Celebrating its 23rd edition in 2017, Dublin Fringe Festival welcomed over 38,000 festival goers to 81 shows across sixteen days and nights this September. Stages were set in 34 venues including Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dame Street, abandoned dockland warehouses and a handball alley.
A record number of shows sold out, with audiences scrambling for tickets for highlights such as Malaprop’s Everything Not Saved (winner of the inaugural Georganne Aldrich Heller Award at the Fringe Awards), MOMMO’s The Half Of It (First Fortnight Award winner), comedian Conor O’Toole’s Deadline! (Spirit of Wit Award winner) and a hilarious retelling of Jurassic Park at DREAMGUN’s one-night-only Film Reads.
This year’s festival presented an ambitious programme of free, outdoor work, introducing the magic of Fringe to those who happened upon it. Almost 7,000 Fringe goers saw public events across the city including a pop-up city of tents at Barnardo Square for Trophy, choral performances in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre at Town Choir and dancing on the streets of Temple Bar with ABACUS. The winner of Best Production Award was NOT AT HOME by Emma Fraser and Grace Dyas: an installation telling the stories of Irish women who have travelled to have an abortion which stopped those passing by NCAD on Thomas Street in their tracks.
Fringe’s commitment to nurturing emerging Irish artists continued in 2017 as it supported some of the country’s brightest young makers in the development of their work. Sixteen artists presented their first professional show at this year’s festival, with 51 companies making their Fringe debut. 28 artists brought work to festival stages with Fringe’s help through FRINGE LAB: a year-round platform providing free studio spaces, artistic support and training in the heart of the city.
The hottest work from around the globe was on offer for Irish audiences: from sparkling storytelling at the Peacock with Tomboy Survival Guide to sold-out runs of Triple Threat (UK) and MDLSX (Italy) at Project Arts Centre. 2017 marked another bumper edition for Irish comedy talent as Foil Arms & Hog took Fringe’s first steps onto the Abbey Theatre mainstage and fan favourites such as Alison Spittle returned to delight audiences. Fringe’s 23rd edition welcomed the festival’s first ever programme made for and by young people – Young Radicals: Fringe for Kids – including a podcast, a gig for teens and a raucous new circus show.
Kris Nelson, Festival Director, remarked: “This year Dublin Fringe Festival set out to stop our city in its tracks. Through the hard work and talent of 789 phenomenal artists, Dublin was a cultural playground for sixteen days and nights this September. The curiosity, passion and commitment of Fringe audiences blows us away year after year: 2017 was no different.”
The 24th edition of Dublin Fringe Festival will run 8 – 23 September 2018.
Fringe 2017 in numbers:
Over 31,000 tickets issued
Almost 7,000 attendees to free events across the city
77% capacity achieved across the festival
789 individual artists involved in 81 productions across 34 venues
49 world premieres
51 companies/artists made their Fringe debut
16 companies/artists made their first professional show ever