Getting The Show on the Rogue
The 19th Annual Rogue Performance Festival will be March 6-14, 2020 in Fresno, California.
Rogue Festival is one of several “Fringe Festivals” found all across the world, celebrating the independent artist rather than established arts institutions. Rogue audiences will see every kind of art and entertainment – theatre, music, dance, spoken word, performance art, puppetry, physical theatre, and magic acts. Many of the acts are originally written and developed by the artists performing them, which means audiences enjoy art of a kind they’ll never experience anywhere else.
Rogue Festival performances are held in rapid rotation – no show is longer than 1 hour, intermissions between shows are only a half-hour, and most Rogue shows cost $12 or less. Shows also start exactly on-time. Always.
The Rogue Festival is also a non-juried festival, meaning that organizers don’t decide in advance what is presented. Performance slots are assigned via an application lottery and there are no prizes given or judging of content. The audience decides for itself what it likes and doesn’t like, so the Rogue Festival encourages word-of-mouth and online reviews from attendees.
Audiences can purchase tickets to shows online in advance or purchase at the door on arrival. The Rogue’s format is designed to give maximum choice to audiences and performers. All Rogue Festival box office sales go directly to the performers.
Attendance and Participation: Over its 10-day run in 2016, the performance festival issued over 9,400 tickets to 68 performers of 294 shows. Comparatively, the first year’s festival in 2002 had 12 performers with 48 shows, and in 2005 the Festival had 40 performers with 120 shows and 4,800 tickets sold.
Box Office goes to performers, not the festival: The festival pays 100% of the ticketed prices to participating artists. In 2016, Rogue Festival performer payouts totaled over $55,800. Rogue Festival operates on sales of one-time $3 wristbands that act as an entry ticket to the entire festival and on local donations.
Non-Juried Festival: The Rogue Festival is an annual, non-juried performance festival, which means all performer slots are booked via a random lottery with no adjudicating of content or style. The non-juried rule allows artists to be free with their chosen subjects and allows audiences to decide for themselves what they like and don’t like.
Origins: Rogue Festival was the brainchild of Marcel Nunis in 2002 and based on fringe festivals in San Francisco and Edinburgh, Scotland. The first festival was located at Fresno’s Sanctuary Youth Center. The festival was so popular, it had to be moved to the Tower District for more performers and a wider variety of audiences. The Rogue Festival has operated in Fresno for 19 consecutive years.
Venues: The venues at the Rogue Festival are a combination of local blackbox theatres, clubs, coffee shops, art galleries, and businesses with a patio that can be converted to a performance area. This year, the Festival will have 11 venues. Venues always start shows on-time.