May 15th- 20th
An explosion of creative energy is in store for Downtown Norfolk! This year’s VAF Fringe Festival returns for five days of up-close, experimental and unique arts experiences in venues across Downtown Norfolk’s official arts district, the NEON District.
What is a Fringe Festival?
Fringe Festivals began in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947. There, a number of performing artists who were not official participants of the Edinburgh International Festival decided to produce their own work in empty stores and church basements. Thus, their work was staged literally “on the fringe” of the established festival. The concept was an immediate success and the Fringe soon became just as popular as the “official” Festival. Today, Fringe Festivals around the world vary, lasting from a few days to a few weeks involving multiple venues. Shows are kept brief and technical requirements simple, introducing audiences to new genres as a performing arts “smorgasbord.”
The 2018 Schedule of Fringe
The Hot Sardines
Fueled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, the Hot Sardines are on a mission to make old sounds new again. They have been featured at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival, and have sold out NYC venues from Joe’s Pub to Bowery Ballroom. “Unforgettably wild…consistently electrifying. A live music powerhouse” (The Boston Globe).
Found Footage presents "Cherished Gems"
This live comedy show features the funniest, weirdest and most outrageous video clips ever dug up on VHS. Host Joe Pickett (The Onion) scours thrift stores and garage sales around the country and serves up the highlights, complete with live commentary and where-are-they-now updates on these video relics that can't be seen anywhere on the internet. From corny safety videos to cable access weirdos, the FFF resurrects its most cherished gems in a hilarious hour of VHS insanity.
It's hard to believe sixteen strings can deliver this much power and this much joy—but this two-guitar/upright bass trio brings the heat, and brings fans to their feet. Playing Django Reinherdt-inspired jazz, be-bop, gypsy folk, swing, funk, blues, and French musette, this Baltimore-based ensemble has played major festivals and stages around the world. "Fast-paced, foot-tapping sound, punchy harmonies and dazzling improvisations—a timeless feat that's fit for a party" (Baltimore Magazine)
Drawing on its members’ global backgrounds (Greece, Argentina, Japan, Colombia, USA), Banda Magda whips up South American rhythms, jazz improvisation, cinematic arranging, sophisticated audience participation, and songs sung directly to your soul in six languages. “Endlessly charming…The wildly charismatic Magda (her sensual, knotted English could charm a stuck bull) began the set with a slithering ethno-gypsy number that sounded like Beirut doing tango. From space odyssey guitar to a flurry of Rhodes piano play, Magda and her Banda put on a rhythmically illustrious show that was nothing short of inspirational” (Dallas Observer).
Musical satirist and comedian Katie Goodman's hit off-Broadway solo show I Didn't F*ck It Up received a Time Out New York Critic's Pick for Best Cabaret. Her comedy music videos have amassed over 2 million hits on Youtube and several more million on Facebook; now you can see this "joyously vulgar, smart, multi-talented femme-extraordinaire" live (Los Angeles Examiner)!
Adult language and content.
Best known for penning hit records for pop artists including Kelly Clarkson’s 2018 Grammy-nominated single “Love So Soft,” Rihanna’s “California King Bed,” Kesha’s “Timber,” and Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood’s “Something’ Bad,” this singer/songwriter has now released her own debut album, Colored. Showcasing her powerhouse vocals and her ability to combine poignant lyrics with unforgettable melodies, Colored is a genre-blending album that incorporates elements of pop, R&B, and country music with soulful undertones. Catch her live at Fringe!