May 18-19, 2018

Right, so what actually is a Fringe Festival anyway? In 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, performing artists who were not official participants of the Edinburgh International Festival decided to produce their own work in empty stores and church basements - literally “on the fringe” of the established festival. The concept really took off, and we are glad to now have Fringe Festival back in the NEON District, where you can experience all the weird, hilarious, experimental fun with back-to-back, up-close, unique experiences in the NEON venues you know and love.

With so many Fringeworthy events going on, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. That's okay -- that's normal. And that's why we are here to help you Choose Your Own Fringe Experience.


You can start your Friday night off at 8pm one of three ways: 

Paint the town and all that jazz as The Hot Sardines makes old sounds new again at Commune. This electrifying band out of New York City will have you on your feet dancing to jazz, swing, ragtime, and more. Seriously, they are awesome and you shouldn't miss them.

Laugh yourself silly at Found Footage Festival presents "Cherished Gems," the live comedy show featuring some of the funniest and most bizarre video clips that host Joe Pickett (The Onion) has ever dug up. This show is at Push Comedy Theater and only an hour long, giving you plenty of time to get ready for a later Fringe performance.

If dancing isn't your preferred form of physical activity, let's not forget it is officially Bike Month in Norfolk. The Glow Ride launches from The Plot just after 8pm and will take a 5-mile loop through downtown, Harbor Park, and back -- just in time to take in a later Fringe performance. Bring your own bike (plenty of parking in NEON) or use one of the city's Pace bikeshare bikes!

Later in the night:

Keep the jazzy vibe going into the night with Ultrafaux, a jazz trio so lively and powerful that you won't believe there's only three of them. If you started your night with The Hot Sardines, you can keep on moving to Ultrafaux's Django Reinhardt-inspired jazz, be-bop, gyspy folk, swing, funk, blues, French musette, you name it. If you started your night elsewhere, then get on your dancing shoes and join in on the fun! The show starts at 9:30pm at Glass Wheel Studio!

If you didn't catch the 8pm show of Found Footage Festival presents "Cherished Gems," than the 10pm show is your last chance to see all the awkward cable access folks and hilariously terrible local commercials! Don't miss out.


The best part about Fringe Festival is that it isn't just one day of fun: you can come back for more! So after a good night's rest, let's look into your Saturday, shall we?

Some early activities:

It's probably going to be a beautiful Spring day in Norfolk, so why not hit up 17th Annual Virginia Beer Festival in Town Point Park from 2pm to 6pm. Town Point Park is only a short walk or bike ride away from NEON!

You're spending all this time in NEON, so it makes sense that you would check out all the new murals that gives the district it's unique flavor. An informative mural tour leaves from The Plot at 6:30pm and will leave you plenty of time to grab a nearby bite to eat or a quick drink before the rest of the night kicks off!

Saturday night Fringe-watching:

Katie Goodman
is a hilarious American musical satirist and comedian that is sure to ruffle a few feathers - but hey, that's what Fringe Festival is all about, right? Catch her at either 8pm or 10pm at Push Comedy Theater.

For an experience unlike any other, you will want to see Banda Magda at 8pm at Commune. With members from all over the world, the group's sound is eclectic to say the least: you'll hear South American rhythms, jazz improv, cinematic arranging, samba, Greek folk tunes, and more -- there's no telling where Magda Giannikou will take you. 

You know her work, but maybe you don't know her...yet. Priscilla Renea has written hit records for Rihanna, Kesha, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood... and now she's performing for YOU, at 9:30pm at Glass Wheel Studio. This genre-blending singer and lyricist is not one to miss and a great way to end your marathon of a day at Fringe Festival!

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, a jam-packed weekend full of awesome ways to Live on the Fringe. Stay weird, my friends.




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