For Performers

Your Backstage Pass.

How to Apply

Submissions for the 2019 Fringe are currently closed!  We will reopen for submissions spring 2020. 

Performer FAQ

Who Can Participate In The Shows At The Fringe?

Any artistic project can potentially become a Fringe show, provided it is accepted by a venue. The Fringe encourages you, the artist, to become an independent producer. That means all Fringe participants stage, promote and reap the rewards of their own shows. That’s the beauty of Fringe festivals throughout the world: they offer participants a rare opportunity for collaboration, experience, learning, exposure and revenue.

What Kind Of Shows Are Typically Included In A Fringe?

Every Fringe is different. The one common denominator is the welcoming, diverse, all-in atmosphere. The Fringe is open to all: theatre, comedy, dance, music, visual art, musical theatre, children’s entertainment, performance art, cabaret, circus, physical theatre and more. Go ahead, surprise us!

Wanted: Non-Traditional Venues

Non-traditional venues are one of the highlights of Fringe Festivals worldwide. Previous shows at the KeyBank Rochester Fringe have taken place in parked cars, a hot tub and even a camping tent. In other festivals worldwide, non-traditional venues have included empty swimming pools (Philly Fringe), elevators (Edinburgh Fringe), and even a phone booth (Edinburgh Fringe). If you have an idea for a non-traditional space for your performance that is within walking distance of Gibbs Street, please submit it during our application process of March 1-April 15. Site specific spaces are approved by the Fringe board on a case-by-case basis. Questions? Ask now:

Sounds Amazing. How Can I Participate?

To be accepted as a participant in the Fringe, complete the online submission form at, which is open until April 15th.  You may apply to as many venues as you like with the one application form. You will receive responses directly from the venues themselves. Then, as a participant, you will negotiate directly with your desired venue. Like college, you must choose one venue to perform/exhibit in.

Rest assured that the Fringe provides guidelines to both venues and participants to ensure that the spirit and integrity of the Fringe are maintained. The Fringe does not dictate the programming of any venue aside from headliner shows/events, the Spiegeltent and Spiegelgarden and Gibbs Street.

What are the steps for submitting my show?

  1. Set up an online profile at
  2. Fill out the online application. Choose your venues. Click “send” and your application wings its way to all your chosen venues at once.
  3. Wait impatiently to hear back from venues.
  4. Agree on a deal with a venue. Reminder: You can only choose one venue.
  5. Once you have an agreed deal, log back into and register your show.
  6. Pay your registration/marketing fee ($50 for a single performance or non-ticketed show in venues with 99 seats or less, $100 for a single performance or non-ticketed show, or $150 for multiple performances).
  7. Submit your marketing details for the Guide and online schedule. On time, please.
  8. Rehearse!
  9. Put on a show.

Ok, A Venue Has Accepted Me… Now What?

Awesome. please provide the following:

My Venue Requires That I Get Insurance. How Do I Do That?

The Fringe has arranged a short-term deal for insurance with Domenick & Associates of Philadelphia ($105 in 2018) for your entire Fringe run. Some venues may insure the shows themselves. Some shows may be covered by their own participating organizations and universities. But theatres tend to require insurance. Should you need insurance, then visit Domenick & Associates at or email us at

What Does The Registration/Marketing Fee Cover?

  • Inclusion in the Fringe Guide, this website and the Fringe app.
  • A centralized box office with online, phone, and in-person ticket sales.
  • Fringe 101 webinar.
  • Participant support including accommodations guidance.
  • Promotion of the Fringe as a whole.
  • Exposure to arts industry professionals (promoters, producers, scouts and media frequently attend fringe festivals in search of new talent).

Can Participants Also Sell Tickets On Their Own?

No. All ticket sales will be conveniently processed through our box office.

How Much Will Tickets Cost And How Can I Purchase Them?

It will be up to the show and the venue. The Fringe currently recommends a top price of $20. Full ticketing details will be available at a later date.

When Will I Receive My Box Office Settlement?

The Fringe pays all venues within 4 weeks of the Fringe’s closing night. Venues will then pay shows typically within 5 business days of receiving the check from Fringe.

What About Advertising Opportunities?

Happily the Fringe has advertising opportunities in both the Fringe Guide and online at Interested? Reach out:

What About Out-Of-Town Participants?

