MOST SHOWS EVER: Fringe-goers will have a record 176 choices after a couple of out-of-town acts dropped out.
IMPROVED FRINGE WEBSITE: Look for a more user-friendly mobile app that will make it easier for smartphone users to access the upgraded fringe website. The enhanced search function will be appreciated by veteran and rookie fringers alike.
NEW SET-UP: Old Market Square is being reconfigured again, with the Info Tent and a performers' soapbox taking over the Red River College courtyard. The vendor villages will line up along Arthur and Albert streets. Local galleries are getting together to show their works at an Art on the Fringe exhibit, also on Albert, near McDermot Avenue.
INTRODUCING A NEW MAIN VENUE: The 210-seat Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at the University of Winnipeg will help create a secondary fringe hub around the Muriel Richardson Auditorium at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the two stages at Prairie Theatre Exchange and U of W's Asper Centre for Theatre and Film.
FRINGE FLYER BUS HAS NEW ROUTE: The free shuttle will only loop from Market Avenue, down Portage to the WAG on Memorial Boulevard and back again. Dropped from the route is The Forks stop. The hope is to keep to a posted schedule, making the bus more convenient to fringe-goers.
BUDDY PASS HAS PASSED: It has been folded into the Frequent Fringer Pass, which this year costs $94 for 12 admissions. The FFP-holder will be able to see shows with multiple companions, just like the Buddy Pass allowed.
THE NOT-SO-SECRET CABARET: The midnight performers' showcase has always been reserved for people in the know, but this year for the first time it has gone public, with a writeup in the program. Doctor Caligari's Cabaret of Change happens at midnight on July 23 at the Tom Hendry Warehouse. Tickets are $10 with the proceeds split between Winnipeg Harvest and the Winnipeg fringe volunteer program.
LIVE KARAOKE: Close out your fringe festival in style at the Cube on July 29 from 9 to 11 p.m. by watching your favourite performers channel their inner Miley Cyrus backed by the Danny Kramer Band.
READ ALL ABOUT IT: The Free Press is your source for comprehensive fringe coverage, with all 176 shows being reviewed by Sunday on our website. Starting Thursday, look for our daily newspaper pullout section full of fringe features, reviews and news that will be available at most show venues and the Free Press News Café, 237 McDermot Ave.