So what is the deal with FringeNYC's strict "no latecomer" policy? Learn why it's necessary...
Dear FringeNYC Patron –
We are sorry that we cannot admit latecomers to FringeNYC shows. As you know, this is a festival of more than a thousand performances and we learned in our early years that if we hold one show for five minutes to seat latecomers, the next show starts ten minutes late, and by the end of the day, shows are starting at dawn. We also do have some venues where latecomers would have to walk across the stage in order to get to a seat - which is distracting not only for other patrons, but the performers as well!
But more importantly, we had $15 advance tickets for twelve years and have only now inched up to $18. We really strive to keep our ticket prices (and artists fees) low. This has been much more difficult since the tragic events of 9/11 – after which our general liability insurance premiums doubled. Frankly, it nearly meant the end of The New York International Fringe Festival.
The reason we've been able to maintain this coverage (without foisting the cost onto our artists, as most festivals in New York do) and keep doing this festival is because we haven't had an "occurrence". If we do – this extraordinary eighteen-year-old festival run almost entirely by volunteers and operating on 85% earned income will have to end.
Plus, we just don't want y'all to get hurt.
The way to avoid all of this is to do things as safely as possible, and to maintain the same policies at all eighteen venues for all 5,000 artists and all 75,000 beloved audience members. And, of course, to not let a flustered late-arriving patron enter a completely dark theatre (that they've likely never been in before) during a performance and try to crawl over other patrons or up the back of risers or down steps to try to find a seat – which is not only disturbing to the other patrons, but also incredibly dangerous and just asking for trouble (i.e. an "occurrence").
For the above reasons, our patrons who purchase tickets online must agree to the terms and conditions below before being allowed to purchase tickets, and those who visit FringeCENTRAL are told in person by a wonderful volunteer sporting a "No Latecomers" button.
Thank you for understanding, and enjoy FringeNYC!
Elena K. Holy
Producing Artistic Director