Festival Info


We are Melbourne Fringe. All of us.

We are Melbourne Fringe. All of us.

Melbourne Fringe is committed to access and inclusion for all people. We believe in the Social Model of Disability, where disability is caused by a society and environment with physical, attitudinal, communication and social barriers. It’s our responsibility to create a Festival that reduces these barriers to enable full participation by all people.

We endeavour to make our Fringe produced and Signature events as accessible as possible, and we’ve also educated our independent artists in the open access program around accessibility through resources, info sessions and one-on-one meetings, and have asked them to provide accurate and up to date accessibility information.

We recognise that the experience of disability and accessibility is diverse and unique to individuals, and that artists and audience members still face barriers to access, and we strive to remove as many of these as we can. We understand that we won’t always get it right, and we always love to receive feedback about how we can improve as well as what we did well.

Click  here for accessible shows

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The below video is an Auslan summary of Melbourne Fringe Festival access information for people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.

Search and Filter for Maximum Accessibility

You can search and filter for all access information on our website to find the events and information that meet your access needs. On the What’s On page, “Click here for more search options”, then select the Access drop down. You can choose as many access types as you like. The event tiles will display icons that relate to the type of access available, and if you hover over these icons it will give you the words.

Further down this page you can find a key of what all these icons and names mean, as well as buttons for pre-filtered searches.

Search Events Here
Information in Accessible Formats

Need information in a different, more accessible format? Give us a buzz and we’ll try our best: 03 9660 9600, using the National Relay Service 13 36 77 if required, or email info@melbournefringe.com.au.

Auslan Interpreting

Where this symbol is displayed, one or more sessions will be Auslan interpreted. Check the ‘Accessibility’ section on each event page for dates of Auslan interpreted sessions.

If you would like more information, please email boxoffice@melbournefringe.com.au.

See all Auslan Interpreted Performances
Captioned Performance

For these performances, captions are displayed on a screen enabling the audience to read what is being said. Open Captioning is always in view and cannot be turned off. Closed Captioning can be activated or deactivated by the viewer. Check the ‘Accessibility’ section on each event page for dates of captioned performances.

See all Captioned Performances
Visual Ratings

If you are Deaf or hard of hearing, or if English isn’t your primary spoken language, this three-tiered rating system will help you decide if an event is suitable for you.

  • Visual Rating 100% – contains no sound, music or dialogue so Deaf or hard of hearing audiences can engage fully with the event.
  • Visual Rating 75% – has minimal dialogue and some background music or sounds, or may be fully subtitled, so Deaf and hard of hearing audiences can have close to the full experience of the event.
  • Visual Rating 50% – includes dialogue and background music or sounds, so Deaf and hard of hearing audiences can have some engagement with the event.
See all Events with 100% Visual Rating
Physical Access

While the majority of events in the 2020 Festival are online, there are some events that are in person, whether that’s it’s a physically distanced event in a park, or through a shop window. Accessibility varies from venue to venue, and if an event shows this wheelchair symbol, then they have told us it is fully wheelchair accessible. If there is no wheelchair symbol, access may be partial – get in touch if you’d like more info.

See all Wheelchair Accessible Events
Physical Distance Ratings

All events in 2020 have a physical distance rating that is one of the following.

  • Physical Distance Rating 100% – The event is entirely physically distant, with no contact or physical component.
  • Physical Distance Rating 75% – The event is mostly physically distant, with no contact but some physical component. Whilst you may be required to leave the house to fully experience the event, you will not be in physical contact with others.
  • Physical Distance Rating 50% – The event is somewhat socially distant, with no contact but some physically spaced proximity to others
  • Physical Distance Rating less than 50% – Close proximity is required for full engagement of the event. Not looking likely in the year 2020.
See all Events with 100% Physical Distance Rating
Assistive Listening

Where this symbol is displayed, hearing loops or assistive listening systems are available at the venue for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. These systems transmit sound from the event directly through a person’s hearing aid or through a set of headphones provided by the venue. We recommend you contact the venue directly for further information or assistance.

Audio Description

This service enhances the live event experience for people who are blind or have low vision. An audio describer uses a small transmitter to describe what is happening in an event or how something looks at an exhibition. People using this service use a personal listening device enabling them to experience the event from anywhere in the space. Check the ‘Accessibility’ section on each event page for dates of audio described performances.

