The Best of Infringement Festival

Live Music, Nightlife, Things to Do


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on July 22, 2015

Infringement Festival, Buffalo NY, Step Out Buffalo

Happening every year over the last two weeks of July, Infringment Festival is a musical and artistic free-for-all.

Infringment can feel chaotic and that’s by design. The festival is part of a movement started by a Montreal theater group who felt that the city’s Fringe Festival was becoming too commercial and too confined to the “in-crowd” of performers.

In response, the Optative Theatrical Laboratory launched the first Infringement Festival in 2004. The festival quickly spread to Toronto, Quebec City and Ottawa. After performing at the Toronto Infringement Festival – Buffalo’s Subversive Theatre Collective held its own festival in 2005.

The movement’s spirit of inclusiveness survives today and that means creators of indie, abstract, modern and outsider art have two weeks in July when they can let their freak flags fly.

While inclusiveness means opportunities for anyone to perform, a big problem with being so inclusive is quality control. Infringement events are held in so many places with so many artists – figuring out where to spend your time can be overwhelming.

As a general rule of thumb, these are the two weeks you should spend as much time as possible walking the length of Allen Street. There are so many official and unofficial performances going off, you’ll undoubtedly see something – either on the street or in one of the music venues. In fact, it’s common to spot a crowd of people all clutching something in a brown bag and standing on the sidewalk to watch street performers rattle off a classic American folk song during Infringement.

Wandering around Allen can be fun on its own, but below is a breakdown of some of the events that caught our eye. Highlights include a party atop the Broadway Market, art at the Burchfield Penny and a street carnival on Allen between Elmwood and Wadsworth.

For more info on the Infringement Festival, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


Friday July 24

Hot Licks Show at Stamps

“Grimey Punk n Grunge”

98 Main St. – Tonawanda

8pm – midnight


Electric Ave Hip Hop Fiasco

“Underground Hip Hop”

300 Ellicott Street – Buffalo

9pm – 1am


Milkie’s Meltdown


522 Elmwood Ave. – Buffalo

9pm – 1am


Saturday July 25

Broadway Market Rooftop Party

“Music and Fashion atop a Buffalo icon”

999 Broadway Ave. – Buffalo

10am – 4:30pm


Kidfringement @ Bidwell Park

“Art and music for the kiddos”

Bidwell Park (near the Farmer’s Market) – Buffalo

10:30 – 3pm


Poetry @ Glow Gallery

“All-day poetry readings and discussions”

224 Allen Street – Buffalo

2pm – 8pm


Sunday July 26

Hot Mama’s Super Infringement Sunday

“Chill Sunday Rock Vibes”

12 Military Road

4pm – 4am


Monday July 27

Best Monday Ever @ Nietzsche’s (with new and improved POTLUCK)

“An Infringment tradition”

248 Allen Street – Buffalo

9pm – 2am


Tuesday July 28

Wizards & Witches Costume Party @ Mohawk Place

“Zeppelin-style original music”

47 East Mohawk Street – Buffalo

8pm – midnight


The Worst Show Ever @ Nietzsche’s

“Comedy, music and burlesque”

248 Allen Street – Buffalo

8pm – 1am


Wednesday July 29

Mid-Week Rock at the ‘Hawk

“Indie rock and grunge”

47 East Mohawk Street – Buffalo

9pm – midnight


Humpday Hop ‘n Hip @ Electric Avenue

“Underground and live hip-hop”

300 Ellicott Street – Buffalo

10pm – 1am


Thursday July 30

Barging into the Burch’ @ The Burchfield Penny

“Performers, musicians and interactive displays”

1300 Elmwood Ave – Buffalo

4pm – 7:30pm


Thursday Night Hootenanny @ BABEVILLE (9th Ward)

“Third annual folk night at the former church”

341 Delaware Ave – Buffalo

7pm – 11pm


Post Canalside Indie Show @ Mohawk Place

“Indie rock after the Iron & Wine show”

47 East Mohawk Street – Buffalo

9pm – midnight


Friday July 31

Gallery Opening @ ArtSpace

“Large scale art and small scale sculpture”

1219 Main Street – Buffalo

6pm – 9pm


Sugar City Masquerade Ball (across from Resurgence Brewery)

“All-ages rock”

1239 Niagara Street – Buffalo

7pm – 11pm


Nietzsche’s Masquerade Ball: aka The Boo-yah Bash

“Alternative rock and rap”

248 Allen Street – Buffalo

10pm – 3am


Saturday August 1

100 Drums Along Hoyt Lake

“The ultimate drum circle”

Delaware Park – Buffalo

11am – 4pm


Saturday Night Experimentation @ Hallwalls

“A/V art”

341 Delaware Ave – Buffalo

7pm – 11pm


Punk Rock Saturday Night @ Mohawk

“Old school Buffalo punk rock”

47 East Mohawk Street – Buffalo

10pm – 1am


Sunday August 2


The festival will be capping it all off this year by blocking off traffic on Allen Street from Wadsworth to Elmwood for an open-air art fair and performances between noon and 8pm.


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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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