About

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We’ll Never Forget Our First.

Over 32,000 attendees. More than 20 venues in and around downtown Rochester. Over 120 different productions. And rave reviews from critics, news outlets, bloggers and festival goers alike. The first-ever First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival was one of the most successful Fringe Festivals in the nation. And one of Rochester’s most successful first-time festivals. The Fringe was such a hit, we’ll be back and bigger than ever in 2013. Let’s put on a show!

For the Uninitiated.

In case you missed the first Fringe, allows us to enlighten you. The Fringe is an all-out, no-holds-barred, multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts festival. The Fringe features international, national and local artists. It showcases theater, comedy, visual arts, family entertainment, music, dance, physical theatre, street theatre, musical theatre, opera, poetry, literature and experiences that have yet to even be imagined!

The Fringe History.

The Fringe is a not-for-profit corporation pioneered by several of Rochester’s cultural institutions: Geva Theatre Center, George Eastman House and Garth Fagan Dance, as well as emerging groups such as PUSH Physical Theatre and Method Machine. Our Board has expanded to include the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, RIT, Boylan Code, and Mengel Metzger Barr. Numerous colleges, government representatives and philanthropic organizations have joined to support the festival.

What is a Fringe?

In 1947, eight theatre groups crashed the newly established and curated Edinburgh International Festival. Uninvited and unwelcome, the groups performed anyway at venues they arranged themselves. The following year, Scottish journalist Robert Kemp coined the term “fringe festival” to describe these non-juried shows. The Edinburgh Fringe is now “the largest show on earth,” as it is nicknamed. The 2011 festival saw 41,689 performances of 2,542 shows in 258 venues and lasted the entire month of August. It grosses over $100 million annually for the Scottish economy. Venues run the gamut from proper theatres to a public restroom. Today, there are over 200 fringe festivals worldwide, with around 50 occurring in the US.