Nick's Picks: The Fringe Preview

Dumitru Dragos

The first of more than 500 events at the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival kicks off tomorrow in downtown Rochester. Performances and events will be held in more than twenty-five venues throughout the city over a ten-day span from September 14 to 23.

With origins in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947, the Fringe has grown to an international spectacle that is held in cities across the globe. Rochester’s version started in 2012 and has since grown to one of the nation’s largest festivals of its kind, with 68,000 people attending in 2016.

Much of the allure of the Fringe comes from its long, diverse list of exciting free and ticketed events. Live theater and music, old films played on the street at a “pedestrian drive-in,” modern art, drag shows, stand-up comedy, improv theater, street break dancing, magic, and much more will all be on display.

One of the Fringe’s most anticipated free performances takes place from 8 to 9 p.m. this Friday and Saturday night at Parcel 5, next to One East Avenue. Big Bang, put on by Plasticiens Volants, a French street theater company, is a grand display unlike anything most Fringe attendees have ever seen before. Big Bang combines pyrotechnics, projected images, music, and giant inflatable creatures to create a kaleidoscopic, aerial odyssey.

The Spiegelgarden, located at One Fringe Place, acts as the hub of the Fringe for the next ten days. This outdoor lounge features urban landscaping, comfy seating, a fire pit, outdoor art, games, a bar with vast wine and beer selections, and rotating food trucks. There will also be specific events and outdoor movies.

For more Fringe information and a full list of events, visit  Also, look forward to a recap in next week’s Nick’s Pick.

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