Adelaide Fringe

Adelaide Fringe
The Adelaide Fringe is an annual arts festival held in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. It is one of the world’s largest arts festivals and the largest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The festival was founded in 1960 and was held biannually until 2006. Since then, it has been an annual event.

The term “fringe theater” refers to theater that is experimental in style or subject matter. It comes from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, often referred to as simply The Fringe, the world’s first independent arts festival. The Fringe was founded in 1948 by several theater companies that turned up uninvited to the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival. It was designed as a more democratic alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival.

The Adelaide Fringe was founded the same way. In March 1960, the city of Adelaide hosted the Adelaide Festival of Arts for the first time. The festival was curated, which resulted in many artists being excluded. They staged their own event which was seen as an alternative to the mainstream curated festival.

The program of the first Adelaide Fringe featured some 60 official and unofficial events held throughout the city of Adelaide. The open access festival became the perfect platform for local and smaller-scale artists to showcase their work to a wide and diverse audience. Anyone with the ideas and enthusiasm could register and perform.

For several decades, the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival of Arts were inextricably linked. Rather than competing with one another, they complemented each other, creating an exciting atmosphere in the city. Today, however, they don’t run side-by-side as the Fringe Festival begins a bit earlier.

The Adelaide Fringe was originally held biannually. It became an annual event in 2007 due to receiving extra government funding. For four weeks, the festival literally takes over the entire city with more than a thousand events staged in over 300 venues across Adelaide including theaters, art galleries, hotels, cafes and unconventional venues such as warehouses and abandoned buildings.

The festival embraces a variety of contemporary art forms and genres including music, traditional theater, physical theater, circus, cabaret, comedy, contemporary dance, music, film, puppetry, visual art and design. It features artists from all over the world who come to Australia to share their work with new audiences.

The program of the festival includes a number of signature events such as an opening street parade through the city center, the Tindo Utpurndee Sunset Ceremony, the Adelaide Fringe Street Theater Festival, the Street Art Explosion program, Desert Fringe, Fringe at the Airport, and more.

Adelaide Fringe

Photo: Kevin Godfrey




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