Participate in the Festival

Frequently Asked Questions about Registration

We reckon you’ve landed on this page because a) you’re keen to register for Melbourne Fringe Festival 2020 and b) you’ve got questions. Maybe even some “frequently asked” ones. We’ve tried our best to answer them all below, but if we’ve missed anything, give our Participant Services team a buzz on 0434 019 817 or artists@melbournefringe.com.au We’re also happy to meet face-to-face (or Zoom to Zoom) – please make an appointment here if you’d like to chat with us. We update these FAQs regularly as your questions come in.

 

Is the Festival going ahead in 2020?  
Yes! The Festival will go ahead from 12 – 29 November. We are closely following government advice to ensure that the Festival will be delivered in whatever way is safe, legal and responsible. Whether we can gather together in small groups, enjoy art at social distances or entirely from the comfort of our homes, one thing we know for sure is there WILL be a Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2020.
Can my show / event / exhibition be in the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2020?

This one is easy. The answer is yes! Anyone can be part of the Festival. We’re a proudly inclusive, open access Festival. We’re all about variety, whichever form that comes in. Arts-focused or not, we welcome events of all kinds.

How are registrations working this year?

Registrations, just like most things, look a bit different this year. All events in the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2020 will fit into one of two categories – we’re calling them Pants Off and Pants On.

This year, there is no official closing date, but to guarantee your event goes on sale for our program launch on 22 October you will need to have finalised your registration by 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September. To allow artists an opportunity to be as flexible as possible this year, registrations will remain open for all events throughout the Festival. Please email artists@melbournefringe.com.au if you intend on registering an event and you missed the deadline. We’ll do our best to get your event on sale as soon as we possibly can (but we’ll need at least 5 business days before your event is up on our website).

How can I take part in the Festival?

There are four ways you can get involved this year:

  1. Be part of Virual Common Rooms – It’ll look a little different this year – and Expressions of Interest have now closed.
  2. Be part of an established venue – We’re working with our regular Fringe venues to muddle through what’s possible come November. Different venues have different flavours – they’ve all got separate EOI forms and due dates, so read their EOIs carefully and apply directly to them from 1 July. More info 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 a “Pants Off” event.

Check our Find Your Art a Home for more info. If you have an idea but you’re not quite sure where it fits… reach out. Our Participants Services Team are available to help you! Please make an appointment here if you’d like to chat with us.

What is Digital Fringe?

We have been all hands on deck to develop a new online platform called Digital Fringe that will feature post-event “Choose Your Price” ticketing, a digital foyer, chat functions and more. Digital Fringe had it’s first test outing at VCR Fest. You can read a bit about what we learnt here.

When do I have to submit my digital content?

If your first performance date is between 12-15 November, submission deadline for files is Monday 2 November 2020. If your first performance date is between 16-22 November, submission deadline for files is Monday 9 November 2020. If your first performance date is between 23-29 November, submission deadline for files is Monday 16 November 2020.

What type of content does the Digital Fringe platform accept?

The Digital Fringe platform will host all live stream and pre-recorded content; and will host links to all interactive and webinar style content and other digital content. For all content, you will be required to upload your file or link to our platform by the submission deadlines.

Live Streaming

Live Streaming is where you directly broadcast a video to a source. You will need to ensure you have the ability to stream from your computer with suitable equipment, including software (e.g. OBS) and internet connection (e.g. through a mobile hotspot).

If your event requires you to see your audience and requires live feedback (anything from a comedian asking what job an audience member does, to a fully immersive experimental digital theatre performance) then you should generally select “Interactive Content” or “Other Digital Content”.

Pre-recorded Content

Pre-recorded content is when you create the content entirely in advance of the event screening, so there is no live component.

Interactive Content

Interactive Content refers to live broadcasts or streaming of your event that allow for an interactive experience from your audience to you (like a Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp performance). This includes webinar style performances on Zoom.

