ORLANDO — Artists, producers and directors who have a show in the upcoming Orlando Fringe, take note: Freeline Media will be covering the festival in May, so get your press releases and contact information ready. The curtains are gearing up to rise!
The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival was created in 1991 by Terry Olson (who is now the director of the Orange County Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs), Andy Anthony and Rick Kunst, and held in 1992 in downtown Orlando. The concept was simple: a festival featuring multiple theatrical shows, most in venues in empty storefronts. In 2004, the festival started to relocate to Loch Haven Park, and from 2005 on, the festival has been held entirely in that park and in nearby Ivanhoe Village. It’s the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States.
This 14-day festival is held in May, leading up to Memorial Day Weekend.
Freeline Media has been covering Orlando Fringe for more than a decade. Freeline Media founder Michael Freeman is a veteran of Fringe himself, having written and produced three shows at Fringe: “Hooked” (2009), “Copping a Craigie” (2010) and “Murder Sleep” (2016), which won a Patron’s Pick award at the closing night ceremony on May 31 2016.
As Freeman noted, “I don’t have a show in Orlando Fringe this year — which means I have more time to get out and see other shows! Can’t wait!”
If you’re a Fringe artist this year, contact Freeline Media today to arrange for coverage of your show. Email Freeline Productions at FreelineOrlando@gmail.com, and it’s a big help to include the following:
* Description of your show
* Dates and times when it will be performed at Fringe
* Some publicity photos
* Your contact information
As Freeman noted, it’s important to keep in mind the concept of “advance publicity.”
“Don’t wait until your show is having its first performance in a day or two,” Freeman said. “Get the word out early.”
The 2017 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival will be held from Tuesday, May 16 through Monday, May 29. Most of the shows will be at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center at 812 E. Rollins St. in Loch Haven Park.
As the Fringe producers have noted on their website, “Orlando Fringe returns 100 percent of tickets sales to artists, and last year the average return was over $3,200, with a total of $425,250 returned to artists.”
“There’s a loyal established audience for Orlando Fringe,” Freeman noted. “Huge crowds flock to this event, particularly on the weekends. But … there are a lot of shows for people to pick from, so don’t get lost in the crowd, so to speak. Start building that word of mouth early.”
He added, “We’re here to help you do just that.”
Conclusion: Artists producing a show at this year’s Orlando Fringe Festival need to start thinking now about publicizing their production. It’s not too early to plan your marketing efforts.