Think of it as a big Rogue appetizer plate.
The kickoff of the 14th annual Rogue Festival on Thursday, Feb. 26, is a wonderful way to get a feel for this year’s performer lineup. The festival teaser show at the Tower Theatre will feature 20 performers who will take the stage for two minutes each to preview, pitch and entice — and sometimes outright cajole — audience members to get out to see their full shows.
The Rogue, which has evolved into a sturdy Fresno fringe-festival tradition, opens the next day, on Friday, Feb. 27, and continues through March 7. More than 60 different acts will play in nine venues.
A hallmark of the Rogue is that it’s a non-juried festival, which means you can very easily run across a mix of great stuff and — how to put this kindly? — not-so-great stuff. One of the advantages of attending the teaser show is that you can ferret out some of the best options for yourself.
Jonathan Hogan and Blake Jones, as co-hosts, will offer some comedic interludes during the show, which is a festival fundraiser.
Along with the 20 official teaser acts, other performers will be in the Tower Theatre lobby hawking their acts before the show (lobby doors open at 6 p.m.) and during intermission.
A bar will be located in the Tower Theater Lounge (the space that used to be the Tower Cafe) next to the theater on the Olive Avenue side.
The festival is instituting some ticketing changes this year, including the abolition of “Rogue Bucks” and the introduction of advance online ticketing. Also required this year for the first time are Rogue Bracelets, a one-time purchase at $3, which are required for admission to any event. (Because the performers get 100% of the box-office take, the bracelets help support the festival’s infrastructure.)
Bracelets aren’t required for the festival teaser show, but you can get a head start on your Rogue adventure by buying them there.