DATES NEEDED: The festival is April 6-8 Artists usually need April 5-9 or April 4-9. (They need to get into town, settled in and get a rehearsal in before their first show. And Sunday night we have a late night award ceremony to wrap up the festival, so most won't be able to leave until Monday at the earliest.)
Hosting a Fringe artist or two in your home, also known as "billeting," is a great way to meet artists from far and wide, be part of the big weird Fringe family, and see great independent theatre for FREE at the Fringe.
Artist Hosts are a key part of making our festival feasible and attractive to touring companies. Performers from all over the US come to the Pittsburgh Fringe. They cover their own travel expenses to get here, and are paid in box office receipts. To help support the artists, we look for local hosts who are willing to "adopt an artist" for a few nights, allowing them to stay in their home for free.
If you have a spare room with a bed that a visiting artist can call home for the duration of the festival , we will thank you with Fringe passes as outlined below. This way you can enjoy the shows in the festival too!
Many of our hosts return year after year to billet a visiting performer or two - for some people it's their favorite part of the Fringe. Performers rely heavily on the generosity of our community, and we hope this will be a great experience for you.
What you get as a billeting host:
* a VIP pass allowing access to every unsoldout show at the festival per performer billeted. * 2 complimentary tickets to the show of the performer(s) you are billeting.
What an artist hosts provides:
* A clean, semi-private/private place for the performer to sleep (bed, futon, pull-out couch). * A safe place for a performer to leave their belongings. * Somewhere for a performer to have a shower and freshen up. * Access to a kitchen or a place to cook/prepare their meals and clean their dishes. * A key/access to your home to allow the performer to come and go as necessary.
What an artist host does NOT need to provide:
* Groceries/preparing/cooking meals. * Doing a performer’s laundry. * Cleaning up after the performer. * Driving or escorting the performer around town. * Entertaining the performer (or their friends or family). * Providing long distance phone calls. * Use of your personal computer/technology.
Tips for ensuring a fun hosting/billet/performer experience:
* COMMUNICATION is key - make sure you are in touch in advance and communicating. * Make sure expectations are clear on when the artist will arrive, when he or she will depart. * You set your own house rules up front (concerning smoking, for example, or which gender you feel comfortable billeting) * Open communication about what you expect in your home (re: noise, cleanliness, etc). * Discussion about needs, habits, schedules, and overall expectations. * See your performer’s show. * Get to know the performer. * Communicate and chat about their life/work/experiences and your life/work/etc. * Enjoy some (or all) of the Fringe festivities. * Let the Fringe know about your experience. * Tell us what we can do to make our billet program even better.
Please know the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival helps facilitate matching performers with potential artist hosts. We only do this to help performers, many of whom could not otherwise travel from festival to festival, and that this is not part of our usual practice. We absolutely do not guarantee billeting to artists, nor can we guarantee a safe or comfortable environment. If you plan to go this route, it is up to you to follow through with the potential host to ensure you will be safe. It is up to the performer and billeting host to talk with each other to make sure you are both entering into a safe situation. Pittsburgh Fringe only can facilitate an introduction between two people. Often we will have never met either party. It is up to you to make sure you are in a safe environment. We suggest both parties speak through email, and on the phone several times to make sure both are comfortable with the arrangements, and that everyone feels safe. If you are not completely happy with your potential host or performer, please let us know and we will try to find another host or performer. Do not go into a situation with which you are not comfortable. Be smart, and be safe.