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Fringe Festival Organizers From Across North America Gather In San Diego

Canadian and US Associations of Fringe Festivals hold conferences at Spreckels Theatre

Photo caption:

Photo by Beth Accomando

San Diego International Fringe Festival has its home base at the Spreckels Theatre every summer. The theater is currently playing host to the Canadian and United States Associations of Fringe Festivals Nov. 15 through 19. June 27, 2016.

San Diego International Fringe Festival is not until next June but Fringe Festival organizers from across North America are currently gathering at the Spreckels Theatre for its annual conferences.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was established in 1947 as an alternative to the city’s mainstream theater festival. The Fringe, with its commitment to an unjuried selection process and not censoring artists, has spread around the globe and every year organizers meet at conferences.

This year San Diego plays host to both the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF) and the United States Association of Fringe Festivals (USAFF).

Kevin Charles Paterson is the executive director of San Diego International Fringe Festival.

"This is extra exciting to have these producers from major cities all over North America here in San Diego," Paterson said. "What it does for us is it brings attention to audiences and artists alike, that there are opportunities, there’s an arts destination in San Diego so it’s huge for us."

Huge because San Diego Fringe is a mere toddler at 5-years-old and this helps cement the city’s identity as a Fringe venue. It also provides Paterson with a great learning opportunity.

"It is such a wonderful thing having all these people who do the same thing, like-minded folks together, that have gone through the same trials and tribulations," Paterson explained. "So what happens is the sharing of best practices. We could say we had so much trouble with this element of our festival, what suggestions do you have. Just hanging out with the other producers and just being able to pass things by them is so valuable."

CAFF runs Nov. 15 through 17 while USAFF runs Nov. 17 through 19. Both take place at the Spreckels Theater, which is also the home base for San Diego Fringe.

San Diego International Fringe Festival is not until next June but Fringe Festival organizers from across North America are currently gathering at the Spreckels Theatre for its annual conference.

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