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Events

RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST

RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST is not a typical art event. It’s a collaboration between the Heart of Biddeford, Engine, and our local breweries Banded Horn, Dirigo, and Barrelled Souls. Part block party, part art-installation, part beer garden. Engine is seeking performers, musicians, artists, designers and other creative thinkers to submit a project or performance for RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST.

Participate in the River Jam Fringe Festival

Here are a few key things to keep in mind before submitting your project for RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST. To submit your project or if you have additional questions, you can contact arts@feedtheengine.org.

  1. Everyone is welcome. Artists and participants of any age or experience are welcome to be part of RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST.
  2. All art is participatory. All of the art at RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST is participatory. We look for art that encourages people to play, dance, sing, create, engage, experiment, and explore their environment.
  3. We’re outdoors in a public space. RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST takes place outdoors in a public space, so your project should be designed to withstand the weather and the public.
  4. Leave no trace. Your project can not leave any trace or mark on the public space, and artists must be prepared to completely remove and clean up after their project. 
  5. We’re all volunteer. RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST is run by volunteers from participating organizations. Staff from these organization give their time as a gift to artists and participants.
  6. RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST is a completely free event. There is no charge for artists or participants to be a part of the event.
  7. We have no artists grants. RIVER JAM FRINGE FEST does not have a budget for project grants.

What is a Fringe Fest?

According to the United States Association of Fringe Festivals:

  • Focused on the performing arts: At it’s core, Fringe gives a spotlight to theater, dance, puppetry, music, visual arts, and spoken word. Fringes don’t have a focus on one single discipline or genre, but are a performing-arts smörgåsbord
  • Uncensored: From family friendly to bawdy and burlesque, Fringes do not curate or constrain the material or content used in participating show.
  • Easy to participate in: Ticket prices are purposely low for audiences and production fees are low for artists. We strive to make the arts available to everyone. Show selection varies from festival to festival but is generally quite open to participation by the gamut of amateurs to professionals
  • Festivals: Fringes around the world vary. They last from just a few days to a few weeks and involve lots of people at multiple venues.
  • Original: Fringes feature a wide array of original material—sometimes by design, but usually because that’s what Fringes do naturally well.
  • Rapid-fire: Typically, tech is minimal and time is a factor at our festivals. Shows are often kept brief (Fringes most frequently have shows right around 60 minutes in length) and technical requirements kept simple (minor sets, streamlined cues, nothing elaborate)

It all started in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, as an alternative festival that played concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival. Though not invited to participate, groups of actors, musicians, and the like performed at various venues on the fringe of the EIF. In 1948, Robert Kemp, a local journalist, gave it the name Fringe: “Round the fringe of official Festival drama, there seems to be more private enterprise than before…” (Read more about Fringe history at Wikipedia.)

And so the Fringe as we know it was born. Fringe performing arts festivals can now be found all over the world, with dozens thriving in the United States today.

In the U.S., no one organization or individual owns, controls or regulates the name “Fringe”. There are no national rules for how each individual festivals operate; festival content, finances, and structure vary from city to city. Generally, all festivals are committed to an open forum of expression that minimizes the financial risks for both artists and audiences. Fringes work hard to keep production fees and ticket prices low so that more people can participate in our festivals.