Construction begins on Spiegeltent ahead of Rochester Fringe Festival

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — With the Rochester Fringe Festival set to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 12, crews are working to set up the iconic Spiegeltent at Main and Gibbs streets.

The Spiegeltent will host comedy, a silent disco, a Shakespeare performance, and more during the festival. It’s from Antwerp, Belgium and is nearly 10 feet larger in diameter than previous Spiegeltents at Fringe. The Spiegeltent was originally created as a traveling dance hall in the early 1900s, only a handful exist.

The 12-day festival runs through Saturday, Sept. 23 with more than 500 performances. Out of those, 118 will be free including. You can see the full lineup here.

This year’s lineup includes acts that incorporate music, dance, comedy, film, danger, magic, and interactive experiences. More than 30 venues will host shows including Parcel 5, the Little Theatre, Java’s Café, the Eastman School of Music, and the George Eastman Museum.

Here are some of the performers at this year’s festival:

  • Cirque Inextremiste: The acclaimed French stunt group will perform on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16 at Parcel 5. The performance, called EXIT, is free. It features tightrope-walking and other quirky circus stunts.
  • The Fanzinis: Did you know Monroe County has a sister county in Ireland? That county is sending a world-renowned group of street theatre artists, The Fanzinis, to the Rochester Fringe Festival. They’re described as “world-class Olympian-level idiots” and will perform an acrobatic-comedy mashup. The show is free. It’s on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16 at Parcel 5. There’s also a show on Sept. 17 at the Spiegelgarden.
  • Circolombia: The Columbian circus will take the stage at Spiegeltent every evening of the festival starting on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Tickets start at $30. Circolombia’s charismatic cast melds jaw-dropping acrobatic skills, high-intensity Latin dance and music, and a uniquely modern circus aesthetic to create a world-class entertainment experience

The Rochester Fringe Festival is the largest multidisciplinary performing arts event in New York State. Since debuting in 2012, the festival has drawn more than 670,000 visitors from all over the world. Rochester is one of 250 cities worldwide that hold Fringe Festivals.