JEFFERSON PARK — Performance artists quick with a click have a shot at a guaranteed slot in the 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival starting at 10 a.m. Friday.
Organizers of the Jefferson Park festival devoted to all things weird, off beat and avant garde will fill a quarter of the 50 performance slots on a first-come, first-served basis through an online application.
Last year, all 13 of the guaranteed slots were snapped up in two minutes, organizers said.
The remaining 37 slots will be filled by a lottery, with at least half of those spots set aside for performers from outside Chicago and another quarter set aside to ensure the festival's lineup "reflects a diversity of ethnicity ability and or age," according to the festival's website.
The lottery is scheduled to take place March 1, and artists and groups who are not selected will be placed on a wait list.
The four-year-old festival will return to several locations in Jefferson Park for a second year from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.
Ald. John Arena (45th) has said he is pleased the festival will return to Jefferson Park after starting in Pilsen.
Ticket sales at the 2013 festival earned $28,000 for the artists, who receive 100 percent of the proceeds, organizers said.
Artists vying for a guaranteed slot at the festival must pay their participation fee — based on the number of times they wish to perform, ranging from $250 to $550 — when they submit their application.
Performance pieces must be 80 percent choreographed or scripted, and no entirely improvisational shows are allowed, organizers said. The work should be between 45 and 60 minutes long and set-up and removal must take no longer than 10 minutes, organizers said.
In addition, the work must not have been performed in Chicago or the surrounding counties between Jan. 1, 2013, and Nov. 1, 2013.
Performances at the 2013 festival included an aerialist dance company, a group that roasts characters from fairy tales and an avant garde theater company devoted to presenting fantastical realism and challenging the definition of gender and sexuality.
The last day to apply to perform in the festival is Feb. 15.