Vancouver Fringe Festival. Photo: Vancouver Fringe Festival / Lachlan McAdam
Here are three shows you should not miss at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival

The 30th anniversary edition of the Vancouver Fringe Festival is about to get underway and while the shows are always its biggest draw, here are five more reasons to take in this year’s festival.

Granville Island
Granville Island is like a little mini-city with (almost) everything you need to get you through a marathon evening of theatre. Need some sustenance to take you from your first show to your last? Pick up some snacks at the market and tuck it in your bag. But even after the market itself closes at each night there are many restaurants to help keep your energy up. And before anyone points out to us that there are venues beyond Granville Island, we know, but even as the festival grows it remains its focal point. (Photo: Granville Island / Dominic Schaefer).
The Fringe Bar is just one reason to go this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival. Photo by Lachlan McAdam.
The St Ambrose Fringe Bar is the place to be from 7pm onwards, with free entertainment every night. Plus for even more food options there will be food carts in the area each night as well. Be sure to check back later as we present our five picks at the St Ambrose Fringe Bar this year! (Photo: Vancouver Fringe Festival / Thorsten Gohl).
Volunteers
Volunteers are the heart of the Festival. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the volunteers from the completion of their appointed duties. Even when they are asked where the nearest washroom is fifty times a night, it is rarely without a smile. The backbone of the Fringe is its volunteers. Be sure to thank them. (Photo: Vancouver Fringe Festival / Michael Sider).
Chocolate
Chocolate is everywhere! Chances are you won’t leave the Fringe without being offered a piece or two of the yummy Camino chocolate. This fair trade brown goodness seems to be everywhere each year. It is always great for that extra bit of energy you might need as you sprint from Performance Works to the Revue Stage.
The Line-ups
Line-ups don’t have to be boring! Vancouverites have always maintained that meeting new people in our fair city is tough. Don’t be shy, we’re all there for the same reason and we’ve yet to meet anyone waiting in a line-up for a show who isn’t interested in hearing about your must-see shows. What better way to find a new friend (or more?) than in a Fringe line-up … which begs the question, just what is the Fringe hook-up rate? And then there are the performers themselves who make endless loops to the line-ups drumming up interest for their own shows. Be friendly, engage with them and be open to the possibility. They are putting themselves out there and at the very least deserve your respect. Besides, their show just may very well be the best of the Fringe. (Photo: Vancouver Fringe Festival / Daisy Yang).

The 30th annual Vancouver Fringe Festival runs September 4-14 on Granville Island (and beyond).  Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.