12-day Fringe Fest kicks off in-person, energy on Tuesday ‘palpable’

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The 10th annual Key Bank Rochester Fringe Festival opened Tuesday, with 425 performances, 90% of which are live and in-person. The Fringe Fest is welcoming participants this year face to face on the corner of Gibbs and Main Street. Last year during COVID it was all virtual, but producer Erica Fee says come on, nothing beats this.

“You know what? The energy is absolutely palpable. It’s very exciting, as you can see, people are very excited,” says Fee.

With performances like ‘Dashboard Dramas’, ‘the Bushwhacked Backyard Bonfire’, and the world premiere of ‘Cirque du Fringe’, dozens and dozens ready to get out, and get back to having fun like it’s 2019. 

“It feels amazing to be back out. I’m done being cooped up,” says Debi ‘Crackerjack’ Mansour, a professional heckler greeting guests (she actually ‘heckles’ people with compliments).

“It’s actually great, I’m enjoying seeing the people coming out…” says Katie Camacho at Chef’s Truck catering.

“We missed it a lot, and I think it’s good for the community that everybody can get together and enjoy this wonderful festival again,” says Jim Maloborski, a Fringe Fest Usher.

And for those worried about safety this year with the Delta variant circulating, Fee says a national expert was brought in to ensure proper precautions.

“We are vaccine-verifying everyone who is going into indoor spaces,” says Fee, adding they will require masking for the fully indoor tents. All performers, staff, and volunteers have to be vaccinated.

“In 10 years we’ve never stopped, but we’re back live and in-person (with) performing arts,” she says.

The Fringe Fest runs for 12 days and ends on September 25th. It will also have events at other venues near the Gibbs and Main site. For a complete list of events, click here.

The Fringe Festival on the corner of Gibbs and Main Street. It runs through September 25th

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