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City of Rochester

Rochester Fringe Festival

The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival takes place annually in September. In 2013, the festival doubled in size from five to ten days and attracted more than 50,000 people to its performances at more than two dozen official venues in and around the East End.  


Bandaloop 2013

In addition to shows at the venues, the Fringe Fest also included:

  • Two FREE Bandaloop performances at Manhattan Square Park,
  • 10 days of programmed shows at the Spiegeltent, located on the corner of Main Street and Gibbs Street. Rochester's Fringe Festival is the first Fringe festival in North America to feature this amazing tent! Unique shows like Cirque de Fringe and the Silent Disco will take place in this spectacular tent, and
  • Two days of festival fun on Gibbs Street.

Why is it called a Fringe Festival?

In 1947, eight theatre groups turned up – uninvited – to perform at the newly established Edinburgh International Festival. The groups performed at venues they arranged themselves. The following year, Scottish journalist Robert Kemp coined the term “fringe festival” to describe these renegade performers. Today, there are more than 200 fringe festivals worldwide, with over 20 existing within North America, including Toronto, New York City, Hollywood, Chicago, and Orlando. Each fringe festival is a creative and economic engine for its host communities.

A crowd is dazzled by aerial dancers, Bandaloop, at Manahttan Square Park 


General festival questions? Call the Rochester Fringe Festival office at (585) 454-9460 or visit www.rochesterfringe.com for complete schedules, list of venues, and all things Fringe! 


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