Applications for BorderLight 2023 are now closed. Thank you to all who applied!

You can learn more about The Fringe, and the history of the BorderLight festival on this page. Please join us at the 2023 festival, August 3-5! This all-fringe festival will focus on domestic artists and will support work at many stages of development.

What is "The Fringe" Anyway?

The “fringe” concept first developed in 1948 in Edinburgh, Scotland, when groups of local actors, performers, and musicians—in reaction to the more conventional lineup of the Edinburgh Theatre Festival—launched an alternative program to run concurrent to the main event. Now almost 73 years later, the term ‘fringe’ widely refers to work that resides on the edges of the mainstream—and fringe festivals have served as a critical launch pad for independent artists to self-produce, showcase original work, engage new audiences, and network with fellow indie artists and producers inside of a vibrant festival environment.

There are now 100s of fringe festivals in North America and across the world... and each has its own structure and personality.

BorderLight is a proud member of the United Association of Fringe Festivals (USAFF) and World Fringe Network.

The Best is Yet to Come

BorderLight has been delighting audiences with fringe performances since 2019. Learn about our history, as well as what we're planning for the future!


BorderLight debuted with 40 productions and special events over 4 days, including work from South Africa, Syria, Mexico, Ireland, and Israel.

See More from 2019


Due to COVID-19, the festival pivoted to a Virtual Fringe Festival, featuring 38 live-streamed and on-demand performances from around the world. 

See More From 2021


BorderLight returned to Downtown Cleveland with 46 shows over 5 days, including work from Germany, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia. 

See More From 2022


BorderLight adopts an annual cadence with its first all-fringe festival!


BorderLight International Festival & Fringe returns.