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Industrial Engineering

Rochester Fringe Festival

Zhen Zhou on Monday, 21 September 2015. Posted in Festivals

I have been in Rochester for 4 years but this is my first time going to Fringe Festival. Fringe Festival is held in September annually in downtown Rochester. Many performances are gathering here to perform their shows and arts. If you wonder why it is called Fringe Festival as I did, here is the explanation I found on the City of Rochester website:


“In 1947, eight theatre groups turned up – uninvited – to perform at the newly established Edinburgh International Festival. The groups performed at venues they arranged themselves. The following year, Scottish journalist Robert Kemp coined the term “fringe festival” to describe these renegade performers. Today, there are more than 200 fringe festivals worldwide, with over 20 existing within North America, including Toronto, New York City, Hollywood, Chicago, and Orlando. Each fringe festival is a creative and economic engine for its host communities.” — 


RIT is also one of the sponsors for Rochester Fringe Festival and many RIT staff, faculty and students perform in this festival. Our president Dr. Destler also performed this year. We have singers, poetry, photo exhibitions and many other shows offered there. One performance I experienced there was Brick City Singers. Brick City Singers is RIT’s all-male a cappella group and Hawaiian shirt enthusiasts perform a broad repertoire of “good time” music with some wacky antics and amusing skits. I went to the Little Theater on Saturday afternoon around 3:30 and the cafe was already fully packed with audience members. After ordering a cup of coffee, we sat and waited for the show to begin. Around 4 pm fifteen RIT students came onstage with colorful Hawaiian shirts and the show began. They have no instruments so the whole music is their voice which is so beautiful. I feel like I’m in a wonderland with no stress. They performed 4 songs and also a birthday song for a birthday girl at the cafe that day. All the audience gave them a big round of applause. 


Rochester Fringe Festival is also a very good opportunity for RIT students to show our colorful school life and let Rochester residents see more aspects about RIT students.