Befitting the Fringe Festival’s longtime reputation as a proving ground for the area’s best theater and performance art, the outdoor stage at Fringe is more and more becoming a great spot to check out cutting-edge local music. This year’s offerings – courtesy of Southern Fried Sunday’s Jessica Pawli – are the most sonically wide-ranging yet, with something for every ear. All of these events are free, no Fringe ticket or button needed.
Opening Night Things get raucous straight out of the gate on Thursday, May 17, with a kick-off show featuring an opening performance from Phantasmagoria that sets the anything-goes tone of Fringe. From there Eugene Snowden & the Fabulous Fringers Boogie Brigade, Beemo and Tears of a Tyrant promise to keep it just as wild.
Shows I Go To Dance Party SIGT curates a night devoted to rapturous body movement on Friday, May 18, offering up live sets from Detroit's the Dropout, Someday River and Matthew Tonner, along with a cadre of DJs.
Swamp Sistas La La The 7th edition of Beth McKee's Swamp Sistas takeover of the Fringe Outdoor Stage on May 20 will bring you sets from McKee, Kaleigh Baker's Someday Honey, Betty Fox Band, Chakra Khan and Swamp Sistas Songwriting Circle. The event doubles as a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank; nobody does it better.
United We Jazz Three distinct flavors of jazz will be on offer at this year's event on Monday, May 21: jazz fusion from the Marco & Sarah Bojorquez Band, classic stylings from the Kristen Warren Band, and finally big-band free jazz overdrive from the Sam Rivers Rejuvenation Orchestra.
Fiesta at Fringe A new and exciting addition to the slate of music on offer at Fringe is this Latin night on Tuesday, May 22, with performances from DeSON, ATTO Music Project, Savi Fernandez and Lile & Turq.
Hip-Hop Night On Friday, May 25, there's a night of cutting-edge local hip-hop that embodies the boundary-pushing that Fringe encourages, featuring sets from Niko Is, E-Turn and Sean Shakespeare. If you're feeling inspired to drop a few bars yourself, join in on the Cypher with DJ Cub later in the evening.
Southern Fried Sunday SFS, appropriately, goes big on Sunday, May 27, with an all-day 10-band hoedown on the Lawn, including sets from Hannah Harber & the Lionhearts, Oak Hill Drifters, Beartoe, Sean Holcomb, Vonner and Jestelle. Barbecue too, natch.
Luau on the Lawn The blowout party on the final night – Monday, May 28 – of Fringe is tiki-themed, with the requisite exotic drinks and eats soundtracked by Big Tiki and the Mai-Tai's, the Ukelaliens and the NovaRays. And don't miss the capstone Fringe Fabby awards.
Check out the full schedule for the outdoor stage at orlandofringe.org.