Joywave headlines 10th annual Rochester Fringe Festival, full lineup announced

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Do you feel the waves yet? The lineup for the 2021 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival was announced Wednesday, and its headlined by nationally recognized Rochester rock band Joywave

The 10th annual festival will include more than 425 in-person and online events ranging from comedy and dancing to music, theatre, and visual arts, among other areas.

Returning events include Silent Disco, Gospel Sunday, Fringe Street Beat, Kids Day and the Pedestrian Drive-In, and much more.

Joywave will perform as part of a "mini music festival" at the city’s "Meet Me @ the Five" space on the former Parcel 5 site in downtown Rochester.

Sadly, organizers say the Cristal Palace Spiegeltent, a rare “mirror tent” from Belgium, will not be back after all. The tent’s owners were not able to secure work visas to allow them to travel from Belgium to the United States. In its place, the festival will be bringing in an Italian Circus tent, which will stay up for all 12 days of the event.

Several other new venues have been added.

The festival previously announced that proof of vaccination will be required for indoor performances.

Founding festival producer Erica Fee elaborated on the decision.

"We’re following Broadway’s lead as well as the lead as many other large performing arts organizations we met with the Monroe County Health Department, we hired the nation’s leading event safety expert and all agreed that mandated the vaccine for those 12 and over was the safest way to ensure that our festival would go ahead," Fee said. "We don’t want to cancel the festival."

She says the policy will be enforced when guests walk in.

"We will be at the door of all of our venues checking vaccines," Fee said. "People can either bring their Excelsior Pass or they can either bring their CDC card and their ID."

While there are several outdoor shows you can attend, the unvaccinated, including those under 12, must wear a mask at outdoor shows as well.

"Masks right now are a changing issue as you know we will be releasing more guidance closer to the event and we expect some things will be changing," Fee said.

The festival will feature more than 120 free shows during its 12 days, ranging from comedy, dance, Kids’ Fringe, and multidisciplinary shows, to music, spoken word, theatre, and visual art and film. After a long year with the pandemic, Fee said the show needs to go on.

"We think it’s important because the performing arts has been the industry that’s been closed the longest and we are a nonprofit organization," Fee said. "We feel we owe it to the performing arts in Rochester and those who are traveling into Rochester and also to our venues to put on this show and do it in the safest way possible. COVID is not going away and I think we realize that so we’re trying to do it in the safest possible way we can."

The festival runs from Sept. 14 through Sept. 25.

Click here for a full list of shows and venues. Tickets can be purchased here.