Participate in the Festival

A banner image with a centred face looking to the side with pursed lips. The background is blue and hazy light.

Artist Registration Key Info

We reckon you’ve landed on this page because a) you’re keen to register for Melbourne Fringe Festival and b) you’ve got questions. You can find all the key details below, but for an even deeper dive into the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival, head to our brand-new Resource Hub.

Head to the Resource Hub

 

What date is the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival?

The 2021 Festival is happening 30 September to 17 October.

Key Registration Dates and Deadlines
Regos, Money for Art and Festival Hub EOIs openMon 17-May
Festival Hub EOIs Close (12pm)Mon 31-May
Money for Art EOIs Close (11.59pm)Sun 06-Jun
Earlybird regos deadlineFri 25-Jun
Regos close (5pm)Fri 09-Jul

For all key dates, head to the Resource Hub.

Can my show / event / exhibition be in the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2021?

This one is easy. The answer is yes! Anyone can be part of the Festival. We’re a proudly inclusive, open access Festival, meaning anyone can be a part of it, and all work is presented by the artists or their independent producers. Melbourne Fringe Festival provides a thorough framework to support the presentation of their events, but we do not “buy in” (i.e. provide artist guarantees) for individual shows – any monetary support we can offer is done through our Money for Art programs.

Do I have to audition or submit any material to be selected?

Nope! Art is for everyone and everyone is welcome, all you need to do is register your event.

How can I take part in the Festival?

There are four ways you can get involved:

  1. Be part of our Festival Hub – Expressions of interest are now closed for 2021.
  2. Be part of an established venue – Check out our list of venues accepting Expressions of Interest here.
  3. DIY Show, BYO venue– Go your own way. Found an empty window to exhibit in? Or are you just inviting the audience to sit on your back lawn and watch you dance? If you’ve got the perfect venue for your event, let us (and them) know!
  4. Digital Fringe – If your event happens online, and your audience experience it from home, you can register your event on our digital platform, Digital Fringe.

Learn more on our Find a Venue page.

What is Digital Fringe?

Our Digital Fringe platform allows artists to get their pre-recorded shows, live events and other digital content to us so we can host, promote and sell tickets to their work online. It can host all kinds of work, from pre-recorded and live-streamed content directly embedded into the platform, to providing a framework for audiences to access and pay for other digital events that rely on third party software such as Zoom. If you are presenting a digital work please ensure you have read and understood the guide to registering digital events (including how to add links and embed codes) and that you follow the steps outlined in Eventotron.

Can you help me find a venue?

Absolutely. You can call or email our participant services team on (03) 9660 9600 or artists@melbournefringe.com.au and we will do everything we can to find the perfect home for your idea.

What’s the difference between the Festival Hub and Fringe Common Rooms?

Fringe Common Rooms is our year-round venue, programmed in the Ballroom and the Lounge at Trades Hall. Common Rooms houses mostly one-off events and we program it all year-round. The Festival Hub operates in multiple rooms throughout Trades Hall (including Common Rooms) and is only active during the 2.5 weeks of the Festival each year. If you want to submit an expression of interest for Fringe Common Rooms, go here.

How do I register?

When you’ve read the Resource Hub from front to back and you’re ready to register, you will be able to hop online and register your event using our registration system Eventotron (very space age, we know). You will be required to provide us with a range of information, including:

  • Event Title
  • A short blurb describing your event
  • A great image– we’ll use this in our printed festival guide and on our website
  • Your venue
  • Dates and times of performances, or exhibition opening hours
  • Ticket prices (if applicable)
How much does it cost to register?

This year, you will only be required to put down a $95 deposit when registering. The remainder of your registration fee be taken out upon settlement of your ticket sales (at the end of your Festival season).

Full registration fees are as follows:

  • Free (including free ticketed) event: $275.00
  • One off paid event: $315.00
  • 2-3 paid sessions/performances: $365.00
  • 4+ paid sessions/performances: $430.00

Note: Early bird prices are $50 cheaper for each category (closes 25 June)! All registration fees are GST free.

What do I get for my registration?

Your Registration Fee covers everything from:

  • Inclusion in the Melbourne Fringe Festival
  • Dedicated event listing in our printed Program Guide (50,000 copies)
  • Dedicated event listing on the Festival website (over one million hits during the festival)
  • Extensive resources and support from the Artist Services team, including access to the brand-new Resource Hub with endless written resources and handy videos
  • Access support and services
  • Artist Development opportunities, including salon sessions for some face-to-face advice from the best in the biz
  • Discounts on advertising and printing
  • Touring and Awards opportunities
  • An excellent and inclusive community of fellow artists, performers, producers and arts administrators to share the wild ride with
  • Plus the all-coveted, literally priceless Artist Pass, granting you access to hundreds of Festival shows and our iconic Club Fringe for free!
So, what do I need to do to produce an event?

