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2024 Fringe Festival Lottery Application Information


So you want to do a Fringe show...

Yay! We're here to help make that happen -- whether this is your first time producing or if you've been doing it for years. We believe Fringe is for everyone, which is why we continue to take steps to remove barriers to participation. Get in touch if you need special accommodations, disability services, language interpreters or anything else. We’re here to make Fringe work for you. Please take a moment to read through ALL the instructions before you apply, including the description of the tiers and lottery options.  

There are a few new policies and opportunities in 2024. Please keep reading for more info about the application process, provisions, and tier structures. Check out our 2024 Producer Handbook for the nitty gritty details.

2024 Producer Handbook

The Basics: Time and Money

All producers must be available for:

  • A scheduled, mandatory producer meeting between May 20-24, 2024 (virtual, online)
  • A scheduled, mandatory technical rehearsal between July 28 - 31, 2024 (in-person)
  • At least 8 FULL days of the Minnesota Fringe Festival, August 1-11, 2024 (in-person)

Producer fees to participate in the festival range from $400 to $600, dependent on which Tier (based on venue capacity) you are performing in. Producer fees for artists selected in the lottery are due March 15, 2024.

Is the Fringe Festival right for your production?

Please remember the Fringe Festival is a different producing environment than "normal" production. The Festival pace is faster, the timeline more compressed, and there is less control over venue choice, tech, ticketing and schedule. Requests that might be reasonable in a single-show venue can prove much more challenging. Guidelines and rules are in place to keep the big picture running smoothly - which is also what makes it fun. We believe there's a place for everyone in the Fringe Festival and welcome participation from anyone along the entire artistic spectrum. But the Festival may not be right place for every kind of production. Dream big, but know there are limitations to consider:

  • Keep it short: All shows must be no longer than 60 minutes long including curtain call and/or audience discussions.
  • Keep it simple: You must be able to load in and set up your show in 10 minutes. Likewise, you get ten minutes to load out once your show is finished. Storage is never guaranteed, so you may need to transport your set and costumes in and out for every performance. Venues are shared by up to 11 companies, so lighting configurations will be general to serve many different shows. Projection equipment (video or still) is available in some venues, but is not a guarantee.
  • Keep it inside: Merchandise sales are permitted inside the theater space -- not the lobby -- during your allotted show time.

What you get at Minnesota Fringe

  • Five scheduled performances (no longer than 60 minutes each)
  • Guaranteed 70% of your box office receipts. Receipts include sales to your show of single-tickets at full price ($17), discounted tickets ($15 or $13), or VIP ($10). Your box office total does not include the service fee, which Fringe uses to cover ticket processing charges.
  • A professional-grade, well-equipped accessible venue (with additional wheelchair access or other accommodations for artists, available by request).
  • Professional technicians to run the board for your show, including one lighting designer to set cues.
  • Ticket sales (advanced and in-person), box office staff and front-of-house services.
  • Fringe Producers' Handbook—your comprehensive guide to our festival.
  • Access to workshops and one-on-one help sessions.
  • Drawings and photos of your Fringe managed venue.
  • Customizable page for your show on our website.
  • Publicity distribution to major press outlets and regional producers/presenters.
  • Artist passes for you and your cast to see festival shows for free.

What you're responsible for

  • Finding or creating a script; acquiring any necessary rights or permissions for existing scripts/music.
  • Arranging/contracting actors and director.
  • Costumes, props, sound cues and set pieces.
  • Providing marketing language (including photos or graphics, appropriate age and genre specifics, and accurate descriptions of your show) to help promote your show on the Fringe website.
  • Actively marketing your show.
  • Arranging necessary visas and work permits if coming from outside the United States.
  • Abiding by the Fringe rules and deadlines.
  • Presence at all mandatory meetings, technical rehearsal, and shows.


  • The deadline to apply is February 15, 2024.
  • The lottery will be held publicly on the evening of February 26, 2024.
  • There are FIVE lotteries (see below for detail).
  • Multi-tier applications are possible (see below for more detail). One application is accepted per company/producer per tier regardless of lottery type with the exception of the Midwest Touring Trifecta Lottery.
  • NEW! All participants are also eligible to OPT IN for a chance at participating in the Fringe Encore at the Phipps August 14-18, 2024.
  • All participants are automatically eligible to participate in the Fringe Festival Hangover online (September, 2024).

