Fringe Festival Guide 2019 

The eighth annual Rochester Fringe Festival kicks off Tuesday, September 10, and continuing its trend of expanding by a full day each year, has reached a stretch of 12 days. This year’s theme is “Leap A Little,” with organizers encouraging audiences to get out of their comfort zones, whether that be the kinds of art you show up to take in, or the new-to-you cultural venues around the city.

Toward that end, the festival is again offering more than 500 shows (more than 150 of them free!) taking place in and around downtown Rochester, and this year has expanded its list of neighborhood venues to include Avenue D Rec Center and Lincoln Library (both presented by Joseph Avenue Arts & Culture Alliance), UUU Art Collective on State Street, and Granite Mills Commons at High Falls — where you can listen to storyteller Nate DiMeo’s Rochester-inspired episode of his podcast “The Memory Palace.”

And this year, Rochester Fringe has partnered with Rochester’s Puerto Rican Festival to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on Friday, September 15, with a free screening of the film “Residente,” (as part of the Pedestrian Drive-in lineup at Spiegelgarden), themed food trucks, and more.

The performing arts-focused festival spans all genres, with many dazzling multimedia shows and events that are appropriate for every age. Dig into this CITY-curated guide to preview this year's headliners, read an interview with French street theater troupe Plasticiens Volants, learn the best bets to grab a bite between events, and get a taste of the wide variety of shows our critics can’t wait to check out.

CITY Newspaper will offer extensive coverage of the 2019 Rochester Fringe Festival. Look out for daily blogs during the run of the fest, with photos and reviews, at We’ll also be sharing posts on our Facebook page ( and Instagram (@roccitynews). And let us know how your Fringe is going on social media with the hashtag #fringeCITY.

For a full schedule of the festival, a list of venues, maps, and other info, see the official Fringe Festival Guide, or visit

In This Guide...

  • Fringe Festival Info

    Everything you need to know to make this year's Fringe Festival a success

  • Underwater City

    Parcel 5 will again host performances by French street theater troupe Plasticiens Volants for the 2019 Keybank Rochester Fringe Festival. The group, based in Graulhet, France, drew large crowds and favorable reviews for their 2017 Fringe appearances.

  • Critics' Picks

    Not sure which shows to see? Our writers have narrowed down the field of over 575 events to their favorites.

  • Food on the Fringe

    Rochester Fringe 2019 is here, offering 12 days of spectacles — some of which you can participate in. Between scurrying from act to act and busting a move at the Silent Disco, you’re going to need to take in some calories between performances.

  • Headliners

    The Fringe-curated headlining shows for 2019 Rochester Fringe.

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