The Adelaide Fringe (formerly the Adelaide Fringe Festival) was founded in 1960 and is a world-renowned annual arts festival that celebrates culture and showcases artists from around the globe. Initially, the Adelaide Fringe began as a small-scale event alongside the Adelaide International Festival of Arts. It was created as a platform for local artists who were not included in the main festival. Over the years, the Fringe has grown exponentially, both in size and in its international reach.
It is recognized as the largest arts festival in Australia and the second-largest annual fringe arts festival in the world, following the Edinburgh Festival. The festival takes place over four weeks, typically during February and March and it features more than 7,000 artists from around Australia and the world. Over 1,300 events are staged in hundreds of venues. The Festival’s mission focuses on supporting artists and creating an open and accessible arts festival for all, celebrating diversity and encouraging social cohesion through cultural exchange.
In 2023, the Adelaide Fringe achieved a landmark by becoming the first Australian festival to sell a million tickets, doubling its 2015 sales of 500,000. Key temporary venues like The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Gluttony, Wonderland, along with over 500 other diverse locations across Adelaide, hosted the Fringe events.
The Adelaide Fringe draws attendees from across the globe and Australia. In 2019, it contributed approximately A$95.1 million in gross economic expenditure to South Australia, including A$36.6 million spent by its 2.7 million visitors. The festival has consistently set new records in various facets annually up to 2020.
During Adelaide’s famed “Mad March,” the city also hosts the Adelaide Festival of Arts, commencing a week post-Fringe. This festival features Adelaide Writers’ Week and WOMADelaide, a four-day world music festival, in addition to the Adelaide 500, a renowned street circuit motor racing event complemented by evening music concerts.
The festival is known for its open-access approach, meaning there is no selection or curation of the participating acts. This fosters an inclusive and diverse environment that supports emerging talents and established artists alike, across a wide range of art forms including cabaret, comedy, circus, theatre, dance, film, music, puppetry, and visual arts.
Adelaide Fringe is held in various venues across the city, including pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, laneways, established theatres, bars, art galleries, and cafes. Some of the notable venue hubs include The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Gluttony, and the Royal Croquet Club.
Throughout its history, the festival has had several ambassadors who have helped promote it both in Australia and internationally. These ambassadors have included artists like Paul McDermott, Katie Noonan, Kitty Flanagan, Julian Clary, and Courtney Act, among others.
For more information about the Adelaide Fringe Festival, its program, and ticket details, you can visit their official website at Adelaide Fringe. You can also follow their updates on social media platforms, including their Facebook page for the latest news and event information.