A fee for each application is due at submission. If you have no preference on venue size and you just want to make sure you are in the festival, you can apply to all three tiers at a discounted price. Fees are graduated based on application date (see below).

December 1 - 31
January 1 - 31 February 1 - 15
 $30 per tier application  / $75 to apply to all tiers
$35 per tier application / $90 to apply to all tiers
$40 per tier application / $105 to apply to all tiers

Please apply to any of the lotteries that best suit you. You may apply more than once, but you may only apply once per tier (bronze, silver, or gold), unless you are also applying for the Midwest Touring Trifecta. Duplicate applications for the same producer/company within the same tier will be rejected without refund.

Lottery Name What It Is Available Spots Who Can Apply Additional Info
NEW: Midwest Touring Trifecta Lottery As a means to support artists who may already tour or those who have yet to take the risk, we've partnered with our closest Midwestern Fringe friends to create a new touring opportunity for experienced Fringe producers to take their show on the road. One artist from each state will be selected, and each will be guaranteed a slot in the KC Fringe, Minnesota Fringe, and IndyFringe festivals during 2024. Missouri or Kansas, Minnesota, and Indiana residents who have produced in their home Fringe Festival at least once. Upon completion of the entire tour, the home Fringe producer fee will be refunded to offset the financial investment in touring a show. All Midwest Touring Trifecta Lottery winners will perform in the Bronze Tier. An application fee of $35 is due at submission.
BIPOC Lottery In our efforts expand our reach, fight against injustices, and become a more welcoming and equitable place for everyone to enjoy the performing arts, Minnesota Fringe introduced the BIPOC Lottery in 2022. 10% of Minnesota Fringe Festival producers. BIPOC producers, writers, directors, and choreographers are encouraged to apply in this category. Artists not selected from this lottery will have a second chance to be selected in the General Lottery. Applications in this lottery are pay-what-you-will.
Touring Artist Initiative Minnesota Fringe loves connecting with minds on a global scale. We're throwing down the welcome mat for those who bring fresh perspectives and talent into our vibrant metro home. 10% of Minnesota Fringe Festival producers.

National, international, and Minnesota artists coming from outside the 11-county metro area.

Artists not selected from this lottery will have a second chance to be selected in the General Lottery. An application fee is due at submission.
NEW: Never Have I Ever Lottery New artists are essential to our Fringe communities and that is why we have created this new lottery in 2024. 5% of Minnesota Fringe Festival producers. Artists who have never previously produced in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Artists not selected from this lottery will have a second chance to be selected in the General Lottery. An application fee is due at submission.
General Lottery The traditional Minnesota Fringe Festival lottery. All remaining Minnesota Fringe Festival producers after the Midwest Touring Trifecta, BIPOC, Touring Artist, and Never Have I Ever Lotteries are complete. Anyone can apply to participate in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Artists not selected in the BIPOC, Touring Artist, and Never Have I Ever lotteries will be automatically included in the General Lottery. An application fee is due at submission.

Midwest Touring Trifecta Lottery Application is CLOSED BIPOC Lottery Application is CLOSED Touring Artist Initiative Application is CLOSED Never Have I Ever Lottery Application is CLOSED General Lottery Application is CLOSED

Multi-tier Applications

There are three venue tiers—based on venue capacity—to which artists can apply. One application is accepted per company/producer per tier. A company/producer may apply to multiple tiers, but can only produce one show in the festival. If your show is randomly selected in multiple tiers during the lottery, you will be asked to choose ONE tier.

How to choose your tier

Ultimately, we suggest two factors in making your decision:

  • Budget: How much of an initial financial investment do you want to make? How many patrons do you think you might attract? The average box office payout runs around $1,300-$1,500, but since that's an average, there's tremendous variation. No one gets rich doing the Festival, but more seats in your house increase the odds that a good show and strong marketing will pay off in ticket sales. Shows in the Gold Tier historically has an average payout 50% higher than those in the Bronze Tier. To help with this decision, we have created a quick analysis using historical Fringe audience data* to help you determine how many seats need to be sold across 5 performances to break even on the producer fee in each tier.
Tier Level Gold (venues have ~175-237 seats) Silver (venues have ~100-125 seats) Bronze (venues have ~75-90 seats)
Number of seats needed to sell in order to break even ~80 total seats ~65 total seats ~60 total seats
Percentage of seats needed to sell to break even ~8% of total seats available  ~13% of total seats available ~15% of total seats

*Data indicates an average house size of ~35%, comprised of 50% full price seats, 25% discounted (pass-holder) seats, and 25% free (artists, staff, volunteers, sponsors) seats.