Other Digital Content

This is for everything else. This option should be ticked in your Eventotron registration form if your event will be hosted on an external website. This option is for events hosted on your website, a VR platform and events that will be livestreamed or pre-recorded externally (and not on the Digital Fringe platform).
Tell me more about Pants, please.
  • Pants Off events: The audience won’t see anyone IRL, so what they wear from the waist down is up to them (just remind them to be mindful if their camera is on and they get up for a glass of water during an interactive event). This is content that can be fully experienced by anyone from the comfort of their home and could be pre-recorded, live or interactive work. If this sounds like your wild idea – you can register now.
  • Pants On events: The audience member needs to leave the house and interact with the world to attend your event, so wearing something from the waist down is probably required. Think galleries, bars, shop windows, the median strip outside your house… If this is more up your alley – you can register now.

The main question to ask yourself is: Does my event require the audience to leave the house?

If you answered NO, you’ve got yourself a Pants Off event. If you answered YES, you’ve got yourself a Pants On event.

But I want BOTH. Can my event be Pants On AND Pants Off?

YES. You can wear your pants and eat them too (what?). For example, if you want to perform your show in a venue and live-stream it so that people can watch it from home, you can. What’s the catch? You will have to pay an extra registration fee of $100 to upgrade your event if you’d like to have an IRL event and live stream it too. This is an administration fee so your show can be hosted on Digital Fringe (our new online platform).

Can you help me find a venue?

The Melbourne Fringe Festival remains open-access, which means we do not decide which venues will be operating in November. We recognise that finding a venue for an in-person event is very tricky in 2020… but we are here to help! Not sure where to start? Check out our venues page, established venues EOIs and venue browser on Eventotron for more information. Looked through these and you’re still unsure? Get in touch and we will do everything we can to talk it out.

When is the program launch?

The Melbourne Fringe Festival program will officially launch (and tickets will go on sale!) on 22 October 2020. Pop it in your diary, folks!

What if my event can’t go ahead? Will I get my show registration fee refunded?

If an event is cancelled due to COVID-19, artists will be given the following options:

  1. Receive a full refund of their registration fee; or
  2. Adapt your show to a digital or physically distanced (Pants Off) context; or
  3. Roll it over to cover an equivalent registration for the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival

Please note: you won’t get a refund for simply changing your mind so think about whether you’re in a position to put on a show in this year’s Festival. If you choose to be refunded or roll their show over to 2021, all the hard work you’ve put into registering your event on Eventotron will not go to waste! All your event details will remain in the system for next year.

How do I register?

When 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:

  • An awesome event + Event Title
  • A short blurb describing your event – keep it short, sharp and savvy
  • A great image – we’ll use this on our website so make it pop!
  • A physical distance rating
  • Your venue (don’t forget this year your venue can be Digital Fringe!)
  • Dates and times of performances, or exhibition opening hours
  • Ticket prices (if applicable)
  • If you have one, some or all of these but don’t know what to do, contact our friendly Participant Services Team
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 “pants on” or “pants off” event.

What’s an Open Access Festival?
An Open Access festival means 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.
How much does it cost to register?

Registrations are half price in 2020 and you’ll only be required to put down a $95 deposit when registering. Full registration fees are as follows:

  • Free event – $137.50
  • One-off paid event: $157.50
  • 2-3 Paid Sessions – $182.50
  • 4+ Paid Sessions – $215

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 on our website (our website receives over 1 million hits during the Festival)
  • For digital events, access to our bespoke online platform “Digital Fringe” and technical advice from our wonderful Broadcast Managers
  • Access support and services
  • Artist Development opportunities
  • Free info sessions
  • Discounts on advertising and printing
  • Touring and Awards opportunities
  • Don’t forget the all-coveted artists pass (granting you access to hundreds of Festival shows 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. Melbourne Fringe retains the following amounts per ticket sold through our ticketing system:

  • Inside charge for tickets under $10: $1.50
  • Inside charge for tickets under $15: $3.00
  • 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 ($15 to you and $3 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. Check out our Do Some Sums page for more info.

How do I apply to be part of the Virtual Common Rooms at Trades Hall?

Virtual Common Rooms is for digital events filmed at Trades Hall in Carlton and is programmed and run by Melbourne Fringe. EOIs for the Festival Hub for 2020 are now closed. Please contact artists@melbournefringe.com.au if you missed out on applying for Virtual Common Rooms and want to get involved.

