Access and Inclusion

Melbourne Fringe provides a platform for those on the margins of our society. Drawing people in from the fringes and inviting them to the floor to do just about everything imaginable (and sometimes unimaginable).

As Victoria’s largest open-access Festival, we are committed to ensuring that people from all backgrounds and abilities can participate in our Festival – as artists and as audiences. Our Access and Inclusion Program,  delivered in partnership with Arts Access Victoria (seriously these guys are the best), aims to reduce barriers to participation across all areas of Melbourne Fringe and help make the Festival as accessible as it can be.

And now for some stats (though not too many, promise!), approximately 20% of the Australian population identify as experiencing disability, yet people with disability make up only 8% of artists and earn 25% less from their practice. There are significant barriers to participation in the arts for many in the disability community, particularly emerging artists – our key demographic, our peeps, our raison d’etre. It also signals an absence of unique voices, perspectives and art-making styles from the collective body of work of Australian artists.

So, we have launched Compass Navigate, a brand new inclusive mentorship and masterclass program for emerging artists with and without disability who are keen to develop their skills in producing their own work. You can read about our 2018 Compass Navigate participants here.

We’ve also hired the irrepressible Carly Findlay as our Access and Inclusion Coordinator, our one-stop shop (if shops were free) to help Fringe artists and venues maximise their accessibility to make sure anyone can get involved. We’re doing lots of things behind the scenes to reduce barriers to access. Got ideas for us? Get in touch at carly@melbournefringe.com.au (or using whichever method works best for you).

If you would like to support this program, please contact Miranda Borman on (03) 9660 9600 or email miranda@melbournefringe.com.au

Our Access and Inclusion Program is supported by:


Compass Navigate  is also supported by: