Although sell-outs aren’t everything, they do graphically illustrate how the day of the week (and time of the festival) impacts attendance. During Week 1, the number of sellouts on Thursday (Day 1, 2 sellouts) and Friday (Day 2, 1 sellout) is relatively smaller compared to those on Saturday (Day 3, 7 sellouts) and Sunday (Day 4, 12 sellouts).
It’s important to note that weekend days have more performance slots (7) than weekdays (4), and that the second Friday has one additional slot (for a total of 5); however, there is certainly a prominent spike as word of mouth and critical reviews spreads about hot shows.
Some Fringe producers refer to the 5:30 PM Monday slot “the kiss of death” due to the difficulty drawing audiences to this time. Here, the general problem of drawing audiences on a Monday after a busy weekend is illustrated with the steep plunge in the number of sold-out performances. A show that builds momentum during the opening weekend can still do well; one of the two shows that sold out on Monday (Day 5), Broad Sex in the Twin Cities, reached its daily sales peak for the festival with its sellout; the other, Blackout Improv, followed its second-performance sell-out with a sellout on Monday as well.
Although festival exhaustion is certainly present on the last day of the festival (Day 11, also a Sunday), in this case the number of sellouts appears to have been limited by the clustering of sold-out productions at the Rarig-Xperimental and Ritz Studio spaces, which limited these productions’ influence during the encore slot. It also reflects the departure of several touring ensembles whose schedules did not allow for a second Sunday performance.