Festival Info

Melbourne Fringe Festival Awards

Melbourne Fringe Awards are an opportunity for Melbourne’s arts community to celebrate and acknowledge the diversity, professionalism and exceptional quality of work in each year’s Festival.

At Melbourne Fringe we present four different types of awards:

  • Best in Festival Awards
  • Artist Development Awards
  • Touring Awards
  • Special Awards

Information about Awards Eligibility and Judging Criteria can be found here.

2021 Award Winners

Best in Festival Awards

The Best in Festival Awards are judged by the Melbourne Fringe judging panels. The judging panels are a team of over 30 industry practitioners, drawn from a diverse range of fields and backgrounds. All works are viewed by at least 2 panel members in order to be eligible for consideration.   

Best Work in Festival Award
Little Monster – Telia Nevile
psyche404error  – Margot Tanjutco

Best Work by an Emerging Artist Award:
Juniper Wilde: Wilde Night In – Alex Hines

Spirit of the Fringe Award:
Our Hair, Our Culture, Our Stories – Pasifika Storytellers Collective

Judging Panel 

We are committed to ensuring that the diversity of judges represents to the diversity of artists in the Festival and in the Australian population. Judges are selected through a broad consultation process that is based upon significant contribution and experience in the sector.   

Our 2021 judges include the following industry professionals: 

  • Alice Qin
  • Andrew McClelland
  • Annie Bourke
  • Anne-Marie Peard
  • Aseel Tayah
  • Bridget Bantick
  • Bronwyn Pringle
  • Cassandra Fumi
  • Cate Consandine
  • Dan Goronszy
  • Dean Worthington
  • Edwina Green
  • James Jackson
  • Jesse Oliver
  • Jodee  Mundy
  • Lauren Dunn
  • Petra Kalive
  • Samuel Gaskin
  • Sarah Neville
  • Shamita Sivabalan
  • Shian Law
  • Skye Gellmann
  • Torben Deinert
  • Walter Kadiki
  • Wes Snelling
  • Yvonne Virsik
  • Rachel Lee
  • Vanessa Shia
  • Victoria Chiu
  • Anonymous (3)
Artist Development Awards

Presented by a range of our partner organisations these awards recognise achievement in specific fields and provide mentoring and professional development opportunities within these fields.

Access Award
Supported by Arts Access Victoria
Pah! Deaf Storytelling Night – Sam Martin

  • A professional development or mentorship opportunity with an Arts Access Victoria senior staff member
  • Umbrella advertising on the Arts Access Website

Best Adaptation from Stage to Screen
Supported by Theatre Network Australia 
psyche404error – Margot Tanjutco

  • A free Small Company Theatre Network Australia Membership for 12 months
  • A one-on-one skill session with one of Theatre Network Australia’s senior
  • 12 months of free casual use of TNA’s Salon and hot desk in TNA’s accessible Southbank office
  • Complimentary registration to the Victorian Theatre Forum in 2022

Best Emerging Indigenous Artist
Supported by Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts & Cultural Development (VCA & MCM)
Brodie Murray for Billy’s Choice

  • A $500 gift card to be used for a short course at VCA/MCM

Best Performance Ensemble
Supported by Theatre Network Australia
YUMMY: How to Make a Western –YUMMY Productions

  • A free Small Company Theatre Network Australia Membership for 12 months
  • A one-on-one skill session with one of Theatre Network Australia’s senior staff
  • 12 months of free casual use of TNA’s Salon and hot desk in TNA’s accessible Southbank office
  • Complimentary registration to the Victorian Theatre Forum in 2022

Best Emerging Producer
Supported by MILKE
Isabella Perversi for What rhymes with orange?

  • Six months of Producer Mentoring with MILKE

Best Emerging Writer
Supported by the Emerging Writers’ Festival
Margot Tanjutco for psyche404error

  • Winner will be programmed as an EWF artist in a performance event and/or panel discussion as part of the 2022 Festival

Best Practice in Cultural Equity
Supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria
The People of Cabaret: We Are Here – The People of Cabaret

  • A professional development opportunity, including a series of meetings throughout 2022 with Multicultural Arts Victoria staff to facilitate the next development phase of the winning project and artist’s career

Emerging Company Incubator Award
Supported by Monash University’s Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music & Performance
PONY CAM

  • In-kind rehearsal and working space (subject to available resources)
  • Opportunity to present a new work, artistic presentation or pitch session to Monash staff & students in a Monash venue (subject to available resources)
  • Research and practical mentoring/support provided Monash

