Top emerging fringe festivals in Australia



Fringe festivals are popular all over the globe, but nowhere supports them as enthusiastically as Australia. The alternative arts festivals, which often champion experimental performances and exhibitions, are deeply creative and inclusive affairs. A visit to one of Australia's biggest fringe festivals will introduce you to art from all over the nation - and from international performers - who flock to be a part of Australia's open minded and celebratory events.

Sydney Fringe Festival (in photo)
A newer edition to Australia's fringe festival scene, Sydney Fringe was first held in 2010, and since then has taken place every September in New South Wales. It's the largest visual and performing arts event held in the state and is filled with a myriad of acts from stand up to burlesque and has even hosted leftfield events like podcast recordings and indie video game events. For comedy fans, head over to venue The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, where you can spot Sydney's best regular comedians as well as newcomers who might become your next favourite. Or if you're keen to check out new works of experimental live art, venue PACT is your best bet - you can find everything from dance to theatre performed in this creative space. All in all, if you're ready to celebrate the strange and the beautiful, head over to Sydney Fringe.
Adelaide Fringe Festival
Adelaide Fringe Festival takes the crown of the world's second largest annual arts festival, and the biggest in Australia, and for 31 days in late February and early March features more than 5, 000 artists both from Australia and from all over the world. Come to Adelaide for the sheer variety of art on offer, and for experiencing an array of quirky pop up venues, from parks to warehouses and disused buildings, the city is transformed during the course of the festival. From cabaret to comedy, visual art to magic, you'll be sure to come away with an expanded sense of contemporary art today.
Melbourne Fringe Festival
This unique space for self-expression in arty city Melbourne plays host to thousands of artists each year with more than 400 events in over 160 venues. 350, 000 people flood into the city to be part of this amazing event, which prides itself on supporting art for everyone and aims to spread cultural democracy around the city. The event opened in 1982 and is Melbourne's longest running arts festival. From theatre to music, art installations to comedy nights, you'll be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of creativity each September. They also often have innovative children's programming, like their Prehistoric VR experience which was adapted from visual theatre company Erth's incredible live show - kids will experience swimming through the strange and colourful prehistoric ocean.
Darwin Fringe
This July, more than 300 artists and 80 shows will be taking over the city of Darwin. Defining itself as a community arts festival, it showcases work from every genre imaginable. Come to the sunny city to experience experimental music, theatre, comedy and spoken word, and see the city's spaces comes to life with countless art installations. Recent acts at Darwin Fringe have included Train Lines, a moving piece of theatre about a life changing connection made while waiting for a train, and Howl, a spoken word event which invites the audience to explore human vulnerability through poetry.
Fringe World, Perth
In late January and early February every year, Perth lights up with its renowned Fringe festival. The summertime festival is the third largest fringe in the world, with more than 368, 000 attendees in 2018. Acts range from circus to comedy, cabaret and dance, and take place in more than 138 different venues around the city. Don't miss the weekly busking event, Fringe Fridays, where international buskers perform at the atmospheric Twilight Hawkers Market. The festival often hosts some incredible circus performances, like Yummy, a show stopping event which blends drag, circus, burlesque and music. Theatre fans will enjoy plays like Orpheus, a modern-day musical version of the ancient Greek myth.


up Top