See all Audio Described Performances
Relaxed Performance

These performances are open to everyone but have been specifically designed to create a safe and welcoming environment for people who would benefit from a more relaxed environment – this could include people with autism, sensory sensitivities and/or learning disabilities, as well as those living with anxiety or who have experienced trauma. Events listed as relaxed performances have committed to designing one or more performance with changes to the lighting or sound, a break out space and an information pack with clear directions and information about the performance, among other things. Check the ‘Accessibility’ section on each event page for dates of relaxed performances.

Sensory Friendly Performance

These are performances where steps have been taken towards making the event or specific performances more sensory friendly, but they may not have all elements expected of a Relaxed Performance. For example, they may make changes to the lighting and sound to make it more sensory friendly but not have a break out area to chill out during the event. Check the ‘Accessibility’ section on each event page for dates of sensory friendly performances.

See all Sensory Friendly Performances
Language no Barrier

This symbol indicates that audiences can understand and engage with the event without a comprehensive understanding of the English language.

See all Language no Barrier Events
Aural Ratings

Our aural ratings are designed to give audience members who are blind or low vision a better understanding of how they can access an event.

  • Aural Rating 100% – entirely sound-based with no visual elements, and can be fully experienced by blind or low vision audiences.
  • Aural Rating 75% – mainly sound-based, with visuals only incidental to the work, so blind or low vision audiences can have close to the full experience of the event.
  • Aural Rating 50% – has both sound and visual components, but sight isn’t essential to be able to engage with the event.
Tactile Tours

Free audio described tactile tours may be available for some events.

Content Warnings

All events have been asked to provide warnings, including whether an event contains sudden loud noises, strobe lighting or potentially triggering content. These will be advertised on each event’s online listing. Please read them carefully and get in touch if you have any queries.

Digital Fringe

Our digital platform, Digital Fringe, has been designed so that the majority of events are scheduled, in order to encourage social connection. Most events have more than one session, and some have various times available. For accessibility reasons we understand you may need to watch the event outside of the specified times available or require longer viewing. While it is impossible to recreate the entire digital live experience (including interacting with other audience members), we are pleased to be able to offer a replay of some of our digital content. If you require longer or flexible event access or would like to know more, please email info@melbournefringe.com.au or call (03) 9660 9600. Please note that we are unable to offer this for all events, and access will not be immediate.

As we navigate this digital world, we welcome your feedback and ideas on how we can make our digital events as accessible as possible. Get in touch with our Access and Inclusion Coordinator, Carly Findlay, on carly@melbournefringe.com.au or call the office on (03) 9660 9600. You can also reach us through the National Relay Service, just give them our number.

Booking Tickets

You can book your tickets on our website at melbournefringe.com.au or by calling Ticketing on 03 9660 9666. You can discuss any specific access needs by calling Ticketing on 03 9660 9666 or emailing boxoffice@melbournefringe.com.au.

If you need to, you can reach the Ticketing team through the National Relay Service (relayservice.gov.au) at no additional charge.

  • TTY users: phone 13 36 77 then ask for 03 9660 9666
  • Speak and Listen users: phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 03 9660 9666
  • Internet relay users: connect to the NRS (internet-relay.nrscall.gov.au) then type in 03 9660 9666
Companion & Carer Cards

If you have a Companion Card, you qualify for a second ticket (free!) to bring along a companion. If you have a Carer Card, you qualify for a concession-priced ticket. To book, please call Ticketing on 03 9660 9666 or email boxoffice@melbournefringe.com.au.


Guide Dogs and Service Animals

Guide dogs and assistance animals are welcome at all our venues – from public spaces to someone’s living room.

Accessibility Partner

Arts Access Victoria (AAV) is Melbourne Fringe’s accessibility partner. AAV is dedicated to an ambitious agenda of social and artistic transformation for people with disability, the communities in which they live and the arts sector in which they aspire to participate without barriers. For more information, visit artsaccess.com.au.


Melbourne Fringe makes every effort to ensure that our accessibility information is correct. Please get in touch with us if you spot a mistake, or if you have any suggestions or feedback, call us on 03 9660 9600 or email info@melbournefringe.com.au.