Artist Opportunities

Supporting artists to make ground-breaking, innovative and brilliant art is Melbourne Fringe’s bread and butter. However, we know better than anyone that doing this does cost significantly more money than both bread and butter. At Melbourne Fringe, we’re committed to helping artists find money for their art. Our new Fringe Fund provides commission opportunities, concessions on fees, and even cold hard cash to ease financial pressure on artists so they can create amazing new art, and afford things like bread and butter.  

The Fringe Fund has two streams (much like our mixtape on Soundcloud). There’s ‘Cash to Create’ and ‘Cash for Equity’, which covers all things from backing big, bold ideas to levelling out the playing field.  

Listed below are all the opportunities that are currently open, you can apply via the forms linked at each opportunity. New callouts for commissions and grants will be announced throughout the year, so don’t be a stranger to this page and check back every once in a while. If you have any questions about anything Fringe Fund-related you can email our Program Manager (Sector Leadership), Kin Francis (they/them), at kin@melbournefringe.com.au or give them a call on 03 9660 9600.  

 

Cash to Create

ShowSupport

ShowSupport is back. One of our favourite initiatives that teams our private donors up with independent artists (like you) to create a brand-new work for this year’s Festival.

How does it work? We’ll do some matchmaking and pair artists with private donors who are keen to invest in the commissioning of a brand-new Fringe work. If they love the sound of your idea, they’ll back it. That’s right. You bring the art, they bring the cash – everyone wins.

The fine print:

  • You get $2,500 towards making your show
  • It must be a brand-new work

You must present your work at the 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival (6–23 October)

We’ll match potential projects with amazing patrons and they get to choose who they support. You get to work with a donor, learning how to negotiate a private financial relationship as well as chat to one of Melbourne Fringe’s Producers to help you each step of the journey.

Applications for ShowSupport close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 May.

Apply Now
Access Fund

We are excited to launch our brand-new Access Fund, an industry leading program that radically re-imagines accessibility at our Festival. Our Access Fund is a pool of money to support selected shows with a contribution towards covering access services costs for audiences because art needs to be for everyone – it needs to be accessible.

Our Access Fund will provide selected shows with a financial contribution between 50% to 100% of their access service costs for audiences. We encourage artists to embed access when coming up with ideas for their art. What do we mean by ’embedded access’? Simply put, it means prioritising access from the beginning of making a show. It shifts the creative conception of art from non-disabled and neurotypical biases into a creative process that involves Deaf and Disabled communities from the start.

How’s that for some Radical Access? But seriously, it is. Our Access Fund is a key initiative in our ten-year Radical Access program in partnership with Arts Access Victoria. Learn more here.

Applications for our Access Fund close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 May.

Apply Now

 

Proudly supported by James McCaughey

Ralph McLean Microgrants

Our Ralph Mclean Microgrants program is jam packed with small parcels of cash (a microgrant if you will) to support artists who are finding the rego fee or other upfront costs a barrier to participation. You can apply to have your rego fee waived (partially or in full) if that’s the particular thing standing in your way. The program also covers other upfront costs from things like fuel bursaries for regionally based artists, permit applications or even royalties. We are not waving large wads of cash around here but if you don’t have the cashflow to pay for a few small things, these microgrants are for you.

Whether you are applying for a theatre show, a digital performance or even a Design Fringe registration, Ralph is here to help. Priority for this program will be given to artists from our communities of focus (First Nations peoples, people of colour, Deaf and Disabled people and trans and gender diverse people) but the program is open to all other people who have experienced structural disadvantage.

Applications for Ralph Mclean Microgrants close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 May.

Apply Now
Club Fringe Commissions

At Fringe, we throw one hell of a party and as it’s our 40th birthday this year, we want to make it truly memorable. Since the beginning of time (ok, the past decade or so) Club Fringe has featured some of the best banging night-time treats dreamed up by some of Australia’s most exciting and ground-breaking artists.

We are offering three brand-new Club Fringe Commissions. Yes, we are fronting up cash so that you can throw us some amazing Club nights to celebrate 40 years of Fringe. We are looking for immersive art parties experiences, peppered with high energy performance and of course, creative use of the mirror balls.

Here’s the fine print:

  • $2,500 for you to self-produce an amazing Club Fringe event
  • Free venue hire in either the Common Rooms Ballroom or ETU Ballroom (why stop there, why not both?!?)
  • You take 100% of the door sales but just remember, artists get into the Club for free.
  • We’ll cover sound and lighting technician, front of house, security, ticketing, bar – you name it; but everything “behind the curtain” (artists, stage manager, production management, etc) is your responsibility

So, if you want to throw us damn good Club Fringe party, you can apply by filling out a Hub EOI form for Club Fringe and selecting that you would like to be considered for the Club Fringe Commissions in Part 5 of the form

Applications for Club Fringe Commissions close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 May.

Apply Now
Fringe of the Hub Commissions

The Fringe of the Hub is where all the gloriously weird and wonderful installation, durational and site-specific work lives at the Hub. We love the ideas that get pitched to us as part of this program! We’ve had an interactive visual and sound art installation in a shed, a dance work in a caravan, an entire children’s bedroom installation made out of knitted yarn, and an immersive site-specific performance in the basement where the audience were hooked up to a lie detector… we’ve seen a lot, and are keen to see more.

So to this end: we have a handful of $2,500 commissions available for great ideas that activate the Festival Hub and its surrounds. Pitch us your ideas, and if it’s the sort of thing that will Festival Hub that bit more Fringey you’ll get some cash to help cover your costs.

You can apply by filling out a Hub EOI form for Fringe of the Hub and selecting that you would like to be considered for the Fringe of the Hub Commissions in Part 5 of the form; priority will be given to projects that are free or have limited tickets available due to the nature of the work.

Applications for Fringe of the Hub Commissions close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 May.

Apply Now
Geelong Arts Centre Encore Season

We’ve partnered with Geelong Arts Centre, who are thrilled to present what we’re calling an “Encore Season” for the Festival Hub.

Geelong Arts Centre will curate a program of some top picks from the Festival Hub to present to their audiences. There’s a focus on Comedy, Cabaret and Live Music but they are open to any ideas that come their way. And they will pay you an upfront fee of $1,500 per performance for your time, effort and impeccable performance skills.

Selected works will be offered a minimum of two and a maximum of four performances (on different days) – so that’s between $3,000 and $6,000 in straight-up cash if you’re programmed (cha-ching).

The dates of the Encore Season are Wed 19 – Sat 22 October, so if you are chosen for this we can only program you for the first half of the Festival Hub season (Thu 6 – Fri 14 October).

If you’re interested in this opportunity, you just need to fill out a Hub EOI form for a Programmed Space in the Hub, and select that you want to be considered for the Geelong Arts Centre Encore Season in Part 5 of the form.

Applications for Geelong Arts Centre Encore Season close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 May.

Apply Now

Cash for Equity

The Cash for Equity stream is our way of levelling the playing field and making sure that anyone who has an amazing idea or project can be part of Melbourne Fringe including people facing financial hardship or structural disadvantage.

This includes First Nations peoples, Deaf and disabled people and people who identify as People of Colour or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse..

We currently have two major programs running under Cash for Equity: Deadly Fringe and Radical Access. If you are an artist who identifies as First Nations, Deaf, or disabled please get in touch by emailing kin@melbournefringe.com.au and we can start a conversation around how we can support you to present work at Melbourne Fringe.