Adelaide Fringe FestivalAdelaide Fringe Festival

Adelaide's Famous Fringe Festival is Back!


Get ready, Fringe lovers. Australia’s biggest arts festival will soon be under way in Adelaide, with an epic 1,200+ shows between 17 February and 19 March. In a burst of creativity that the locals call “Mad March”, the city is also hosting the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Writers’ Week, and WOMADelaide music festival. Join the party; it’s going to be an amazing ride!

Fringe is Australia’s largest arts festival and the world’s second biggest Fringe after Edinburgh. One of the most diverse arts festivals in the world, it encompasses everything from cabaret, burlesque, theatre and comedy, to circus, music, visual arts and a new genre this year, ‘eat & drink’.

Fringe is a non-profit, non-curated festival, which means it doesn’t choose the shows and venues. Anyone who wants to perform, can – so long as it’s legal! That makes for a line-up of acts that is truly mind-blowing. Many of the events are free, others are ticketed, but there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.

Every year, the festival transforms Adelaide, taking over theatres, cafés, galleries, laneways, gardens, street corners, even shipping containers and laundromats. It’s nothing if not quirky.

South Australia’s first Vibe hotel, the upscale Vibe Hotel Adelaide, is in Adelaide’s east end at the heart of all the action. It’s just a short walk from the hotel to Fringe hubs such as Gluttony, The Garden of Unearthly Delights, and the Wonderland Spiegeltent in Hindmarsh Square.

Singing Fringe’s praises are this year’s ambassadors: drag artist Kween Kong (who will perform in the Spiegeltent with Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under in The BABz), British comedian Sarah Millican (in a show at Thebarton Theatre), and U.S. performance artist Penny Arcade whose show, Superstar Interrupted, sees her return to the experimental, rock and roll performance genre that she helped pioneer in the 1980s.

This is the headline show in The Pyramid, a 15m-high pyramid-shaped venue in Fool’s Paradise, a new Fringe precinct in Victoria Square. Other new spaces this year include The Yurt and The Chapel at the Migration Museum, and the intimate Garage International at Crack Kitchen.

Fringe’s signature event, Silence!, will be held in Elder Park on the opening weekend. This pyrotechnic, fireworks and percussion spectacle by French performance art company Les Commandos Percu promises to be unlike anything ever seen in Australia.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights will lure festival goers with The Party (the latest circus-music show by Strut and Fret) and Kaleidoscope, an immersive show which invites audiences to get lost in a mirror maze of colour, light and sound. Garden goers can expect top comedy acts such as Rove McManus, Judith Lucy, Dave Hughes, Tom Gleeson and Wil Anderson, not to mention a music program that includes the free Indigenous music series, The Garden Sessions.

The richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will be further highlighted in Electric Skies, an electrifying drone show over Victoria Park. Audiences will witness the night sky light up alongside an exclusive soundtrack woven with First Nations language and traditional songs. 

Fringe is all about inclusivity, so you’ll find a great line-up of family entertainment and an excellent Access Guide for people with accessibility requirements. A number of events are Auslan-interpreted and audio-described.

Both the Vibe Hotel Adelaide and the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury are convenient bases for Fringe, with many events within walking distance. The stunning new Vibe has luxuriously appointed rooms, while Adina Treasury’s well-equipped apartments are ideal for an extended stay in a gorgeous historic building with loads of character.

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