Rogue Festival 2012 is here. Rogue loyalists have been counting down the days, picking out shows to see and gearing up for a busy weekend of alternative performing arts.
But let’s say you’re brand new to this Rogue Festival thing and you’re not quite sure what it’s all about. That’s understandable. It’s quite the hard-to-tackle beast for a newbie.
That’s why we’ve been putting together our Rogue FAQ for a few years now. It’s helpful for the casual Rogue fan or the wide-eyed newbie to review before heading out to see some shows.
Got further questions? Leave ‘em below and we’ll do our best to help. If you need show recommendations, come back to site, because we’ll have reviews rolling in throughout the weekend. Here are some best-guess picks from Donald and myself to get you started.
You might also peruse the archives from previous Rogues, as we have A LOT of reviews from years past and many of the performers — folks like Barry Smith, Kurt Fitzpatrick, Katherine Glover and Benjamin Boone — are back again.
THE ROGUE FAQ
What the heck is a fringe festival?
It’s exactly what it sounds like — a festival that’s on the fringe of the mainstream. In the case of the Rogue, it’s made up of an assortment of alternative arts — theater, music, dance, film, etc. — none of which are of the highly commercial variety. The festival is nonjuried, which means there’s nobody saying which shows get admitted and which don’t.
Who are the performers?
Rogue performers range from touring performers who make a living on the fringe festival circuit to local people looking for a place to perform. While most performers are from the Fresno/Clovis area, the Rogue often attracts performers from around the country and even the world.
What are the Rogue venues?
There are 14 Rogue venues, mostly in the Tower District. Mainstage venues — Starline, Diana’s, Neighborhood Thrift and Tower Lounge — house the biggest shows. Cafe venues — Veni Vidi Vici, Spectrum Gallery and Broken Leg Stage — have more intimate events. Bring Your Own Venues include Severance Theater, Tower Theatre, The Voice Shop, Studio 74, Full Circle Brewing Co. and more.
View Rogue Festival in a larger map
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.com and 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.