Hybrid Touring Market Ready Award
Supported by Regional Arts Victoria
Streaming Seamen! The Digital Sea Shanty Spectacular – The Shanties Choir, with Alex Morris, Beatrice Lewis, Victoria Falconer-Pritchard, Will Hannagan and Cameron Stewart

  • 2 x Showcase delegate passes for the winning artists/producers
  • 12 months membership of Regional Arts Victoria for an organisation or up to 2 individuals
  • Mentoring from Regional Arts Victoria Programming staff
  • Invitations to any professional development workshops run by Regional Arts Victoria in the following 12 month period

The Art Unbound Award
Supported by Experimenta
JSMR – Jessica Stanley

  • Curatorial, production and/or marketing consultation/mentorship with Experimenta and invitations to 2022 programs and events

The Headroom Award
Supported by RISING
Ruthless World – Ken Chau, Derrick Duan, Roshelle Fong, Paxus Productions, Christie Widiarto and Helen He

  • A personally tailored mentorship opportunity that responds to the vision and skill of the winning artist and/or company

The Phantasmagorical Award
Supported by Temperance Hall
That One Time I Joined the Illuminati – Lou Wall

  • $500 cash prize
  • Two weeks of studio space at Temperance Hall to further develop and/or reimagine work
  • Up to 8 hours artistic and producing mentoring in-kind

Sound and Technical Excellence Award
Supported by Front of House Productions
Hey Hey It’s Lockdown! – Game Boys Comedy

  • $500 cash prize

Young Creatives Award
Supported by SIGNAL
Brodie Murray for Billy’s Choice

  • Creative and/or professional mentoring to the value of $1,000
Touring Awards

Presented by Festivals from across Australia these awards provide assistance to present your work at one of our partner festivals. These awards are chosen by representatives from the partner festival.

The NSW Tour Ready Award
Supported by Sydney Fringe
YUMMY: How to make a Western – YUMMY Productions

The NZ Tour Ready Award
Supported by New Zealand Fringe
Juniper Wilde: Wilde Night In – Alex Hines

The QLD Tour Ready Award
Supported by Brisbane Comedy Festival
That One Time I Joined the Illuminati – Lou Wall

The SA Tour Ready Award
Supported by Adelaide Fringe
Streaming Seamen! The Digital Sea Shanty Spectacular – The Shanties Choir with Alex Morris, Beatrice Lewis, Victoria Falconer-Pritchard, Will Hannagan and Cameron Stewart

The WA Tour Ready Award
Supported by FRINGE WORLD Festival
Dazza and Keif Reenact the Titanic Movie Playing All the Roles – Dazza & Keif

Design Fringe Awards

Best in Experimental Design Award
Jessica Broad for Bento

Best in Furniture Award
Anthony Yang for 7 Teardrops

Best in Homewares and Object Design Award
Madison Elrick for Here you go

Best in Lighting Award
Marta Figueiredo for Stardust Lamp

Design Fringe Mentorships
Supported by the Victorian Women’s Trust
Aviva Same for Dismembrium
Jillian Stevenson for Baggage

Design Futures Award
Supported by Authentic Design Alliance
Marta Figueiredo for Stardust Lamp
Kathleen Prentice for Melt Console
Kirby Bourke for Simple(y) (a)chair
Jillian Stevenson for Baggage
Lauren Haynes for Foli side table/stool

Design Innovation Award
Supported by MPavillion
Marta Figueiredo for Stardust Lamp

Special Awards

Presented by Melbourne Fringe along with some of our key partners, the Special Awards recognise excellence from our participants in ways that aren’t covered by the Artist Development awards. This includes recognising technical excellence, emerging talent, great feminist work, outstanding venue management and much more.

Best Feminist Work
Supported by MC Security
Juniper Wilde: Wilde Night In – Alex Hines

Industry Trivia All-Star Champion Award
RISING

 Director’s Choice
Simon Taylor’s Comedy Picnic – Simon Taylor

 People’s Choice Award
YUMMY: How to Make a Western – YUMMY Productions

Living Legends

The Melbourne Fringe Living Legend Award is presented each year to someone who has inspired high-quality work as an exemplar to the Fringe community. Read more about our Living Legends here.

2021: Dr Lou Bennett AM
2020: Bill Coleby
2019: Anni Davey OAM
2018: Susie Dee
2017: Richard Watts
2016: Rinske Ginsberg
2015: Ian Pidd