Rochester Fringe Festival

The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival takes place annually in September. Since its inception in 2012, the festival doubled in size from five to ten days and has attracted more than 50,000 people to its performances at more than two dozen official venues in and around the East End.  

For complete details on shows, venues, free offerings, and all things Fringe, check out or email questions to   


Bandaloop 2013

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? Send an email or visit  


Things To Do