What is Fringe?
In 1947 eight uninvited theatre companies arrived at the Edinburgh International Festival eager to perform, only to be turned away. Feeling rejected, they decided to group together and stage their own festival. Thus, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a new premise of an artistic event was born.
What started out as an artistic protest has produced an estimated 50,000 artists participating annually in fringe festivals in the U.K alone! Also, 250 international fringe festivals draw in 19 million audience members every year to watch theatre, comedy, dance, circus, spoken-word, live art and all other types of performances
The Colchester Fringe was established in 2019 by Cameron Abbott-Betts and Steve Goatman.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to reschedule our festival a couple of times. However, our first Fringe event took place on Saturday 1st May 2021. It was on this day that we took over public spaces for the first ever #ShopWindowTakeover.
Our first festival took place on Thursday 21st October to Sunday 24th October 2021.
The aim was to support work by local emerging artists, whilst attracting performance companies to the town from across the U.K and overseas.
During this weekend, we took over a variety of venues within the town centre. Including, theatres, shops, pubs and nightclubs and filled them all with extraordinary performances.
We believe that the Fringe is for everyone. Therefore, we are committed to keeping ticket prices low and promoting under-represented voices, including LGBTQ+, global majority and disabled people within our programme and festival team.
We are proudly a non-profit festival and any money made will be put towards supporting artists and developing the Fringe for future years.