The 2014 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival just finished, and I am beyond thrilled, enamored, exhausted, jovial, and pleading for more. I cannot wait until next year. The Fringe Festival is unlike anything I've ever experienced before; thank you, Rochester, for infusing "can't miss" into every moment of your artsy, edgy (and wonderful) madness.
If you're an arts person, an event person, a little bit of everything person, or really, just a person, you will love the Fringe Festival. If you come to Rochester and want to join in on the fun, you can easily find a chance to be a part of it. The University of Rochester is a Fringe Festival leader that supplies a wide range of performances and opportunities.
Photo via John Schlia Photography
So, what is the Fringe Festival?
Great question. I'll leave this to the professionals to answer. Here is an official description from the media team:
The ten-day, 2014 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival took place from Thursday, September 18–Saturday, September 27 with more than 380 shows and events at 25+ venues all over downtown Rochester’s East End, one-third of which were absolutely free. In its inaugural year in 2012, over 32,000 people enjoyed more than 120 shows in 20 venues over five days. In 2013, the Fringe grew to 360 performances in 25+ venues over ten days, attracting more than 50,000 people from all 50 states and five countries.
The crazy thing? This year's ten-day festival brought over 60,000 fringers (that is, people who fringe. Also, the word "fringe" can be used as a verb, adjective, noun, really whatever you need) to the streets. Some of the headliners included SNL's Jay Pharaoh, the Circus Orange, 20 Penny Circus, and more.
I was honored to be able to join the Rochester Fringe Festival blogging team, or Team Blog. This means I had full access to as many shows as my brain (and body) could process. Covering a multitude of events on my blog, The Number Kevin, I specifically focused on all the wonderful events from the University.
UR at the Fringe
I saw a cappella group UR After Hours, the UR Diversity of Dance, the Eastman School of Music's Laptop Orchestra, the UR TOOP (The Opposite of People) production of "The Importance of Being Earnest," which I gave rave reviews, the UR Arts Bus, and much, much more.
In fact, I couldn't make it to even half of all the UR performances. It's what makes the Fringe so exciting. Every time you step out your door, and head toward the magical East End (where the festival occurs), you'll never know what you'll see and you'll never be able to see it all. Every event, performance, and day is its own unique exploration.
Me with the "gentlemen" of Fringe headliners, 20 Penny Circus
UR After Hours
The Diversity of Dance
"The Importance of Being Earnest" photo by Todd Kelmar