Adelaide Fringe Director's Role Extended to 2020 Festival

Mon, Jul 24 2017
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall will be at the festival’s helm until 2020 following an extension of her contract.
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall will be at the festival’s helm until 2020 following an extension of her contract.

Ms Croall, who will oversee her third Adelaide Fringe in 2018, has accepted an offer from the Adelaide Fringe Board to serve as Director and CEO for an additional two years.

Board Chair David Minear said Ms Croall had taken the Adelaide Fringe to new levels of success and had implemented significant strategic and structural change over the past two festivals.

“Asking Heather to join us for the 2019 and 2020 festivals is an obvious and positive move for all of us who believe in the power of the Adelaide Fringe and support what it delivers – both culturally and economically – to our city and our state,” Mr Minear said.

“Heather is an impressive, dedicated leader with a clear vision and a work ethic to match, and she has a deep, unquestionable passion for the artists of the Adelaide Fringe. We greatly appreciate the unique blend of creativity and business acumen that she brings to the role.”

Ms Croall returned to Adelaide to take on the role in 2016, following 10 years as the Director and CEO of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival in the UK.

Ms Croall said she felt honoured by the Board’s decision and was looking forward to leading the Adelaide Fringe into its 60th anniversary in 2020.

“We have achieved many great things for our artists and audiences over the past few years. We’ve built a new digital platform, raised record-breaking amounts of money to give to artists through our Artist Fund and supported artists and venues by selling over 650,000 tickets (worth $16.2 million) to Fringe shows in 2017,” Ms Croall said.

“The industry marketplace in the Fringe has tripled in the last two years. This is where artists are discovered for future bookings by local, interstate and international programmers who descend on Adelaide Fringe and use our festival to scout for new shows.

“The Fringe marketplace makes a significant impact on artists and is very positive for their career pathways. Our plan is to continue to grow this fabulous and vibrant marketplace and make Adelaide Fringe the absolute must-attend event in the calendars of all programmers around the globe.

“We have set ourselves a target of selling 1 million tickets a year at The Fringe and we have also set a target to triple our tourists in the next few years. This increase in tourist numbers is critical for artists to be able to sell more tickets.”

Under Ms Croall’s stewardship, the festival was the first Fringe to introduce ‘interactive’ as a new genre and also gave magic its own dedicated genre. Next year the Parade of Light will see North Terrace transformed into a corridor of light for 31 nights.

Making Adelaide Fringe the most affordable Fringe festival in Australia for artists to take part in has also been one of Ms Croall’s goals. Next year this will become a reality thanks to $1 million of State Government funding, which will allow the abolishment of inside charges for artists on tickets under $35 and halve the inside charge on tickets over $35.