Adelaide Fringe Director To Steer Festival Until 2022

Published: Mon, Jul 29 2019
Posted in General, Media Releases
Adelaide Fringe Director To Steer Festival Until 2022

Pictured: Heather Croall, Director and CEO of Adelaide Fringe. Photographer: Trentino Priori. 

The Adelaide Fringe Board has announced Director and CEO Heather Croall’s contract has been extended by two years to 2022.

Ms Croall delivered her first Adelaide Fringe in 2016, returning to Adelaide after almost a decade in the UK. Under her stewardship, the much-loved festival has experienced exceptional growth in terms of ticket sales, attendances, tourist visitation, philanthropy and industry engagement.

The impressive growth of the festival is one of the reasons her contract extension was an easy decision for the Board, according to Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear.

“Since joining Adelaide Fringe in mid-2015, Heather has proven herself to be a dynamic leader of our organisation. She is strategic, ideas-rich, agile and energetic,” Mr Minear said.

“Growth in that time has been exceptional – whatever measure you look at. The results of the Adelaide Fringe over the past four years speak for themselves. As we head towards our 60th anniversary in 2020, it’s good to know that the future of the Fringe is in such dedicated hands.”

During her tenure, Ms Croall has also spearheaded the festival’s digital transition with the implementation of a new ticketing system, increased the festival’s philanthropic funding stream tenfold and grown the Fringe arts marketplace program known as Honey Pot, which now attracts about 250 national and international delegates who are scouting and booking work to be toured.

She was recently given the Ambassador Award by the Governor of South Australia in recognition of her outstanding commitment to lead change in terms of improved Aboriginal participation in the arts industry.

Ms Croall said she was thrilled to be asked to steer Adelaide Fringe for a further two years and was excited to deliver an ambitious target to sell a million tickets per year by 2022.

“It is an absolute privilege to lead the Adelaide Fringe – it is the people’s festival and it is an honour to serve the audiences, artists and venues that make this Fringe the wildest and most wonderful time of year in South Australia,” Ms Croall said.

“The Fringe has remained true to the open-access model that was set up 60 years ago – it is created from the ground up, driven by all the participants and my role is to ensure the Fringe platform delivers the best possible experience for all who jump on board.

“I love the collaborative and inclusive nature of the Fringe model and I want to thank everyone who gets involved with Fringe year after year. I look forward to working with the entire team to take this festival to new heights from now until 2022,” she said.

Ms Croall also acknowledged the invaluable support from the people of South Australia, sponsors, donors and the State Government.

“They have all been key to the enormous growth we have experienced in recent years. I look forward to working with the amazing Fringe team to deliver even more fantastic festive times to the city of Adelaide, especially as we head towards our 60th anniversary in 2020.”

Premier Steven Marshall said Heather Croall’s contribution to the Adelaide Fringe was critical to its huge success year after year.

“Heather’s experience and knowledge of international festivals has helped put the Fringe on the map globally, attracting the very best acts from around the world,” Premier Marshall said.

“Her support for local artists and commitment to emerging art forms is second to none and means this festival, which is crucial to our tourist economy, can continue to grow.”


The 2020 Adelaide Fringe will run from 14 February to 15 March. For more information, visit

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