Friday at the Fringe Festival: AstroFringe, Circus on Play, and Garth Fagan Dance

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There’s only two days left of the Rochester Fringe Festival. The Fringe will close out with some world-class acts on Friday and Saturday that incorporate music, dance, comedy, film, audience participation, and more.

The 12-day festival, featuring more than 500 acts including 118 free shows, ends on Sept. 23. You can see the full festival lineup and get tickets here. Here are some of the acts on Friday and Saturday:

  • Circus of Play (Friday and Saturday. Tickets required): The Roc City Circus, a venue on 1344 University Ave., is holding performance featuring a flying trapeze, daring aerial acts, acrobats, and more that’s suitable for all ages. The performances begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s performance begins at 2 p.m.
  • AstroFringe (Friday and Saturday. Free): The Rochester Museum and Science Center is holding a stargazing event at Parcel 5. More than 60 experts will bring their telescopes to observe planets and stars. Attendees will get solar eclipse viewing glasses for the total eclipse next April. The event begins at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
  • Garth Fagan Dance (Friday and Saturday. Tickets required): Garth Fagan Dance, the renowned dance studio founded by the choreographer of Broadway’s The Lion King, will hold performances on 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Fringe Street Beat (Saturday. Free): Street Beat, an annual freestyle dancing competition, is returning to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. Dancers from Rochester and beyond will battle in 3-on-3 teams to win the title of Fringe Street Beat Champions, which comes with a $1,200 prize. The preliminary round runs from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Then, the finals run from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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.

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.

During the Fringe, Circolombia, an award-winning Colombian circus, is taking the stage at the Spiegeltent every evening except for Monday, Sept. 18. Tickets start at $30. The circus features jaw-dropping acrobatic skills, high-intensity Latin dance and music, and a uniquely modern circus aesthetic. You can see a list of times here.

Rochester Fringe Festival CEO and founder Erica Fee was living in London, working at the original fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, when she had the idea of bringing a similar festival to Rochester.

“I always thought that Rochester would be a perfect place for a fringe festival,” she said. “Actually, the University of Rochester thought the same thing. It was one of things where a few people have the same idea at the same time.”

Twelve years later, performers from across the globe join folks from right here in the Finger Lakes region to put on all kinds of multidisciplinary performances.

“They tend to highlight new work,” she said. “So we have emerging artists to superstar artists, often trying out new things, often mashing up with others.”