So you’re running down Bathurst Street, the sun is burning down your back, you’ve just left a show and you have 5 minutes to make the next one. You haven’t bought a ticket yet and all you can think of are the words LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED. The Mad Fringe Dash is how Frequent Fringers are made.
Having attended my fair share of Toronto Fringe Festivals as everything from a performer to a volunteer (and now a reviewer!), I’ve finally learned how to pack for the long days of fringing when I am running my butt off from show to show. Here’s a handy-dandy list of all the items you will need for a full day of Fringe!
- The Festival Program – The Holy Grail. Always carry one on you for show times, locations, descriptions and a map.
- A water bottle and a snack – Fringe days can be long and you may need something to keep your strength up between shows.
- A hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm – For when the lines are outside but you don’t want to sacrifice your skin.
- Umbrella – Because the weather in Toronto this year has been…difficult.
- Tickets – If you were prepared enough to buy and pick-up advanced tickets, you don’t want to forget them when it counts!
- Cash – Venue box offices and some Fringe vendors only accept cash. Also, remember to TIP THE FRINGE!!!
- Phone Charger – A necessity of modern life.
- Pens – You always need a pen. You can get autographs from your Fringe favourites.
- A metropass/tokens/bike – When you need to get from Tarragon to Factory, public transportation or biking is the environmentally-friendly way to go.
- Business cards/fliers – The Festival is a great place for networking and you never know who you’ll meet in line.
- A book or a friend – Waiting in line, especially when you’ve gotten there early for a popular show, can be extremely boring. Besides, good friends share good theatre.
- A tote or backpack– You’ll need something (reusable) to carry all of this stuff!
Toronto Fringe Festival tickets are $12 in advance, and can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), or during the festival from the central box office located in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s. (581 Bloor St. W., near Bathurst.)
If any tickets are left as of one hour before showtime, they are sold from the venue for $10 apiece, cash-only. For FringeKids! productions (inclusive of all productions at the George Ignatieff Theatre), tickets for children are always $5. A variety of money-saving multi-show passes are also available, see website for details.
NOTE: Fringe shows always begin strictly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time and don’t be late.