Today marks the opening of the 11th annual Buffalo Infringement Festival, a sprawling, multidisciplinary celebration of Western New York's profound underground spread across 92 venues and 11 days.
Each day during the festival, I'll present five picks for promising Infringement events, sometimes based on past festivalgoing experience, sometimes on community buzz and other times merely on the absurdity quotient of the event's title or description.
Here are today's picks:
1) Barging into the Burch' III: Thursday Opening Day Midday Heyday, 4 p.m., Burchfield Penney Art Center
What better way to usher in this year's festival than with a visit to the front yard of the Burchfield Penney Art Center? Starting at 4 p.m., the space will host performances by The Goods, Infringement mainstay Bourbon and Coffee, JeffRepeater, My Rap Name is Alex and Marbin. There will also be an "invisible partybus (of sorts)" that will somehow make its way along with a group of bicyclists to the festival's opening parade. (See No. 4 on today's list.)
2) Milkie's Comedy Sampler, 6 p.m., Milkie's
Four bite-sized comedy acts will appear at this event, including improv comedy masters and longtime Infringement faves Babushka!, the music/comedy act Hot Shot Whiz Kids, an improv piece called "Anatomy of Something Unseen" and "Man Cave Theater Presents: Dum and Dummer LIVE," described thus on the festival website: "Stan is alone in his Man Cave, enjoying his privacy, when a friend knocks at the door. A conversation begins and. . . what ensues next may have to improvised."
3) "Not Just a Youth Poetry Reading," 6:30 p.m., Just Buffalo Literary Center
A group of under-21 poets highlight this event in Just Buffalo's Writing Center, during which audience members are encouraged to "create mini-art" for a project known as the (B)uffalo (A)rt (D)ispensary's (B)(A)(D) Kids Art Dispenser, a mysterious contraption housed at Just Buffalo.
4) Opening day parade, 7 p.m., Ol' Wondermoth Co-op House
Ain't no parade like an Infringement Fest parade, cause an Infringement Fest parade is... pretty weird.
Costumed, bedazzled, body-painted and bongo-drumming Infringers will congregate for the inaugural parade on the front lawn of Ol' Wondermoth at 208 North St. and proceed slowly via sidewalk at 8 p.m. to Days Park in preparation for an outdoor music show and fire-dancing event preceding the main event of the evening, which is:
5) Infringement Festival opening ceremonies, 9 p.m., Nietzsche's
Always a festive occasion befitting the eclectic nature of Infringement at large, this music-focused party features a diverse lineup of festival veterans and newcomers alike. Check out the lineup here.