The world's first Fringe festival, the Edinburgh Fringe festival, was founded in 1947. There are over 250 Fringe festivals around the world. The Fringes profile their extensive and experimental offering of performing arts. The purpose of Fringe festivals is to serve as a platform for performances; they do not, usually, produce performances themselves.
FINFRINGE ry. was officially established on March 11, 2018. Preparations for the first Finfringe festival had started a couple of years prior. We got to know the Fringe movement by working and attending various Fringe festivals in Europe and North America. We wanted to bring to Finland an international festival format presenting new ideas for performing arts and to serve as a platform for performing arts cooperation in the Turku region. From the very beginning, we have worked closely with the professional stages and other regional actors in Turku. Finfringe has 16 members and a six-person board. Dozens of volunteers are also involved during the festival.
The fourth Finfringe was held in the spring from May 11-14, 2022. Eight stages featured 16 different shows, all together 59 performances. There were 33 performers from nine different countries. The festival had 1386 spectators.
The superintendent of FIKMU and goldsmith Petri Ruusunen, made the 2022 signature “You Nailed it!” awards using old hand forged nails, metal plates, and Soviet workshop hammers. The awards were given out in 7 different categories. The awards were given to the following performances:
- Kiss my Turku Award: 21/45 Dramatic Entrances (Finland)
- Nordic Fringe Network Award: The Clown on the fifth floor (Sweden)
- Artist's Shark: Peter Nordstrand (Sweden)
- Audience Shark: 21/45 Dramatic Entrances (Finland)
- Performer Shark: Minna Puolanto ja Hanna Seppä (Finland)
- Jury Shark: So... (United Kingdom)
- Smile- hai: Markku Keränen
The third Finfringe was moved from the spring to autumn due to corona restrictions and was held on October 13-16, 2021 on two stages in Åbo Svenska Teater, in Hansakortteli and nearby street areas. There were 15 different performances and 36 ticketed performances. In addition to these, there were about fifteen free performances in the public premises of Hansakortteli. Finfringe was visited by 1231 spectators.
At the October festival, we awarded seven Finfringe awards. Tove Forssell and Sauli Luttinen’s crafted gold album awards from old LPs. The awards went to the following performances:
- Kiss my Turku Award: Pienet ja tärkeät (Finland)
- Nordic Fringe Network Award: Sydän syki minua (Finland)
- Artist’s Shark: The Baroque (Sweden)
- Audience Shark: The Baroque (Sweden)
- Performer Shark: Mehdi Duman (Switzerland)
- Jury Shark: I’m not entirely here (cybersad) (Finland)
- Smile- hai: Avril Tynan
In the spring of 2020, due to corona restrictions, the festival was moved from spring to November. Only half of the calculated seats were allowed to be filled and entering to Finland from abroad was restricted. Despite these obstacles, the second Finfringe was held on November 19 - 21, 2020. In addition to the normal smaller program we also had streamed performances and performances for only one spectator at a time. There were 14 different shows and 29 performances. The event was attended by only 500 viewers due to the restrictions on the audience capacity.
At the November festival, we gave six Finfringe Awards. Handmade wooden sharks made by Tero Talvisilta were awarded to the following performances:
- Visit Turku Award: Sinun Silmillesi
- Nordic Fringe Network Award: Kiljaise Ennen Kuin Tipahtaa and The Hot Box-konsepti
- Audience Choice: HC-poeettinen kohtaaminen Englannissa
- Jury Shark: Radio Love
- Performer Shark: Anna Jolma ja Timo Väntsi
- Smile- hai: Tove Forssell (Hub host)
The first FINFRINGE was in Turku from May 10th to 12th, 2019. Four stages featured 24 different performances from nine countries. The performances were selected from over 150 applicants. The FFOFF programme spread to the center of Turku. The festival had 2406 spectators.
In 2019, we awarded 7 FINFRINGE Awards. The awards, made from old CDs by Hanne Lammi, were given out to the following performances:
- Visit Turku Award: Fatal Instrument Show (Finland)
- Nordic Fringe Network Award: My Voices Have Tourettes (Iceland)
- Artists Choice Award: My Voices Have Tourettes (Iceland)
- Audience Choice: Ebola the Musical (Finland)
- Contemporary Shark: (Some)body (Russia)
- Green Shark: Rakkaudesta – sanasto tuleville vuosikymmenille (Finland)
- Smile Shark: Rebecka Vilhonen (artist host)