The performer of a controversial show who sued the Minnesota Fringe Festival after his work about child-sex won a lottery slot for the 2016 festival, then was later rejected, is dropping his lawsuit.
Sean Neely (above) was able to perform his show in the 10-day festival, which concluded the second week of August. That was part of the requirement for dropping the suit, Neely’s attorney said.
“Since the day the lawsuit began … we’ve always said that if they 1) acknowledge that Sean was inappropriately excluded from the 2016 Fringe and they give him his slot back, and 2) reaffirm their commitment to not censoring work from the Fringe based on the content of the show, then we'll drop the suit,” said attorney Ochen Kaylan.
Those conditions have been met, Kaylan said.
Neely’s eponymous show, formerly titled “Having Sex With Children in My Brain,” came off uneventfully in 2017 festival.
The recently concluded festival, the 24th, drew 46,076 attendees to 167 shows at 17 venues in Minneapolis. That’s down slightly from the nearly 48,000 who attended last year’s festival. The attendance figures for the festival have hovered around those numbers for the past decade, while peaking at the 50,000 mark in 2010, ’14 and ’15.
Box office sales for 2017 totaled $302,843, the festival's new executive director, Dawn Bentley, reported. Seventy percent of that, or $212,500, was passed on to Fringe artists, she said.
The five top-selling shows in 2017 were, in order, “Couple Fight 3: Weddings!”; “The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!”; “Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign”; “Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners”; and “Medusa.”
The dates for the 2018 Minnesota Fringe — the 25th— have been set for Aug. 2-12, 2018.