Frustrated with Fringe

By Megan Mooney

I know as well as anyone how hard it is to pull stuff together.  And to pull something together on the scale of the Toronto Fringe Festival, well, I can’t even imagine the amount of work that would take. 

I appreciate that, I do.

*UPDATE and clarification* Apparently what I was saying here was misinterpreted.  My apologies for that.  Fringe folks thought I was implying that they were working on things other than Fringe.  I just want to clarify, that’s not the case at all.  I know they’re all working their asses off, one individual doing the work 10 and so on.  My issue was only with the wording on one page of the website.  I just didn’t like feeling like I was being chastised for looking at their website.

It’s frustrating that there is no schedule yet, but I can understand that.  Wrangling all that information can’t be easy.  I don’t have any intel on this, but my guess is that there are 5 people doing the job of 50 people.  It’s an amazing accomplishment done by amazing people.  I get it, I really do.

My problem is the website.  Not that it’s not done, see the above paragraph.  But rather what is currently there.  Specifically “can t you see we re a little busy over here?” when one has the audacity to click the ‘play listings’ menu item. (the omission of apostrophes is part of the quote)

I do know that it’s meant to be funny.  Glib, clever, tongue-in-cheek and so on, but here’s the truth, it pissed me off.  Because it felt like I was being scolded.  It felt like they were saying I shouldn’t be so impatient by checking the website.  It was distinctly unwelcoming.  Even though I knew how it was meant, it didn’t change my visceral reaction.

Given that the site used to say that listings would be up in May, and it’s now June, I feel like the tone should be apologetic, not belligerent.  I understand delays happen, but this isn’t the way to deal with it.

I suppose the Fringe can get away with it, people are going to go to it no matter what.  It’s a theatre event that lots of ‘non-theatre’ folks go to.  It’s hip.  But I think sometimes it’s this internal sense of entitlement that occasionally pops up in the community makes it pretty discouraging for non-theatre people.  It just perpetuates the idea that theatre is for the elite.   </rant>

On the plus side, the new Fringe site looks really cool.