About the Fringe Organization

The Fringe organization exists as a hub to the various Fringe stakeholders: venues, artists, and audience. It is not a curating body, rather it provides an open environment in which artists stage their projects. It does not recruit or show favoritism between projects registered with the festival. The relationship between the Fringe and other key stakeholders is decentralized – with most venues and all artists operating independently.

Fringe Roles

The Fringe organization fulfills these roles:

  • Festival promotion to the community and the press
  • Artist support through housing and production assistance
  • Coordination between Fringe venues
  • Production of promotional events for venues and artists
  • Publication of The Fringe Guide and management of the Fringe website
  • Promotion of the ZooTown Fringe brand
  • Recruitment of a volunteer base

Fringe Events

During and prior to the Festival, the Fringe throws promotional events:

  • Opening and closing night parties
  • Outdoor events for visibility to community/tourists
  • Mixers and other opportunities for promoters, venues, artists and the community to interact
  • Best-of-Fringe events after the festival

Fringe Awards

The Fringe provides opportunities for artists to walk away with various awards. Awards variations will be announced in July.

Fringe Income

The Fringe supports itself primarily through:

  • Artist registration fees ($35-$125 each)
  • Advertising income from the Fringe Guide and Website
  • Special event production (Taste of the Fringe and various fundraisers)
  • Raised income through grants, sponsorships, and individual giving
  • Fringe merchandise sales


About Participants at the Fringe

The ZooTown Fringe is a self-produced festival; participants are responsible for staging and promoting their own projects. The Fringe promotes the festival as a whole; the participants are responsible for ensuring patrons are aware and interested in their project. For participants, the Fringe is an opportunity for exposure, experience, and income.

Festival Registration

Registration costs are dependent upon the venue.
ZooTown Fringe will assist in establishing initial contact with registered Fringe venues.
Once venue has been chosen, register here.

To maximize participation, venues and participants negotiate directly accommodating the unique needs of both parties.
The Fringe provides both participants and venues guidelines protecting the “spirit” of Fringe:
Massive opportunity with minimal barriers.

Basic Requirements

All participants in Fringe must meet the following requirements:

  • A rental contract with a registered Fringe venue
  • Payment of the Festival Registration Fee ($35-$125)
  • A general liability insurance policy may be required depending on the venue
  • Agreement to the Fringe terms and conditions

…if these basic qualifications are met, any artistic project can become a Fringe show.

Festival registration for shows declining to charge a fee to patrons (free performances), are subject to the reduced fee of $35 for inclusion in the Guide and the Website. Projects with a single performance (one-offs) also register at reduced rate.

Project Details

The participant is free to produce any content of 60 minutes or less without fear of censorship from the Fringe,
law of the land and venue do apply.
All programming is subject to the venue’s limitations and the agreement between participant and venue.
Participants may set whatever price they so choose,$12 or under.
All ticket sales are the responsibility of the participants.

All genres of art are acceptable, including theatre, comedy, variety, music, circus, dance, exhibitions, performance art, and family programming.


The Fringe will provide opportunities to advertise projects in the Fringe Guide and on the Website for a reasonable fee.
The Fringe will also coordinate promotional opportunities at major tourism hubs prior to and during the Festival.


Participants and instructors seeking additional funds during the Fringe may register as a workshop. Workshops are subject to the same registration fees and benefits as traditional projects including venue availability.
Tickets to workshops are sold at the door of the venue.
They are listed in the Guide and Website along with all other projects in the Fringe.

Participant Benefits

The artist receives the following benefits with their Fringe registration fee:

  • Inclusion in the Fringe Guide
  • Tickets sold at the door and through the participants
  • Access to promotional opportunities at Fringe events
  • Discounts at local businesses including housing support
  • Access to promoters in the Missoula entertainment industry
  • Help through the whole process through participant support

All tickets sold at the venue’s door are subject to the rental agreement between participant and venue.

International Participants

Artists from all around the world are invited to participate in the ZooTown Fringe Festival. International artists are responsible for obtaining performer visas at their own expense; the festival will draft invitation letters on request.


About Fringe Venues

Fringe venues are entirely independent and self-run; the Fringe does not control programming at Fringe venues, nor does it act as a party to rental agreements between participant and venue companies. Venues are free to program or outsource programming at their establishments. Venues must conform to certain requirements to qualify for registration.

Venue Registration

All venues must register with the Fringe free of charge. They must conform to these basic requirements:

  • A guaranteed safe atmosphere for participants and patrons
  • Legal rights to operate and rent the venue
  • A physical address within the Fringe boundaries
  • A signed contract with the Fringe Festival


Diversity in programming is encouraged to provide a true festival atmosphere, though the Fringe makes no such requirements.  Participants may proactively contact venues to establish relationships, or venues may search and recruit projects on the Fringe Website or beyond.

Participant Payment

The venue company is responsible for carrying out the terms of participant payment based on their individual rental agreements with artists. Sales sold at the door of the venue are subject to the agreement between the venue and the artist.
Any arrangement can be made with the participants including:

  • 100% of box office revenue to their resident artists in exchange for a fair rental rate
  • Any other arrangements agreeable to both parties

Venue Staffing

Staffing the venue for box office, house management, and tech is the responsibility of the venue.
The Fringe will attempt to assist venue staffing with members of its volunteer base.

Venue Technical Requirements

Venues and participants will be responsible for arranging time for technical rehearsals of productions. Artists are encouraged to keep technical complication to a minimum, both in the spirit of Fringe and to facilitate this process. Generally, venues are asked to provide a rep lighting plot and a basic sound system.

Ancillary Sales

All venue-sold ancillary revenue including alcohol, food, and merchandise benefits the venue company or is subject to any pre-existing agreements. Ancillary revenue sold in Fringe-run venues benefits the Festival.

Venue Participation

Venues choose how to participate in the Fringe. Options include:

  • Programming multiple shows back-to-back in their venue
  • Programming a single show in their venue
  • Renting the venue wholesale to a presenting organization interested in programming the venue themselves
  • Construction of a party atmosphere including performance events
  • Creating an environment strictly for workshops

…the only restriction is that each individual show interested in promotion through the Festival must register with the Fringe and meet the basic artist requirements (see above). Traditionally the responsibility for paying the registration falls upon the participant; venues may choose to fund their participant’s registrations based on special agreements.