Fort Collins Fringe Festival to liven local art scene

Elena Waldman

Fort Collins locals don’t have to go all the way to Edinburgh for an art festival; in fact, they may not even have to leave town. The Fort Collins Fringe Festival will be coming to town for the seventh consecutive year July 25-28 to liven up the local art scene with music, comedy, magic, art and everything in between. 

The essence of the Fort Collins Fringe Festival is to support up-and-coming artists and entertainers. One of the ways the festival does this is by giving ticket proceeds back to the fringe artists. Festival-goers will need to purchase a button, or the general festival pass, which will get them into the opening and closing ceremonies as well as some of the exclusive parties. In addition to purchasing the $5 button, attendees will need to purchase ticket sales to each individual show. 


“We do the box office proceeds, so every ticket sale goes back to the fringe artist,” said Jess MacMaster, one of the producers of the Fort Collins Fringe Festival. “It’s (for) the artist to showcase their work and make (money).” 

The Fringe Festival emphasizes the importance of artistic expression in communities, bringing tons of up-and-coming artists to the forefront. The process of gathering artists is first-come-first-serve, so all kinds of artists and performers are encouraged to showcase their work. While it is a local event, the Fort Collins Fringe Festival doesn’t discriminate against which artists are allowed to participate. 

“We accept pieces from all over the world,” MacMaster said. “We love to promote local artists, that’s why it started, but at the same time, we love to promote any artist.” 

Attendees of the festival can expect to check out some of the diverse and ecclectic performance venues Fort Collins has to offer, from The DownTown Artery to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. MacMaster said the festival also gives people an opportunity to see new and different types of art they wouldn’t normally be exposed to. 

“I think that the performing arts and artistic expression that (people) wouldn’t see otherwise is (offered) at a really affordable price,” MacMaster said. “We try, as a festival, to promote the entire fringe as a whole so that you’re urged to go see other pieces and not just something that seems right up your alley.” 

Elena Waldman can be reached at or on Twitter @WaldmanElena.