The Adelaide Fringe Festival was established in 1970s as the opposition to the Adelaide Festival of Arts, the mainstream festival at that time. Today it has grown to the second-largest fringe festival worldwide.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival is held in Adelaide, South Australia and, together with Adelaide Festival of Arts, creates the atmosphere of excitement and joy across Adelaide. The festival is prominent for its imagination, fresh ideas, fun and spontaneity, and is seen as one of the best events of the kind worldwide.
Canada claims now to have more fringe festivals than any other country in the world. Annually, such festivals are held in Edmonton, Alberta, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto, and Fraser Valley.
Observed annually in Alberta, Canada, the Edmonton Fringe Festival is the largest fringe festival in North America. It has originated in 1982, following the model of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Focusing mainly on theatre, it also features all the forms of entertainment and art.
Nearly 1500 performers are invited to participate in the festival annually, and are provided with a set number of performances.
Another Canadian theatre festival is the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Started in 1988 by Manitoba Theatre Center, it is held annually in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As of 2004 it was regarded as the longest fringe festival across North America, lasting for 12 days.
In order to avoid conflict with other national events, the festival has returned to the length of 11 days in 2005. The Winnipeg Fringe Festival attracts performers from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, France, the United Kingdom and the South Africa, as well as the United States and Canada.
Among the most celebrated comedians are Jason Neufeld, Ron Moore, Ross McMillan, and the comedy troupe, Steve Breadstone Experience. In 2003 the festival had nearly 143,000 spectators. As of 2004 its paid attendance has surpassed that of the Edmonton Fringe Festival.
Prague is known for its Prague Fringe Festival, held annually in May in Prague, Czech Republic, and featuring about 158 artists in more than 37 shows. As well as many other festivals of its kind, the Prague Fringe Festival is based on the model of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Fringe festivals have a number of features, making them different from mainstream theatre shows. While shows in mainstream theatre are of two or three acts duration, fringe shows are usually single act productions with the duration of no more than one hour. Because of the small income of fringe theatres, there is a tendency to one-person shows. Unlike the mainstream theatres, no restrictions are usually made as far as theme and style of the performance are concerned.