Rogue Festival 2022, The 20th Anniversary

 By Lorie Lewis Ham

For the time being, all of our Rogue articles will be here on KRL News as KRL is undergoing a redesign. We also have a Rogue Festival event page here on KRL News, and you can learn more on the Rogue Festival website. You can find all of the other Rogue articles up so far this year by clicking here. 

The Rogue Festival is almost upon us again and this year it will be in person, and it will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary! Recently, we chatted about this year’s festival with Heather Parish, Co-producer this year alongside longtime Rogue Amber Strid.

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KRL: How many years have you been a part of Rogue?
Heather: I produced my first show at Rogue Festival in 2007. I've been on the producing staff since 2014.
KRL: Are you doing anything special for the 20th anniversary?
Heather: Surviving. Any all-volunteer, grassroots arts organization that completes two decades is a rare bird. But given the number of arts organizations that haven't managed to make it through COVID, it's particularly remarkable that we've managed to move forward to live performances again.
KRL: Is there anything different about Rogue this year for the 20th anniversary and due to Covid?
Heather: Several things:  We have only five regular Rogue Venues and one Artist Underground venue. Fewer performers are able to travel right now and some are still hesitant to perform live in the time of COVID (when your art is dependent upon having the breath to speak or sing, that's a natural reaction). So, our Festival may feel more intimate this year, but it definitely means audiences will be able to focus on finding shows that interest them.

Our Teaser Show has been retired in favor of a free, community event we're calling the Rogue Community Block Party to launch the festival. We're lucky to have sponsors like TowerTopia who let us use their parking lot for an outdoor gathering of our community. Performers will still be at the mic and audiences can still get all of their Rogue swag and programs ahead of the Festival. We'll also have food vendors, a DJ, and a few local artisans. The Block Party will be Thursday, March 3 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. on the NE corner of Olive and Wishon under the Tower Flagpole.

One of the biggest changes, though, will be that our venue ticket tables are now cashless. Only credit/debit will be the accepted payments at the venue tables. Cash customers can purchase show vouchers in advance at the Rogue Pop Up store on the corner of Olive and Wishon in advance of their shows. The Pop Up Store will be the only location that accepts cash as well as credit/debit. This change is partially due to COVID, but mostly is a long-overdue safety precaution to get the boxes of cash off the street, which increases the safety of our volunteers and audiences.

Our indoor locations will strongly encourage mask wearing despite the state lifting the mandate. We want to keep our audiences and performers healthy, and mask wearing by audiences reduces the transmission of illnesses of all kinds. Rogue Festival is notorious for having a "Rogue Plague" - usually flu or bronchitis. But with added cleaning and mask wearing encouraged, we hope this will be one of our healthiest festivals ever!
KRL: I understand that there is a new logo and a new website; can you tell us about that?
Heather: Yes! Our previous logo was instituted in 2014 or 2015 and so it was time for a refresh. We sent out a call for local graphic designers and were thrilled to enlist Miguel Gastelum to design the new logo. Miguel is also a theatre director and performer who has performed at Rogue Festival several times, so he was a perfect fit. We think his fun, retro-style captured the sense of movement and discovery that the Rogue Festival brings to the neighborhood each year.

The website was also in need of an overhaul. After several years of moving things around on it, we decided we needed some professional help. We're grateful that the folks at Bitwise agreed to help us out with a new design. Their apprentice program is actually doing the coding based on a WordPress Template that was designed at Bitwise. We hope to have the new site launched about a week before the Festival at
Until then, folks can browse shows and purchase individual tickets at our TicketLeap site:

Rogue Muse

KRL: Can you tell us about this year’s Muse?
Heather: The Muse is one of Rogue's longest-standing traditions. Each year, a local artist is tapped to provide a representation that says "Muse" or "Inspiration" to them. Every year until this year, that representation has been human in one form or another. This year, for our 20th Anniversary, we chose a Fresno motif, rendered by local artists Naomi Marie (@artistnaomimarieoffresno on Instagram). Fresno has a long history of inspiring poets, writers, bands, actors, and artists of all kinds. So we felt it was fitting that our Muse this year speak to the inspiration a gritty, DIY city like Fresno offers artists. Her piece blends a Tower District landscape with the elements from the Fresno flag in a snappy, eye-catching piece that graces the covers of our programs throughout the Festival.

KRL: How many performers will there be this year?
Heather: I believe we have 28 acts this year across six venues, all within walking (or bike riding!) distance of one another. Music, dance, magic, comedy, spoken word, theatre, and shows that defy classification are once again on display for two weekends during Rogue Festival.
KRL: What are the venues?
Heather: Mainstage Venues (black box theatre and ballroom): Fresno Music Academy and Arts and Dianna's Studio of Dance
Gallery Venue (indoor, intimate): Spectrum Gallery
Cabaret venue (outdoor patio): Goldstein's Mortuary and Delicatessen and Veni Vidi Vici (remember the entrance is in the back!)

KRL: Will there be any off rogue shows?
Heather: We have two Artist Underground shows playing at Hart's Haven Bookstore. Artist Underground venues are run by the artists themselves and have their own showtimes, payment options, and rules. So check your program!
KRL: What are the dates, and how do people buy tickets?
Heather: Shows begin running Friday evening, March 4, Saturday and Sunday, March 5, and 6. Then return on Thursday, March 10, Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12.
Tickets can be purchased in advance on our TicketLeap site (
) or you can purchase tickets to any show 30 minutes before showtime at the table in front of the venue. Half of the tickets are available online and the other half at the door - so if online is sold out, get to the venue a full 30 minutes early and you can probably still score a ticket!
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Heather: Yes! If you're new to Rogue Festival, this is a great year to start. We have great shows, but not so many that it is overwhelming. I recommend that folks browse online, find a show that looks intriguing, and show up 30 minutes before showtime to buy a ticket on the first or second day of the Festival. You'll be able to get a wristband ($5 donation to the Festival), a program, and you'll get into your first show. From there, you can peruse the program or ask the volunteers at the venue what to do next. Any of our volunteers can guide you to the next step in your Rogue journey!  

Watch for more Rogue Performer Preview articles to go up this week. We will be at Rogue next weekend, so watch for our Rogue Festival reviews!

 If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and also on podbean.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie's mystery writing at Mysteryrat's Closet.