Adelaide Fringe maintains its crown as Australia’s largest arts festival with today’s release of an astonishing 1223 events in its official 2018 program.
Around 6000 artists will present a broad range of works across genres including 338 comedy shows, 260 music events, 132 theatre productions, 128 cabaret shows, 98 children’s events, 73 visual arts and design exhibitions, 64 special events, 36 circus/physical theatre events, 33 dance shows, 26 interactive events, 22 magic shows and 13 film and digital events – all lighting up South Australia for another electrifying year.
Of the 442 venues hosting festival attractions, the National Wine Centre, Plant 4 Bowden and Percy Court Studio are among the 144 newcomers set to discover the magic of hosting Fringe events.
A variety of Fringe ‘hubs’ will span across suburban and regional Adelaide – from Gawler to the Fleurieu Peninsula and Mount Gambier to Whyalla, while Kangaroo Island has also jumped on board for the first time.
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said the 2018 Fringe would be more inclusive than ever before with the festival expecting a surge in children’s events and an abundance of gender-bending drag performers.
“It’s always so exciting to see the amazing level of diversity in the Adelaide Fringe program – there’s practically no stone left unturned and no topic that isn’t being explored in some way,” Ms Croall said.
“Next year’s Fringe boasts a smorgasbord of unique experiences in unexpected places – from sipping tea with grandma in a caravan to a séance in a shipping container and speed dating on a ferris wheel!
“The festival is also full of shows that address issues such as mental health, disability and gender politics, and tell inspiring stories from artists who bravely put themselves in front of our festival audiences.
“It’s more important than ever to get out there and show your support for our Fringe artists, and we really encourage people to immerse themselves in all the 2018 Adelaide Fringe has to offer.”
As 2018 Adelaide Fringe Ambassadors, international drag sensation Courtney Act and award-winning comedian Joel Creasey will be making various appearances at next year’s festival and will perform their respective shows Under the Covers and Blonde Bombshell in the Garden of Unearthly Delights.
Arts accessibility will be a major focus for next year’s festival and the introduction of the Friends of the Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund initiative, which uses money raised from Fringe patrons to provide free show tickets to disadvantaged children.
Exploring the Fringe will be made even more exciting by the return of the Beginning at 9am on February 2, participants will be encouraged to solve clues and complete missions all over the city and the state.
The competition’s overall winner will receive a trip for two to the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. To participate, Fringe-goers need to download GooseChase from the app store and join the ‘Adelaide Fringe 2018’ game.
Grandparents, parents, carers and children can get a taste of the GooseChase scavenger hunt before it begins at a special school holidays event.
South Australian Premier and Arts Minister Jay Weatherill said the 2018 Adelaide Fringe would be Australia’s most affordable Fringe festival for artists to participate in.
“In a national first, the State Government has invested nearly $1 million in this year’s Fringe to offset fees for artists, which means that we are even better positioned to attract top acts and performers from around the world,” Mr Weatherill said.
“As a result, festival-goers will enjoy reduced ticket prices which means they can see even more artists, with ticket sales this year likely to be the strongest yet.
“The East End is going through an exciting re-invigoration, and the footprint of the Fringe continues to grow at an exciting pace with even more regional and metro event additions.”
South Australian Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said the Adelaide Fringe annually delivers major tourism and economic benefit for the state.
“SA is very well known for its Mad March, and by drawing in larger audiences and more entertainers our city’s vibrancy is only going to grow,” Mr Bignell said. “The event is already hugely successful having recently extended to Mount Gambier and Whyalla. And, on February 20, we’re also taking it to Kangaroo Island.
“The Fringe gives locals a great chance to launch their stage careers. Personally, I was pumped to make my stand-up comedy debut at this year's Fringe in my birthplace, Mount Gambier.”
Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said the festival was always a major self-esteem boost for South Australia and a magical time for locals and visitors alike.
“However, to be Australia’s largest arts festival and the second biggest Fringe in the world doesn’t happen by chance,” Mr Minear said. “We are fortunate to have considerable ongoing support from the State Government, Adelaide City Council, our Principal Partner BankSA and many others.”
BankSA Chief Executive Nick Reade said BankSA was proud to be in its 13th year of supporting the Fringe as Principal Partner.
“The Fringe injects a huge amount of vibrancy and activity into the city, and generates a significant economic benefit to our whole state,” Mr Reade said. “It is an iconic South Australian event, and part of our support is focussed on making it more accessible for people on all budgets.
“For example, our Support Act initiative offers tickets to a selection of shows for only $10 and we’re bringing back the popular offer for selected shows on the.
“ with a range of exclusive offers, including a limited-edition Fringe themed credit card, so I’d encourage all Fringe-goers to visit their local BankSA branch to see how they can benefit. with a thrilling street party and spectacular projections including the Australian premiere of Borealis – Swiss artist Dan Acher’s recreation of the Northern Lights. The festival will then run until March 18.
Tickets, gift vouchers and memberships can be purchased at adelaidefringe.com.au, FringeTIX box offices and outlets or by phoning 1300 621 255. The pop-up Rundle Mall FringeTIX box office is located near the Mall’s Balls on Charles Street. A digital Fringe Guide can be downloaded before the printed program hits the streets from January 6.
Header Image Credit: SodaStreet