RIT Joins Partnership to Debut First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

Four-day event this fall will take place throughout city’s East End

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Rochester Institute of Technology joins a variety of local businesses and cultural organizations to introduce the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. The inaugural event will take place Sept. 20–23 in downtown Rochester’s East End.

“The term ‘fringe festival’ was coined to describe independent shows that sprang up around the official Edinburgh International Festival in 1947,” explains Eric Fee, festival producer. “Rochester’s four-day Fringe will also have that fun, expect-the-unexpected feel, while showcasing everything from theater and dance, to visual arts and music, to comedy and family entertainment.”

In the tradition of most fringe events, the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival will act as a facilitator, allowing individual venues to choose and produce their own shows based on applications from artists, groups and producers. Applications will be accepted at www.rochesterfringe.com through April 14.

This becomes the only fringe fest in New York outside of New York City, although there are nearly 20 similar events taking place across the U.S. and about 200 worldwide. Organizers predict that Rochester’s event will draw a minimum of 15,000 audience members in its first year.

“The range of Rochester’s creative assets is matched only by the diversity of our community, all of which is certain to be evident at the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “RIT is proud to lend its support and encourage the campus community to leverage this opportunity as a showcase for its remarkable artistic achievements.”

Along with title sponsor First Niagara Bank, RIT joins additional Fringe partners such as the University of Rochester, Rochester Area Community Foundation, SUNY Geneseo, Constellation Brands, the City of Rochester, COMIDA and Nazareth College.