View our other publications:

Rochester's KeyBank Fringe Festival Is back for a sixth run

Five-hundred performances at more than twenty-five venues in just ten days is the perfect recipe for one bifurcated, creative festival. Rochester’s KeyBank Fringe Festival will begin on Thursday September 14 and finish on Saturday September 23. With comedian John Mulaney as the headliner and the anticipation of the United States premiere of Plasticiens Volants’ Big Bang, this year’s fringe is sure to stand out.

Rochester’s fringe is one of many fringes across the world but has quickly become one of the most successful in the country. In six short years, Rochester has grown to adore the festival, with more than 68,000 attendees in 2016. And while every fringe is different, they all celebrate something special.

“They come in many different shapes and sizes, but are united in their dedication to providing platforms for artists to bring their work to new audiences, allowing them to share their ideas and develop their skills,” says Erica Fee, Rochester Fringe Producer.

The majority of the productions are submitted by fringe performers to the venues themselves including Java’s Cafe, the George Eastman House, Writers & Books, and School of the Arts. From there, the venues choose who they want to perform at their sites. It is a unique model based on the original Edinburgh Fringe.

“This year’s shows include compelling, uplifting, thought-provoking, hilarious, unexpected, immersive, silly, important, raw, polished, and indescribable offerings that once again range from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the local to the global, and from Fringe favorites to world premieres,” says Fee. “We encourage audiences to be just as adventurous and to explore the possibilities!” 

In addition to the theatrical performances, dance shows and comical events, Rochester’s Fringe is also adding a few new things to the week. Farm to Fringe, a partnership with local farms, will bring a beer, wine and spirits tasting, pumpkin carving, and afternoon tea to the streets. Head to the Spiegelgarden for the 3D Sound Experience in the Immersive Igloo, “an ambient, electronic soundscape housed within a glowing, forty-foot, inflatable igloo,” according to a statement.

The crowd-favorite Cirque de Fringe: Eclectic Attraction will return to the Spiegeltent as well as the sell-out hit Silent Disco.

Although the festival is still two months away, (585) is already feeling the fringe. For tickets, a full schedule and more information, visit

Subscribe to our newsletter