Rochester Fringe returning in hybrid format


Organizers of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival are planning a hybrid experience for the 10th annual festival with in-person and online performances and events on Sept. 14-25.

“Because things are changing so rapidly and will likely continue to do so right up until the festival, we work closely with local, state and federal officials to make sure we have the latest information to make the best decisions,” said Erica Fee, founding festival producer. “We are 100% committed to ensuring the greatest degree of safety possible for both artists and audiences at our 2021 Fringe.”

The nonprofit festival plans to have in-person events in the city of Rochester. Fringe is offering guidance and resources to venues that will allow for the safe return of indoor and outdoor performances. 

“Our city was simply not the same without our lineup of special events last summer, so we are thrilled to hear that some of our most treasured events like the Fringe are planning to put on safe, in-person shows that will allow us to come together once again as a community,” Mayor Lovely Warren said.

Last year’s Virtual Fringe offered more than 170 online productions, giving artists a platform and connecting audiences throughout the community and beyond. The 2019 Fringe featured more than 650 performances and events — over 200 of them free — in 25-plus downtown venues and broke all previous attendance records with more than 100,000 visitors.

“This year’s Fringe won’t look like last year’s or 2019’s, but it will be innovative, creative and unique,” Fee said. “We can’t wait to celebrate our 10th anniversary with both an in-person, local audience as well as an online, global one.” 

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Massaoke performs at the 2019 Rochester Fringe Festival.