For the first time since 2019, the 11th annual Rochester Fringe Festival returned to full, in-person performances with more than 500 shows and events – including 130 free – in 34 traditional and site-specific venues from September 13-24.
Fringe is bifurcated, meaning the festival curates performances – including large-scale, outdoor shows in public places and the pop-up hub One Fringe Place, which features the Cristal Palace Spiegeltent and Speigelgarden – while independent venues curate remaining shows.
“We were thrilled to bring the joy and wonder of live performance back to our community on a grand scale,” said Erica Fee, Festival Producer.
The first weekend featured the world premiere of The Flying Españas in Flippin’ Metal Circus, a heavy-metal, psychedelic event created for Fringe by the legendary circus company and creative director Matt Morgan; and the U.S. premiere tour of C’est Pas Là, C’est Par Là (It’s Not Here, It’s Over Here) from Marseille, France – a site-specific show conceived by South Korean street artist Juhyung Lee and produced by the arts collective Compagnie Galmae.
Renowned aerial dance company BANDALOOP returned for the first time since 2013, dancing down the 21-story Five Star Plaza building for record-breaking audiences during Fringe Finale Weekend.
On the final Saturday of Fringe, large crowds watched the annual Fringe Street Beat competition, an all-styles dance contest featuring teams from the Northeast.
Crunching the numbers
More than 30% of this year’s ticketed shows were sold-out, including productions presented at Fringe-curated venues, which curate the vast majority of Fringe shows.
The 12-day Rochester Fringe Festival is the largest multidisciplinary performing arts festival in New York State and one of the top attended Fringe Festivals in the United States.
More than 500,000 people have attended approximately 4,500 performances and events since its inception in 2012. The non-profit offers a platform for artists to share creativity and develop skills, while also providing unparalleled public access to the arts.
It strives to be diverse, inclusive, and to stimulate downtown Rochester both culturally and economically while showcasing the work of regional, national, and international artists from emerging to superstar.