The Fringe Festival offers people an opportunity to take in interesting, sometimes experimental shows. Of course general shows are available year round for a viewing public but the festival offers a concentration of events that allows for more of the public to go out and experience the pieces. The Fringe style of theater started in Scotland in the 40s as a reaction from local artists towards the strictness of the International Festival in Edinburgh. It spread across countries after that.

However, the Fringe Festival has been changing over the years and has taken on more corporate influence through sponsorship, rising entrance fees and restrictions placed on artists and shows by sponsors (think the 2001 show Car Stories being removed from the festival because of the wishes of sponsors). These changes can take away from the original ideas and intent of the Fringe concept. Following a few years later was the creation of the Infringement Festival, to reclaim the culture.

The Infringement Festival follows these 5 mandate points.

1.  The infringement festival is free for all artists and activists to participate in. The festival will never charge a registration fee and participants will keep 100% of their box office.

2.  The festival is open to all critical artists and will never discriminate, set entry criteria or censor.

3.  The festival is run as a non-hierarchical arts democracy.

4.  The festival will only accept ethical companies that pose no conflict of interest as sponsors, as the interests of the festival’s participants come before those of the sponsors.

5.  The festival will encourage, although not be limited to, progressive acts that encourage discussion and oppose oppressive structures.
More info on the Infringement Festival, the focus and the Montreal schedule can be found here

~ by ashcanmontreal on June 20, 2011.

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