Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Many of the answers can be found in the handy dandy quick reference guide below.

For Participants

How do I submit a show?

Sign up for a free account at backstage.rochesterfringe.com starting on April 1st, 2018 and log in. Fill in the no-fee application form and select the venues you wish to apply. You will then hear back from the venues directly. Submissions close April 30th. Take note.

Interested in performing on Gibbs Street on Fringe Main Stage? Our all-music outdoor venue is a fan favorite as well as with bands and musicians the world over. The Fringe books the shows at Gibbs Street. Send your band/musician materials to ben@rochesterfringe.com during our application period: April 1 - 30, 2018.

Street performer? We love you. You add so much fringe to our September. An audience favorite every year, you continue to surprise and delight all at the Fringe. Street performers are booked by the Fringe. Interested? Send details to streetperformer@rochesterfringe.com by July 1st, 2018.

How is programming handled?

Venues determine their own programming. Venues may program from the artist submissions and/or select their own performers and/or artists.

What sort of information do I need in my application?

A synopsis of your show, your bio, prior reviews, photos, links to online video and details of your tech requirements are all very helpful to venue managers.  In short, sell your show to your venues of choice!

May I perform at more than one venue?

We have a one show/one venue rule. Once you confirm your show with a venue, you cannot perform that same show at any other venue. In the Fringe Guide, your show will be listed as playing at one venue only. If you are an actor in a play or a musician in a band, you may perform at more than one venue IF you are also in a totally different play or band. (For example, John Doe can perform in Romeo & Juliet at Blackfriars and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Writers & Books, but the same exact production of Romeo & Juliet cannot be performed at more than one venue.)

What if I need to submit multiple productions?

You are welcome to submit more than one production to the Fringe. We simply ask that you use one, unique email address per show submission. Should you need an extra address, we suggest a free service such as Gmail or Yahoo.

What does the registration/marketing fee cover?

  • Inclusion in the Fringe Guide
  • A centralized box office with online, phone, and in-person ticket sales
  • Fringe 101 webinar
  • Participant support, including accommodations guidance, technical support, etc.
  • Promotion of the Fringe as a whole
  • Opportunity for exposure to entertainment industry promoters (promoters, producers & scouts frequently attend fringe festivals in search of new talent)

What are the costs?

Click here for a detailed breakdown.

How much will tickets cost?

It will be up to the show and the venue; the Fringe recommends a top price of $18 in the spirit of an all-inclusive Fringe.

Can participants sell tickets on their own?

No. All ticket sales will be processed through our box office.

I have an idea for a venue in a non-traditional space. How does that work?

Site specific work is one of the highlights of Fringe Festivals worldwide. Previous shows at the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival have taken place in parked cars, a bus, a pup tent, a hot tub and a patio. In other festivals worldwide, non-traditional venues have included empty swimming pools (Philly Fringe), elevators (Edinburgh Fringe), and even a phone booth (Edinburgh Fringe). If you have an idea for a non-traditional space that is either within the footprint or within an easy walk of Gibbs Street, then please email info@rochesterfringe.com by April 30, 2018 or click “site specific work” in the application process online. Site specific spaces are approved by the Fringe board on a case by case basis.

How do I register my venue?

The Fringe Board of Directors adds venues on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in becoming a venue in 2018, please contact info@rochesterfringe.com


General Questions

What is the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival?

The KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival is an annual, 11-day celebration of the performing and visual arts in Rochester, New York.  It is modeled after the Edinburgh Fringe, and is one of 50 fringe festivals nationwide in the U.S. and 300 worldwide.

It is run by the non-profit Rochester Fringe Festival Inc.

Where will the Fringe be held?

The East End of Rochester serves as the Fringe hub with food, drink, free outdoor entertainment, a ticket booth, merchandise, street performances, buskers and a party atmosphere. The Fringe footprint also includes a satellite hub in the Neighborhood of the Arts such as the George Eastman Museum, School of the Arts, Writers & Books, MuCCC, Central Library and the Planetarium.

How is the Fringe funded?

The Fringe is funded through grants, sponsorships, and ticket sales.

Who can participate in the shows at the Fringe?

ANY artistic project can potentially become a Fringe show.

In order to participate, a show must fill in an application form (after logging in) at backstage.rochesterfringe.com starting April 1st and running through April 30th.  During the application process, a show will select the venues to which they wish to submit. The application then goes to these venues automatically where they consider whether they wish to book the show. There is NO fee to apply.

What kind of shows are typically included in a Fringe Festival?

Every Fringe is different. The one common denominator is the welcoming, diverse, all-in atmosphere. The Fringe is open to all: theatre, comedy, dance, music, visual art, musical theatre, children’s entertainment, performance art, cabaret, circus, spoken word, physical theatre and more. Go ahead, we love surprises.

How long are Fringe shows?

Fringe shows typically run about 60 minutes and have at max a 15-minute load-in and 15-minute load-out. With all due respect to the art of the set, costumes, and props, the Fringe celebrates the performance itself above all. Keep it simple! A four-hour rendition of Nicholas Nickleby might be a fine show, but it’s really not Fringe-worthy.

Still have questions?

Contact us at info@rochesterfringe.com. We’re nice. Promise.