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Chicago Fringe Festival: Tickets on Sale for Nine-Day Jefferson Park Event

  The nine-day avant-garde and do-it-yourself performance art festival will run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.
Chicago Fringe Fest Turns to Kickstarter
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JEFFERSON PARK — The Chicago Fringe Festival will amp up the weirdness at this summer's fifth-annual fiesta of avant garde and do-it-yourself performance art thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Tickets are now on sale for Fringe Fest's return to Jefferson Park for a second year Aug. 28 through Sept. 7. 

The festival will feature 50 shows and 200 performances in five venues throughout the neighborhood. Scheduled acts include a rap musical, a science-fiction radio play and a performance by drag entertainers from Utah.

There is a $5 cover charge for the festival, and individual performances are $10. Tickets, as well as passes for multiple performances, are available on the group's website.

Festival organizers raised $5,500 to double the budget for Fringe Central at Fischman's Liquors, 4780 N. Milwaukee Ave., and turn the fest's main box office and after-hours party spot into an art-and-performance filled hot spot, Executive Director Vinnie Lacey said.

"We're super excited," Lacey said, adding that he wasn't sure it was going to be fully funded until right before the July 31 deadline.

Plans include "yarn bombing" trees along Milwaukee Avenue by essentially knitting them with brightly colored string, Lacey said.

On Aug. 29 and Sept. 5, bands will play Fringe Central, with Lacey promising that cool cover and original bands will play in the tent in Fischman's parking lot. The Kiss Kiss Cabaret burlesque show is also booked to play Fringe Central, Lacey said.

On Aug. 28 and Sept. 4, performers will give the crowd at Fischman's one-minute previews of their shows, and on Aug. 31 organizers will host the annual benefit for the festival. Tickets are $20 online, or $25 at the door. A silent auction and raffle will take place, and Captain Ambivalent will serenade the crowd with accordion tunes from 7-8 p.m.

This year's festival will be presented by Blue Moon Brewing Co. — the biggest sponsor in its five-year history, Lacey said.

"Feels like we've kind of arrived," Lacey said.

All of the festival's venues — which have been renamed to honor Chicago — are in the Jefferson Park Business District within walking distance of the Jefferson Park stop on the CTA Blue Line, as well as the bus lines that run along Milwaukee and Higgins avenues.

The festival will take place at five venues:

• The Stinking Onion Stage, Congregational Church of Jefferson Park gym, 5320 W. Giddings Ave.
• The Deep Dish Stage, Congregational Church of Jefferson Park meeting hall, 5320 W. Giddings Ave.
• The Ketchup-less Stage, The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave.
• The Lake Effect Stage, Youth Company Chicago, 5340 W. Lawrence Ave.
• The Early & Often Stage, Magnolia Banquet Hall, 4751 N Milwaukee Ave.

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