Get Ready to Play at the Fringe!
Peek-a-Fringe! IT’S FINALLY HERE! Can you tell we’re excited? For the next 11 days, enjoy almost 100 shows, jam to free performances at the Phillips Fringe Bar, attend our workshops and numerous special events, and soak up the awesomeness of the Festival!
Still undecided about what to see? Take a look at our Program Guide online, or get it at select Blenz Coffee locations and at other Fringe-friendly businesses. If you’re having trouble figuring out your Fringe schedule, you can head on over to Fringe-O-Matic, an app that’s been designed to organize your Festival experience! And if that’s still not enough, you can always come down to Granville Island or our BYOVs and wing it, Fringe-style.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates during the Festival! And don’t forget to show everyone how much fun you’re having on social media! Use the hashtag #VanFringe so we can follow along.
Thank you to everyone who attended our monster party last night, Opening Night featuring the Georgia Straight Fringe-for-All! Held on Wednesday, September 5 at Performance Works, Fringers made for a full house of fun. And if you missed out, we hope that our live tweets made you feel like you’re not missing out on anything at all!
After enjoying each other’s company while feasting on some bites from Dockside Restaurant, The Keg, and Habibi’s, everyone strapped themselves in for the Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All. Hosted by the delightful duo, previous Public Market Pick of the Fringe winner Travis Bernhardt ( and in this year’s Unscriptured) and Fringe New Play Prize winner Sara Vickruck (Poly Queer Love Ballad), they had a difficult job ahead of them, what with 40 Fringe shows ready to wreak havoc on the stage. But thanks to their engaging presence, witty remarks, and entertainment from the 40 shows, everything made for a party you won’t forget! Here are some memorable moments from last night: Lip Service tickled the audience by asking the audience to cum to their show (among other puns) and showed us what dancing vulvas look like; Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman, Queer Clown Sex-Ed Show answered some burning questions about sex like, “Does God care about butt stuff?” and “Is pee stored in the balls?”; A Brief History of Beer teaches the audience a safety technique for when they go through the Quantum Pint Machine; and TrudeauMania closes the show with an energetic song-and-dance number.
With the Fringe’s motto being “Theatre for Everyone,” we strive to make the Fringe accessible and enjoyable for as many people as possible.
Almost all Fringe venues are wheelchair accessible, except XY. Since seating at the Fringe is first come, first served, patrons with seating needs are encouraged to arrive early and let the front of house volunteers know so they can receive priority seating. You can check out more information about our venues’ physical accessibility here.
We also strive to make the Festival accessible for people who are d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This year, four shows will be interpreted into ASL: the Saturday, September 8 performance of Rocko and Nakota: Tales from the Land, the Sunday, September 9 performance of Awkward Hug, the Friday, September 14 performance of SELF-ish, and the Saturday, September 15 show of Angels & Aliens. There are also some shows that have been identified as “d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing Friendly,” which is indicated by a symbol that looks like an ear in the Program Guide. This means the sound elements do not affect the meaning and enjoyment of a show. For more information about these shows, click here. Additionally, have a look at Deaf artist, activist, and arts administrator Landon Krentz’ vlogs about our ASL-interpreted and d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing friendly shows.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with VocalEye again this year to make our shows more accessible to the Low Vision community! VocalEye will live describe the Sunday, September 15 performance of Precious Little at The Culture Lab. And if you notice a symbol that looks like an eye in your Program Guide, it means that an Artist has identified their show as being “Low Vision Friendly.” This indicates that the meaning and enjoyment of the show is not dependent on visual elements. Check out our list of Low Vision Friendly shows here.
We are also participating in the Access 2 Program again. This provides persons with disabilities a personalized Access 2 Card, which means they receives a complimentary ticket for their attendant to accompany them to shows. Click here for more info and if you have questions about the program, please e-mail us.
Once again, we are a part of the Cultural Access Pass program, which allows new Canadian citizens free access to cultural sites and events across Canada during their first year of citizenship. Click here to learn more about how to take advantage of the program to learn how to redeem your tickets!
We love kids here at the Fringe! Check out the kid-friendly show, Baba Yaga and the Black Flower. We also have shows that have identified themselves as being All Ages, meaning that children can still enjoy the show, although the content may not be designed for kids. You know your kids best and which All Ages shows might be most appropriate. Once again, we’re partnering with Kids Up Front to offer some opportunities for children affected by poverty, abuse, illness, or disability. See which shows are donating ticket and to learn more about the program here.
Would you like some music with your theatre? At the Phillips Fringe Bar, you can have them every night during the Festival! Join us at Ocean Art Works from 6:00pm till late from Monday through Friday, and from 1:00pm till late on Saturdays and Sundays and enjoy some of the best in Vancouver’s music scene. And while you’re at it, enjoy some drinks from Phillips, Wards Cider, Road 13 Vineyards, or a Georgian Bay Spirits Company Smash. And trust us, you don’t want to miss out on these!
Kicking us off the first night is indie-pop band Leisure Club. This five-piece group released their self-titled debut album in the fall of 2017, which BeatRoute Magazine says “keep[s] you dancing until the end… [they] revel in pushing the envelope of indie-pop.” If you missed them at Khatsalahno Festival, now’s your chance to see them!
Charlie Kerr from Hotel Mira, also known as Matt and Sam’s Bro, will be taking the stage on Friday, September 7! He released his first album, My Brain Hurts a Lot, last year. Buzz Magazine writes about his debut project: “a little cynical, a little dark, and a little rough… it works for his sound,” and calls it “a great first showing, since he wrote some of these almost a decade ago.”
Watch out for FRANKIIE on Saturday, September 8! Formed in 2013, this four-member band has taken their music from Haida Gwaii, to the southern tip of the Baja in Mexico. They recently released a music video for “Dream Reader,” where you can see for yourself how enchanting they are. After the Fringe, they’ll be touring the East Coast, so go see them before they leave!
Wrapping up the first weekend of the Fringe is indie pop-rock duo Harlequin Gold! Made up of sisters Avery and Elle O’Brien, they are currently working on their first EP. They were also at Khatsalahno Festival, and you can check out their singles “Youth,” and “Without You Now,” on Spotify!
Check out the full lineup of the Phillips Fringe Bar here. While all ages are welcome, people must be 19 years or older to purchase alcohol at the Fringe Bar.