Shane R. of Stockton, CA had this to say:
“i am told this is one of the largest independent/fringe arts festivals in the country. ive gone several times now in the last 5 years or so, and almost everything i have seen has been worthwhile. the schedule is packed and the genres are diverse – bands, instruments, one-man plays, improv comedy, cultural sharing, autobiographical presentations, monologues, etc. there is too much to see and not enough time. the performances are spread out over many venues in the tower district, which gave me an opportunity to become more familiar with the area. this year, they revamped their payment system to a ticketing format, which was an improvement. what a great way to spend a weekend afternoon – take in some shows, stroll through the neighborhood, grab a coffee, and people watch. this is something Fresno can actually be proud of.“
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ROGUE FEST
Where do I get tickets?
Rogue has stopped tickets sales at the door and created its own currency, Rogue Bucks. You can buy Rogue Bucks at Tower Theatre, Broken Leg Stage and Starline Grill. Floating Rogue Buck sellers will hang out near Veni Vici, Spectrum Gallery, Diana’s and Neighborhood Thrift. One incentive to buying Rogue Bucks: $20 gets you 22 Rogue Bucks, or $50 gets 60 Rogue Bucks.
How do I plan?
The most important thing is to get your hands on a Rogue Map, which you can grab at any Rogue venue. It has descriptions and times of all the shows that are playing, as well as addresses for venues and ticket prices. Shows start on time, and some don’t allow latecomers. Some only let people in within the first 15 minutes. Check out roguefestival.com for info.
How do I know if a show is any good?
You don’t. That’s half the fun. The Rogue is all about experimentation. You grab a program, read the title and a short description of a show, toss down a few bucks if it sounds interesting, and hope for the best. After the first wave of performances, look for show reviews at roguefestival.comand here at The Beehive.
Is it kid-friendly?
Somewhat. Many of the shows are aimed at a more mature demographic. But some are kid-friendly. The best thing to do is flip through the Rogue guide and look at the ratings.
Where do you park?
There’s a nice big lot behind Sequoia Brewing Co. next to the Tower Theatre. The Dollar Tree lot is always good too. But if those are full, you might have to — brace yourself — park on the street. For those accustomed to strip-mall parking abundance, don’t worry: You can do it. A good street to pick is Linden Avenue, which runs right by Sequoia. You might have to walk a ways, but you’ll usually find a good space.
How did the festival start?
Believe it or not, in a backyard. Rogue founder Marcel Nunis says the genesis of the Rogue was something called “Weed-Whacker Theatre,” which happened in his backyard. The first Rogue was in 2002, at Sanctuary theater in downtown Fresno. Since, it’s gotten bigger every year, growing in venues, performers and attendees. Now in its ninth year, the Rogue is one of the biggest fringe festivals in the West.
What do I do between shows?
Sometimes you might find yourself with an extra hour or two to kill between shows you want to see. Probably the most daring thing to do would be to take a risk on a show that you wouldn’t normally find yourself going to. Sometimes you find the best stuff at the Rogue by stumbling on it. If you’re looking for some R&R, however, stop by one of the places you can find Rogue types hanging out, such as Livingstones, the Starline Grill and Veni Vidi Vici. (These are the best places to pick up word of mouth on what shows are promising.) Or for some decompression time, try a hot beverage at Teazer or the Revue.