFringe may just be the perfect fit.
What’s New in 2020?
MAKE IT NEW (TO US)! In order to create space for as many types of artists and work as possible, PortFringe asks that you do not apply with a show you’ve already done at PortFringe, or that has been done in the Portland (Maine) area within the 12 months preceding the start of our festival. This includes re-packaging work you’ve already presented with a new title, or some modest edits to your script. Whether you’re local or you’re from away, bring something to Portland that you haven’t shown us yet.
MAKE THE COMMITMENT! Please commit to fully participating in PortFringe 2020. If you’re breezing in and out of PortFringe just to perform your show, you are definitely missing the point of PortFringe. We’re looking for Artists who want to celebrate FRINGE and lean into the festival aspect of PortFringe. This year we are asking all Artists to commit to performing your show four times as guaranteed to all Artists (five times if you’re seeking Solo Fest designation). Show up. Attend social events. See the work of your fellow artists. Be present. Locals — we love you, but if you cannot commit to full participation, there is someone els who can. Please let someone else have chance – do not apply.
CHOOSE THE FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE THAT IS BEST FOR YOU! PortFringe now operates three concurrent lotteries for selecting our Artists each year:
- PortFringe Classic
What is it? PortFringe Classic is the same lottery that’s been choosing our festival each year since 2012. You get a minimum of at least four performances, and comprehensive festival management.
Requirements for PortFringe Classic Shows
-Any live performance genre
-Any number of performers
-Run-time of 10-60 minutes (single billing 40+ minutes, shared “short show” billing for shows under 40 minutes)
-Minimal Tech requirements (lights up/lights down – if you have more complex tech cues, you may need to bring a technician with you)
- PortFringe Solo Fest
What is it? Solo Fest is a special designation in celebration of fringe shows presented by individual artists. Solo Fest-designated shows run alongside PortFringe Classic shows but receive a minimum of five guaranteed performances, and special marketing opportunities before and during the festival.
Requirements for Solo Fest Designation
-One performer only
-Run-time of 40-60 minutes
-No technical requirements beyond lights up/down – Solo Fest shows can pop-up in any venue and be ready to go within moments
- PortFringe Installation Fest
What is it? PortFringe’s Installation Fest is an opportunity to present an exciting, experimental type of large-scale show that may otherwise be incompatible with a fast-paced fringe festival format. Installation Artists transform an empty, warehouse-like (indoor) PortFringe venue to present large-scale, new-to-PortFringe,immersive, installation performance experiences. Installation Artists present shows over two (consecutive dates), with additional (at least three hours) of time to install and (at least two hours) to de-install.
Requirements for Installation Fest Shows:
-Must be a 3-D installation including a visual art element and at least one other live performances discipline
-Show must completely transform the perception of space
-Show must provide all required supplies for their own unique installation (including lighting, sound, projection, etc)
A Note About PortFringe Run-Times:
- Single-billing performance
Shows must have a performance time of 40-60 minutes to receive a single billing in the festival (for shorter run times, read on). We not accept shows longer than 60 minutes – lights will go down at 60 minutes – it pays to time it out!
Also – important! – Please do not apply for single billing if your show is less than 40 minutes! See the details below for multi-feature billing applicants – you, your show, and our festival community will benefit from an accurate representation of your show’s run-time.
- Short-Format “muti-feature” billing
If you have a show with a short run-time (5-35 minutes), please apply! PortFringe will match your show with another short show to create one of our exciting multi-feature events (two or three unique shows in one 60-minute performance slot). Multi-feature performances are consistently among the highest-regarded and best-attended of the festival. The same application and production fees apply for short-format applicants, and Artists sharing multi-feature performance tracks split (equally) all of the revenue associated with their multi-feature event.
— Another insider tip — short show applications have a higher likelihood of making it into the festival. Nearly all short-format applicants are offered placement in the festival, as short-format shows with favorable lottery numbers require additional short-format shows to create a multi-feature event. [Another way to think of it – if there are three unique short shows in one 60-minute performance slot, they are effectively sharing the same, most favorable, lottery number of the three — which then moves two more applicants into more favorable positions].