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

Fringe Common Rooms is our year-round venue, programmed in the Old Ballroom and The Annexe 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.

What are you doing to help artists whose finances have been affected by COVID-19? 

There’s our extensive Ralph Mclean Microgrants program, which aims to support 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 25%, 50% or 90% off registration fees to a large pool of people who can’t afford them. Have a look at our Money for Art page for available opportunities.

But that’s not all…

  • Digital-only events are entitled to a half price registration.
  • Registration fees will be payable in instalments with a $95 deposit payable on registration.
  • For digital 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 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival?

Now this one is tricky. COVID-19 is real. Borders are closed. Travel is limited. 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 November 2020. As much as it breaks our heart, we strongly recommend that international artists do not travel to Melbourne to put on a show in 2020. 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 – can I put on a show or event at the 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival?

We know just as much (or as little) as you do about what travel and visa restrictions will be in place in Victoria and Australia in November 2020. But we can tell you this… we’ve got your back. If you register an event and are unable to travel interstate 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 or physically distanced (pants off) context; or
  3. Roll it over to cover an equivalent registration for the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival.
How can I ensure my online event is as accessible as possible?

With so many people with disability isolated at home, online accessibility has never been more important. Live streaming with captions or recording events and publishing with transcripts are a few of the simple ways you can make your events more accessible. Check out our Producers Guide to Access and Guide to Digital and Physically Distanced Art for some more tips! If you’ve got any questions about how to make your event more accessible, you can get in touch with our Access and Inclusion Coordinator – Carly Findlay by emailing carly@melbournefringe.com.au or book in an appointment with her here.

Why aren’t you printing an event listings in the Festival Guide this year?

Given the uncertain nature of 2020, we wanted to be as flexible as possible with timelines. One of these firm timelines that is impossible to shift is our printed guide. So, to allow a longer decision-making process and registration period for artists, we decided against printing a full Festival Guide. We will still be printing a smaller printed booklet to promote the Festival as a whole, but this won’t have individual show listings. We will still be providing individual show listing pages for all artists, and have expanded our online advertising campaign to ensure we get as many eyes as possible on your brilliant art.

How much should I charge for my digital event?

This one is entirely up to you. You may decide to go for ‘Choose Your Price’, where audiences can determine what they would like to pay after they’ve seen your show.  This could be a good option for you if your budget can support it, as we’re all in unknown territory here and can’t say with certainty what the average price point or general audience appetite is for a digital event.

If you prefer to go with a traditional ticketing/pre-pay model, here are some things to consider:

  • Have a look at other online events similar to yours. What are they charging?
  • How much do you need to break even/make a profit?
  • Are you limiting capacity, or is your audience pool endless?
  • What are the value points for your show? Is it interactive? Does the audience member get a bespoke experience? Is your show unique, or something similar to what is currently being offered for free?

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.

What’s physically distanced art?

Physically distanced art is a term that we conjured up in the midst of a global pandemic. It’s art that can be enjoyed remotely (i.e. from the comfort of your home) or in a physically distant way (i.e. with 4 square metres around each audience member or on a solo walk through your neighbourhood). Basically, all events that can be experienced whilst complying with social distancing rules.

Every event will have to select a physical distance rating in order to be part of this year’s Festival and this will be included in your event listing on our website. This rating is not only important for your audience but it’s also important for YOU as it affects the date that you can register your event. Check out our Guide to Physically Distanced Art for more info on choosing a physical distance rating.

Please note: making and presenting your Fringe event should not compromise the safety of you or those around you. It is super important that you follow the intention of the restrictions outlined by the Victorian government, and practice safe social distancing where required, both when rehearsing and creating your show and putting on your performance. Finding a loophole (like calling your performance a funeral or an open house inspection) might make it legal but could still put your audience in unnecessary risk.

Where can I go for more information?

Chat to us! We are available to answer any questions you throw our way. If you have a quick question, call the Participant Services team direct on their working from home hotline 0434 019 817 or give the Fringe Office a call on (03) 9660 9600. If you’re after a longer chat with us, book in a phone or Zoom appointment here 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.