Aside from having an amazing idea, and making brilliant art, you will need to produce your event (or hire a producer). Melbourne Fringe does not produce events for artists. Producing a show involves everything from securing a venue, managing the budget, scheduling rehearsals, marketing and publicity, ticketing, sourcing technical equipment if required, obtaining insurance and licences and much more. We provide you with a variety of great resources and free information sessions to guide you through all of this, and are always on the end of the phone to offer advice, but it is up to you to make the event happen.

Does Melbourne Fringe take a percentage of my ticket sales?

There is an inside charge per ticket, included in the ticket price you advertise for your event. In 2021, inside charges are the following amounts per ticket sold through our ticketing system:

  • Inside charge for tickets under $10: $1.50
  • Inside charge for tickets $10 – $14.99: $2.50
  • Inside charge for tickets $15 – $24.99: $3.50
  • Inside charge for tickets $25 – $39.99: $4.00
  • Inside charge for tickets over $40: $4.50

So, if you require $15 from your ticket for your budgeted sales income, your advertised ticket price should be $18.50 ($15 to you and $3.50 commission to Melbourne Fringe). We don’t take any of the money from tickets you sell on the door at your event (one hour prior to the performance), but your venue may, so keep this in mind.

How much should I charge for my event?

This one is entirely up to you. You may decide to set your ticket price or go for our new ‘Flexible Pricing’ model where audiences can determine whether they would like to pay less than full price, full price or an overflowing price. You can choose from a range of discount options too, to help you promote your event to a wider audience. We can’t tell you what to charge, but with the average in-person ticket price coming in at $24 at our 2019 Festival, that could be a place to start.

How can I ensure my event is as accessible as possible?

Check out our Producers Guide to Access! If you’ve got any questions about how to make your event more accessible, you can get in touch with our Access Advisor – Carly Findlay by emailing carly@melbournefringe.com.au.

What are you doing to help artists financially?

We have extensive support options available for artists facing financial or structural disadvantage. Now more than ever we want to support as many artists as possible, so this year’s program offers discounted or waived registration fees if the registration fee is a barrier to access for you. Have a look at our Money for Art page for available opportunities. Plus:

  • Registration fees will be payable in instalments with a $95 deposit payable on registration.
  • For all events, we’ll guarantee against loss by taking the rest of your registration fee out of ticket sales, rather than requiring upfront payments. And we’ll cover the remainder of your registration fee if your ticket sales aren’t sufficient.
  • Registration fees will be refunded if a change in government restrictions means an in-person event cannot proceed, or an artist can choose to transfer their registration to an online event if they prefer.
I’m from overseas – can I put on a show or event at the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival?

As all Festival events are self-produced, you will need to make your own visa arrangements. It’s unclear at this stage what travel and visa restrictions will be in place in Victoria (and Australia) in October 2021. As much as it breaks our heart, we recommend that international artists do not travel to Melbourne to put on a show in 2021. It’s just too risky. BUT… At Melbourne Fringe we love breaking down barriers – including time zones and borders. So, if you’re an international artist, here’s our challenge for you: how can you present an event at the Festival that doesn’t involve you physically having to be here? How about a digital or physically distanced show? Get in touch with us to discuss your ideas! We’ll sort out our clocks and be Zoom-ing in no time.

I’m from interstate or Aotearoa/New Zealand – can I put on a show or event at the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival?

We hope so! If you register an event and are unable to travel due to government travel restrictions, you will be given the following options:

  1. Receive a full refund of your registration fee; or
  2. Adapt your show to a digital context; or
  3. Roll it over to cover an equivalent registration for the 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival.
What’s FringeMakers?

FringeMakers is our home for past/present/future participants of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and Fringe Common Rooms. It’s the best place to get the most up to date info on the latest artist opportunities and help you with all that registration bizz. Follow FringeMakers here.

Where can I go for more information?

Head to the Resource Hub for literally everything you could ever want to know. And more. You can also call the Participant Services team on (03) 9660 9600 or flick us an email on artists@melbournefringe.com.au. You can also contact us through the National Relay Service – just give Melbourne Fringe’s digits.

You can also stay in touch by signing up to our eNews or following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.