This is another wonderful thing about fringe festivals: they have a way of generating enthusiastic participation from performers the world over. The KeyBank Rochester Fringe is no different. All international performers and artists must arrange any necessary visas. The Fringe will supply a letter of invitation upon request. Please email [well ahead, please]

What Are The Requirements For Registered Venues?

Programming is up to the individual venue. Also, all details and contracts are negotiated between venues and participants. The Fringe is not involved in this part of the process beyond providing basic guidelines to ensure the spirit and integrity of the Fringe are maintained.

What Do You Mean By “The Spirit And Integrity Of The Fringe?”

Fringe shows typically run about 60 minutes and have at max a 15-minute load-in and 15-minute load-out. With all due respect to the art of the set, costumes, and props, the Fringe celebrates the performance itself above all. Keep it simple! A four-hour rendition of Nicholas Nickleby might be a fine show, but it’s really not Fringe-worthy.

How Is Programming Handled?

Venues determine their own programming. Venues may program from the artist submissions and/or select their own performers and/or artists. Once a show submits its application, it will then hear directly the venues it has chosen.

How Are Participants Paid?

Registered venues are responsible for carrying out the terms of participant payment based on their individual agreements with artists. Some examples of terms include:

  • Guarantee: Set fee for performance; venue then keeps all ticket sales.
  • Box Office Split: For example, 70% of the box office to the participants and 30% to the venue.
  • First Call: For example, participant receives the first $1000; venue then receives the rest.
  • First Call, Second Call, Split: For example, participant receives the first $1000; venue receives the next $1000; participant and venue then split the rest, with 60% to participant.
  • 100% of box office to the participant and bar receipts to venue.
  • 100% of box office revenue to their resident artists in exchange for a fair rental rate.
  • Any other arrangements that are agreeable to both parties.

The Fringe Festival collects 10% of all box office receipts to cover operation costs.

How Do I Register My Venue?

The Fringe Board of Directors adds venues on a case-by-case basis.  No further venues are being added for 2019, but if you’d like to be considered for 2020, please email


Venue Rent

Venue rents vary. Some venues will charge no rent, but will keep a percentage of the box office. Others may charge a small amount but will allow participants’ to keep the box office. State your budget to the venues and try to get the very best deal you can.


The registration costs were:

  • $150 total for multiple performance ticketed shows
  • $100 total for free and/or single-performance shows
  • $50 total for free and/or single-performance shows in venues with 99 seats or less

This registration fee is only payable once you have agreed on a deal with a venue. It is totally free to submit a show! Take a leap of faith.


Budgets vary from production to production. That said, the Spirit of the Fringe tends to call for minimal sets, costumes, props, and equipment. For example, most theatres show at the Edinburgh Fringe had a 5-minute load-in or load-out! The focus should be on the performers, artists, and the work.

Percentage to the Fringe

The Fringe keeps 10% of ticket sales to help cover its costs including marketing, advertising, centralized box office, promotional events, publicity and awesome support for you. This cost is automatically deducted by the box office.


The Fringe will market the festival as a whole. We encourage you to promote your show beyond the Official Fringe Guide and website and our ongoing activities. Reserve some money in your budget for marketing your show. A few excellent ideas:

  • Place an ad in the printed Fringe Guide.
  • Place an ad on the Fringe website.
  • Print flyers, postcards, posters and/or merchandise.
  • Consider digital marketing: email, paid search, display ads, retargeting ads.
  • Invest in social media ads.

Listen, plenty of marketing can be both creative and cost-effective. Use social media, email, mobile and many more channels to save costs. Get creative.


We want to ensure that all shows are protected in the event that something goes wrong. So, like most fringe festivals, we require that shows are insured.

Please check with your venue or sponsoring organization to see if you are already covered by their insurance.

The Fringe Festival requires participants to have commercial general liability, including the following:

Commercial General Liability

  • $1,000,000 each occurrence Bodily Injury and Property Damage
  • $1,000,000 Personal & Advertising Injury
  • $2,000,000 General Aggregate limit
  • $300,000 Damage to Rented Premises
  • $5,000 Medical Expense

If you don’t have the above already, consider buying a Fringe-friendly short term (30 day) policy through Domenick & Associates (only $105 total in 2018). Please visit for details. Contact your venue or us at for more information on insurance.

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