Pärnu Fringe Festival. “It's good to be in Pärnu in August!”
Pärnu Fringe Festival Pärnu, Estonia August 1 – 18, 2014
The Pärnu Fringe Festival consists of more than two weeks of events – each taking place separately, but all supporting one another. They bring together artists and performers from different fields, creating shared experiences for audiences and those involved. As Barbara Lehtna, Developing Director of the Pärnu Fringe Festival, explains, the intrinsic identity of the Pärnu Fringe Festival is a mixture of arts, emotions and synergy that emerges when you pour a lot of different arts into one pot. Mixing different fields is very important to the festival's organisers because they believe that in this way, it is possible to create new art and culture daily. Also, it is important for them to have something for everybody, so that children, teens, young adults, families and elders can all unite and have a great festival.
“We enjoy different types of arts and so does our audience, so we have new festivals every year, but we also repeat the ones that have won a special place in people's hearts. In 2014, for example, we will have the “Message On the Wall” street art festival, the international theatre festival “MONOMAFFIA”, the street festival “Hõlp”, the night of arts “August Insomnia”, a storytelling festival, and also a festival for kids called “Childhood Magic”. This is only to name a few, but there are several other events going on at the same time as Pärnu Fringe, and they are all connected to theatre, art, music and culture,” says Barbara Lehtna on the soul of this year's event.
Summertime is a period when festivals bloom one after another; sometimes they share the same dates. Actually, one way to spend summer is to travel from festival to festival. What makes the Pärnu Fringe Festival different from other similar events in Europe?
Definitely the atmosphere of our city, which is not a very big resort town near the sea and the sun. Yet, this town hosts many different festivals and many of our participants have told us that the welcoming feeling here is superb. Also, the mixing of the arts, because we are not so focused on just theatre or music or art, but the synergy between all of these fields. Also, there is a possibility for the artists to gather up and share their ideas and thoughts.
Could you please mention one or two super-highlights from each program section that one should not miss?
The street art festival "Message On the Wall" – painting the bridge; this year the artists from Estonia and elsewhere are taking on the oldest bridge of Pärnu to make it a happening for the people of the city.
The international theatre festival "MONOMAFFIA" – this year, the oldest of the Pärnu Fringe festivals is focusing on stories that are usually not told. A wide selection of performances from the USA, Poland, Finland, Scotland, Greece and Estonia. We are especially happy that we can host Sylvia Milo, who is coming to us straight from the stages of New York to perform the story of Mozart's sister, in the play "Another Mozart".
The children's festival "Childhood Magic" – for one day, our main street will be turned into a magic street filled with fairies, pirates, wizards and so on. There is also a great show program planned for the main stage, and all of the performers have been specially invited because of their suitability for kids of all ages. We especially recommend the program called "Children Do Pop", in which professional bands made up from kids perform various covers of popular songs from a variety of times.
The street festival "Hõlp" – this street festival brings the Fringe atmosphere to the city. A wide-scale program with very diverse musicians, theatre artists, visual artists and so on. One of the most interesting performances will most likely be a show introducing “acroyoga”, in which the artists combine yoga and acrobatics in a manner that is beyond description.