  • Show: Think about the scope of your show and consider what size would suit it best. Keep in mind that a small house size does not always equal a small stage. There are venues of all shapes and sizes in each tier, but you’re most likely to find a larger stage with a higher tier. Please note: if you have a cast size of 20+ people, you should apply in the Gold Tier in order to accommodate fire code capacity for both the audience and your cast.

IMPORTANT: Since we won't know how many applicants each tier will have until all the applications are in, we won't know what the odds are in each tier. Please don't spend time worrying about probability. Just pick the category that feels right for you.

Tier Capacity Fee Production Slots Venues Notes
Bronze ~75-90 seats $400 33 Bryant Lake Bowl, Open Eye Theatre, and Strike Theater Best for smaller casts and intimate shows; Accessibility between audience and stage is limited; Dance is not encouraged in this tier; Due to limited seating, big payouts are unlikely.
Silver ~100-125 seats $500 33 HUGE Improv Theater, Phoenix Theater, and Barbara Barker Center for Dance Stage configurations are all proscenium, no thrust, at least one theater is built for dance.
Gold ~175-235 seats $600 33 Mixed Blood Theater, The Southern Theatre, and Theatre in the Round This tier includes proscenium and in-the-round stages; Includes a venue suitable for dance; Cast size of 20+ should apply in this tier.
NOTE! Producer fees in 2024 have been reduced 10% across the board from 2023 to help lower the barrier to entry for artists.

How the lottery works

Fringe Festival shows are chosen by random lottery. Each application is assigned a number, we put the numbers on ping-pong balls, then draw the balls out of a bingo cage as a public event.

Our first drawing of the evening will be for the three artists selected to participate in the Midwest Touring Trifecta. One artist from Missouri or Kansas, Minnesota, and Indiana will be chosen to participate in the KC Fringe (July 12-28), Minnesota Fringe (August 1-11), and IndyFringe (August 15-25) Festivals. (Check out KC Fringe and IndyFringe to learn more about their festivals, deadlines, and requirements).

The second drawing will determine slots for the BIPOC Lottery winners (10% of festival participants); the third will be drawn from applicants to the Touring Artist Initiative (10% of festival participants); and the fourth drawing will be for the Never Have I Ever Lottery (5% of festival participants). Once those slots are full, the remainder of the BIPOC, Touring Artist, and Never Have I Ever ping-pong balls will be separated out into their respective tiers and mixed in with the general applicants to be selected by tier.

There are three separate tiers based on venue seating capacity (see above). Once productions are chosen and a tier is full, the remaining ping pong balls in that tier will be drawn for slots on a wait list. This will be repeated for all three tiers.

If you apply for multiple tiers and your show is randomly chosen in more than one, you will be contacted after the lottery and be asked to select ONE tier. (Once you make your choice, your remaining applications -- whether chosen in a separate tier or on a wait list -- will then be discarded.) All empty slots are then filled by the remaining respective wait list on a rolling basis.

Producer Funding Opportunities! As our way of championing risk and lowering barriers for more producers, we offer producer funding opportunities to either defer or waive fees for selected producers! This initiative is stewarded by the Minnesota Fringe Artist Committee. More information on this initiative can be found on our Producer Funding Opportunities page. Applications for all funding opportunities open in December and close February 15. 

Independent Production (IP)! Check into registering as an Independent Production (IP) (aka B.Y.O.V. or Bring Your Own Venue or Site Specific Shows) to guarantee your place in the festival. Registration for IP shows opens March 1.

Midwest Touring Trifecta Lottery Application is CLOSED BIPOC Lottery Application is CLOSED Touring Artist Initiative Application is CLOSED Never Have I Ever Lottery Application is CLOSED General Lottery Application is CLOSED

Applications are open December 1, 2023 - February 15, 2024. If you've got questions, contact us at
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