After celebrating our 20th Annual festival, The Present Theatre Company decided to take a hiatus from producing The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) in 2017 in order to embark upon “The Blank Canvas Project” – a year of strategic planning. This yielded our new three year plan – which we call “FringeNYC 20/20”.
In 2018, FringeNYC will include a BYOV (“Bring Your Own Venue”) component in boroughs other than Manhattan, providing an open access opportunity for additional emerging artists to present their work under the auspices of FringeNYC. These venues can be run as adjudicated, curated, or first come first served / lottery or in whatever way the venues wish!
We are currently seeking ONE Cultural Institution Group (CIG) member or Major Institution per borough to serve as our
FringeNYC BOROUGH HUB PARTNER
RESOURCES (performance space?, staff?, marketing materials distribution / ticket sales location? Fun place to get a beverage / snack between shows?) FOR A MINIMUM OF 10 SHOWS / 100 TICKETED PERFORMANCES DURING OCTOBER.
AND A SNEAK PEEK WEEKEND LOCATION for ALL FringeNYC shows in your borough (even those in found spaces / indie venues / being produced by FringeNYC alumni) to do FringeNYTeasers – 5 minute show excerpts to sell advance tickets. This could potentially take place on a September weekend (one weekend in each borough).
YOU CHARGE A PARTICIPATION FEE / BOX OFFICE SPLIT to the 10 shows being performed on your campus. You pass along the $300 per show FringeNYC marketing fee as a part of the participation fee / box office income split you’re charging in order to cover your costs. We’ve always found that the mutually invested / “skin in the game” model works really well. And other BYOV fringes around the world charge fees (and they aren’t even providing the venue). At the Grandmother festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe (which in reality is a collection of hub venues) festival producers like C Venues (who run 20+ venues during the festival) charge a fee AND take 40% of the box office income. And this is on top of the Edinburgh Fringe Society FESTIVAL fee of £393.60 / $491.45 US ($914 NYC cost of living equivalent) the artist is paying. We all know other NYC festivals who provide the venue also charge participation fees and take a portion of the box office income. At FringeNYC in Manhattan (where we provide the venue), our adjudicated shows will pay a $1000 participation fee, and we’ll retain 40% of the box office income toward those expenses.
For our BYOV component, our model is based upon the majority of FringeNYC’s needed income being received directly from our ticketing partner (if we meet a minimum number of ticket sales). This leaves your shows’ box office income unencumbered – so you could take a percentage of ticket sales income from the artists you present. And FringeNYC’s marketing fee of $300 (per SHOW, not performance) is modest enough that it could easily be passed along to the artist / show / producer as a part of a participation fee.
This means one CIG / larger institution per borough enjoys FringeNYC’s huge “Halo” and attracts FringeNYC’s younger / more diverse audience to their location. Providing this opportunity also endears your organization to our alumni and the next generation of local emerging artists.
Additionally, with our ticketing model, staffing costs are minimized because tickets are only sold online and via mobile. Depending upon what resources you’re offering your shows, your organization’s out-of-pocket could be minimal.
Following the festival, we’ll take OUR income and invest in further marketing automation and AI to leverage data from 20 annual festivals (contacts tagged with which shows they saw, including fringe goers in your neighborhood / borough who are 18 – 35 years old) for the good of our borough partners and the indie theatre community. For being our CIG borough partner, you are the one institution in your borough who gets to share in this throughout the year (via monthly eblasts to audiences likely to attend your year-round programming).
As we grow, we share the fruits of our data-based marketing labor! Even if you don’t produce, you can use the monthly eblast inclusion as a tool to leverage potential rentals – hopefully increasing rental income. Our FringeNYC marketing roadmap (funded by our earned income via ticket sales) includes further analytics integration, predictive segmentation, using AI to reverse our “Find Your FringeNYC” quiz data, engagement scoring, and even location based push notifications. All of this is made possible through this unique collaboration between a select group of “big sister” institutions, the indie theatre community, and our beloved FringeNYC volunteers and audience.