Fringe Arts Festival: Winter Whimsy in Asheville
By Cat Kessler
Countdown to the festival: January 19-26, 2020
During the winter, the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival brings innovative theater, dance, spoken word and performance arts to venues throughout town. This multiple venue festival provides artists with opportunities to explore the edges of their work.
Wonder what Fringe is all about?
This edgy performing arts tradition got its start in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1940s when several performing groups who had been excluded from the city's mainstream festival decided to perform on their own. Over the past 65+ years, Fringe events spread across the world and today more than 50 such events are held each year in the U.S.
Founded in Asheville in 2002, the festival has the unique mission of supporting small and emerging local acts. In fact, the lion's share of the event schedule features local actors, dancers, writers, directors and artists, but the festival also brings in top traveling acts, many of which originated at other Fringe events around the world.
In 2020, numerous performances are spread over four days across nine venues.
At the end of each night of performances, there are Fringe parties where you will meet the artists, Fringe Fans and get ideas for what shows to see.
The best way to experience the festival is to review the schedule and choose at least three shows to attend.
Take a look at the at-a-glance Asheville Fringe Arts Festival schedule or dive deeper to learn more about the individual shows offered.
In addition, throughout the festival there are "Free Fringe" -- events with no admission cost. See the schedule of free things to see at the Asheville Fringe Festival.
Throughout the festival, stop by "Fringe Central" at the LaZoom Room in downtown Asheville (76 biltmore Avenue) to talk with Fringe Staff and buy tickets. Fringe Central hours are 12-6 p.m. (January 20-25) and 12-4 p.m. (January 26).
Know before you go
2020 Dates: January 19-26, 2020
Tickets: Tickets will be available online and at Fringe Central (the LaZoom Room).
How to enjoy: Fringe events are listed on the web site and in a guide distributed the second week of January (you can also view the Asheville Fringe guide online). Look through the choices and choose the ones that interest you! It is often easiest to catch two or three shows at the same venue on the same night. Online day of show ticket sales end at 3 p.m. But you can still purchase tickets in person at Fringe Central: The LaZoom Room at 76 Biltmore Avenue. In the event that tickets still remain, any available tickets will then be sold at the door.
Want the full experience? See up to 14 shows at a huge discount when you purchase a "Freak Pass."
Top photo courtesy of Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. Other photos by Jason Tarr.