If you don’t already know what a Fringe is, read below for our original info! If you just came here to see what we’re doing in the age of Covid-19, please know that we made a very painful decision in early March to cancel our May 2020 launch. We thought at the time that we may be able to reschedule for September, but that just didn’t end up being a good idea. Now we are lunching on a smaller scale May 20th-23rd this year! We will have a combination of streaming and live (safe) events.


Big Sky Fringe Festival in Missoula, Montana will be the only festival of it’s kind in the greater Missoula area! This will be a continuation of a long proud tradition of openly sourced performing arts festivals that began in Edinburgh in 1947. The purpose of Fringe is to provide an open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community. Participation in the Fringe is completely open and uncensored. This uncurated approach underlines the festival’s mission to be a platform for artists without the barrier of a curative body. By opening the gates to anyone with a vision, the festival is able to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view the world has to offer. Additionally, by creating an environment where artists must self-produce their work, the Fringe motivates its participants to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurialism in the arts. 

We have chosen to call ourselves Big Sky Fringe, even though we’re in Missoula, in order to make it clear that we want to encourage all Montana artists as well as artists from wherever to participate under our one “big sky.”

Who should participate…
Open to Theatre, Dance, Performance Art, Comedy, Cabaret, two actors in a horse costume…however you want to express yourself!

ATTENTION MUSICIANS! We want to clarify that Big Sky Fringe is primarily a theatrical performing arts event. You are more than welcome to join us, but please note that pricing, etc. is uniquely modeled on the needs of plays, dance, and comedy events. If you have a cabaret act, one-man musical, or variety show, this is the place! But we respect that solo musicians and bands may see this model as something that doesn’t work for them. We dig it. Feel free to tag our social media with shows you’re doing in the same time period and we can be friends in spirit! We are here to foster a true Fringe community, not alienate any practicing members of the arts of any kind in and around Missoula.

How it works…

*2021 is going to be an oddball, standalone year for obvious reasons. All artists will pay a $25 application fee ($15 for students). You can stream your shows live or stream a good quality recording and split ticket sales 50/50. Any live performances will be charged a venue fee and then split tickets 50/50. Venue fee will be no more than the base price of the venue (the festival will not make a profit on that), and we are actively looking for sponsorships to offset even that much cost to the artist.*

How Fringe makes it easy…
The Festival provides marketing and publicity as well as production support in the form of Stage Managers, Tech folk, venue relations, front of house staff and, of course, ticketing.

Join the Fringe community!
All artists who participate in Fringe become part of a special community of daring performers that take bold steps to present their art to the world. We celebrate that by creating Fringe HotSpots (businesses that provide discounts to participants and patrons) and providing meeting places for artists and patrons. Many Fringeships can be made!

We offer registration and ticket deals to students from everywhere, but we have even more special considerations in place for U of M students! Seeing as how finals and commencement occur during the first week of the festival, we will provide first priority for tech rehearsals to graduating students. We also encourage you to bring your final project works to the festival! No need to create a whole new project if you’ve already been working on something all semester!

If you register a published work, we will require proof of licensing be included with your project contract. No published work will be allowed to move forward without proof of rights! Original work and public domain pieces are of course allowed without additional paperwork.