Prague Fringe should have been launching its 19th season, instead on May 22–30 it will be going online with free events, performances and interactive games. Live shows still happen, but in October.
The organizers have decided to make the most of the original festival dates with an online festival featuring artists from the upcoming October program plus other friends and supporters.
All events will be streamed via the Fringe social media sites or on Youtube. Specific details for each performance will be released gradually on the program page of the Prague Fringe website from May 20.
All events will be free, but audiences will be able to support the festival via an online donation to the Prague Fringe Survival Fund, which is raising money to secure the festival’s future and to support the artists scheduled to visit in October.
“We can’t wait to celebrate our wonderful Fringe even if it’s in a more virtual way. Our summer just won’t be the same this year, not to mention the economic effect the global coronavirus outbreak has had on the event but, along with the performers originally scheduled to join us this week we agree the show must go on, albeit in a socially distant, online way,” Prague Fringe founder Steve Gove said.
“We’re delighted to have fringe favorites such as The Men With Coconuts and the London Gay Men’s Chorus take part in our online program as well as many other artists from all over the world. And for those who’re disappointed that they are not in this wonderful city as planned, I’ll be taking you on a virtual tour, a personal guided Fringe city walkabout,” he added.
Tickets for the live edition of Prague Fringe had been just about to go on sale in March when the Czech Government declared a state of emergency, which among other things banned public gatherings and severely limited international travel.
This forced the organizers to have to postpone the live events to October 23–31, with as many of the originally planned acts as possible.
Prague Fringe began in 2001, with a small number of events and 400 audience members. It has since grown to have over 200 performances of around 40 different shows, and an audience of some 6,000 people.
The idea of fringe began in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1947 as an as an alternative to the more stuffy Edinburgh International Festival. There is now a network of fringe festivals across the world, with acts touring from one country to another.