How PortFringe Selects its Artists:
We are a completely unjuried/uncurated festival, with all participants chosen as part of a fair selection lottery, weighted to ensure a balance of local and non-local artist representation.
Application Fee (due by Jan 31) – $25.00 (USD, non-refundable) – Pay your 2020 application here.
Production Fee (due by Feb 29) – $175.00-$225.00 (USD, non-refundable), depending on number of performances. 2020 production fee link will be posted on or before February 10, 2020.
There are no other fees for particpating in PortFringe.
What your Production Fee Includes:
-A guaranteed minimum number of performances during the Festival (4 for Classic, 5 for Solo Fest, customized over 2 dates for Installation Fest).
-A PortFringe-managed venue, appointed with basic lighting and sound capabilities for Classic and Solo Fest; (and, an empty, indoor ware-house like space for Installation Fest).
-Comprehensive marketing efforts, including listing in the official PortFringe Festival Guide and online
-Comprehensive box office and accounting oversight and management.
-A dedicated management-level PortFringe “Buddy” assigned to help YOU and your show through the entire process from lottery to final payout and everything in between!
PortFringe venues are a mix of non-traditional theater spaces. Our smallest venues have seating for roughly 30 people, and our largest venues can accommodate about up to 100. Included Tech: Each venue is equipped with basic lighting and audio playback capabilities. There is NO storage for props and set pieces at PortFringe venues. Tech NOT provided: (note: while some venues might include the following items, they are not guaranteed by PortFringe. Please be as explicit as possible in your application) aerial rigging points, projectors, projection screens/surfaces, microphones, amps, musical instruments (including pianos).
Ticket Prices and Artist Payouts:
PortFringe returns 100% of ticket sales back to our Artists.
PortFringe sells online, show-specific single tickets, beginning in May, and closing the day before each performance. On the performance date, all remaining tickets are sold at the door. All PortFringe sales are for general admission passes that can be used for any show on a rush-admission basis.
Prices for all passes were last raised in 2018 to ensure a better balance between audience affordability and maximum Artist payout. Most ticket sales are single or three-show passes.
2020 BOX OFFICE PRICING:
Artists can expect to receive the following prices (which do not include a separate $1 surcharge assessed to audience members to offset box office handling).
-Single Ticket/Pass Price: Artist receives $11.00
-Three-Show Rush Pass: Artist receives $10.33 per punch
-Nine-Show Rush Pass: Artist receives $9.33 per punch
-Unlimited/VIP Rush Pass: Artist receives $7.00 per punch
While Artists are responsible for securing their own housing, PortFringe offers billeting assistance, endeavoring to match Artists with local housing hosts (many of whom are PortFringe Artists themselves)! This process will be initiated as part of the application process. Questions about billeting can be directed to email@example.com.
Other Artist Perks:
DISCOUNT BADGE: Artists will receive a discount badge that can be used to purchase merchandise (t-shirts), and tickets (for personal use only) at a 50% discount.
FRINGE CENTRAL: Our Fringe Central location is open during the festival with wi-fi, coffee and treats provided for our Artists. Fringe Central is a great place to unwind, check your messages, do some work, or meet people.
WORKSHOPS: Artists will have the opportunity to present and attend workshops during PortFringe at our Fringe Central location. These workshops are free and open to the public, and are excellent marketing opportunities in addition to fostering camaraderie and artistic networking among Fringe Artists.
SOCIAL EVENTS: Artists are invited to participate in all PortFringe events including our Artist Happy Hour, and our epic closing night dance party.
PortFringe awards Patron’s Choice Awards based on ticketed attendance in each venue. Our independent critics panel also bestows additional awards in a series of fun and quirky categories. (Click here for a list of 2019 award recipients).
PortFringe engages the services of a panel of independent critics who are deployed in the early days of the festival. Each production should have at least one “first look” review the day after the first performance. Additional reviews may also be provided by the local press outlets in Portland. (Click here to read PortFringe 2019 First Look Reviews).