Melbourne Fringe Festival turns 40

Melbourne Fringe Festival turns 40
Carol Saffer

The 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival theme it’s about time is appropriate for an event that has 40 years of history to celebrate and three lost years due to COVID to make up for.

This year’s first in-person Fringe Festival kicks off with an enormous free opening night 40th birthday party on October 6, and runs through to Friday, October 23.

The State Library is the site for two extraordinary productions in the CBD.

The Rest Is Up to You: Melbourne Fringe 1982-2062 is a major new, free exhibition and sound installation reflecting the previous 40 years of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and imagining its next 40 years.

Groundswell by Matthias Schack-Arnott is an innovative, enormous percussive rain drum installed on the forecourt that the public play by walking upon its vast surface.

This free immersive installation explores people’s joint efforts to address climate change that is as sonically beautiful as it is visually arresting.

Melbourne Fringe creative director and CEO Simon Abrahams said the expanded program of new exhibitions, dynamic public art and brand-new art precincts made it the most ambitious festival.

“Through this festival, we’re writing a history of the future,” he said.

“We’ve centred free events as our birthday gift back to the city, including free participatory public artworks and, of course, the return of our iconic Fringe Parade.”

With a long list of exhibitions and performances by extraordinary artists and organisations, there are more than 450 events planned for clubs, theatres, galleries, computer screens, parks, and bars of Melbourne.

The return of the Festival Hub at Trades Hall is greatly anticipated as well as the introduction of a Festival Park at Queen Victoria Market where Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett is performing in the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent.

Deadly Fringe, Melbourne Fringe’s First Nations program, features brand-new works by senior and established First Nations artists exploring time, past, present, and future concepts.

Productions by LGBTQIA+ artists, including 290 trans and gender diverse artists, account for more than 51 per cent of the shows at the Festival, while 238 deaf and disabled artists make up 13 per cent of Festival events.

Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos said, “throughout its 40-year history, Melbourne Fringe has provided a platform for so many of Australia’s artists and creative leaders, allowing our independent creative community to take risks and bring their work to the legendary Fringe audience.”

“The flow-on effects of hundreds of festival-goers each night enjoying the city and its restaurants and bars will be enormous.” •

For more information:


Image caption: Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett.

Giuseppe Buzzi and his fried fish shop

Giuseppe Buzzi and his fried fish shop

February 20th, 2024 - Julie Bevan
Like us on Facebook