Participate in the Festival

A photo of a perfomer singing into a microphone. It's a close up of their face, turned to the side, and the background is dark lighting.

Money for Art

Making ground-breaking, innovative and brilliant work ain’t free. And after the strain of the 18 months (we shall not speak its name), we know that for artists, pulling  together the pennies they need is still a challenge. At Melbourne Fringe, we are committed to helping artists find money for their art. Our Money for Art program provides commissioning opportunities, cold hard cash and help with rego fees to ease the financial pressure and keep artists’ pockets full. We work to reduce barriers to access and maximise participation for people facing financial hardship and structural disadvantage, including First Nations peoples, Deaf and disabled people and people who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse.

In 2022, with the support of the Victorian Government we’re launching a new artist commissioning program. This will get money direct to artists, create boundary-pushing new work and up the game of Melbourne’s independent arts scene. Watch this space.

To browse all the events that have been supported by the Money for Art program in 2021, check out our Amplified by Melbourne Fringe guide.

Prefer to listen to the info on this page? Click play on the audio player below.



ShowSupport is our match-making service for art. We pair independent artists up with our amazing private donors who are interested in commissioning original work to premiere in the 2021 Festival. Our 2021 ShowSupport recipients and donors are:

  • Brodie Murray supported by Craig Semple
  • Chi-Uh Neylon supported by Dr Jenepher Martin
  • Lyall Brooks supported by Christopher Reed, Rosemary Walls and Pinky Watson (presenting in 2022).
  • Maya Kjellstrand supported by Dr Jenepher Martin
  • Benjamin Nichol supported by Pinky Watson and Rosemary Walls
  • Piaera Lauritz supported by Rosemary Forbes and Ian Hocking


Cash For Creatives and Ralph Mclean Microgrants

These two pools of funding provide sweet no-strings-attached cash to artists. The Cash for Creatives seed funding, shelled out in $500, $1,000, $1,500 and $2,000 morsels, helps to get a whole suite of new event ideas moving ahead. Our Ralph Mclean Microgrants help artists from our communities of focus, or who are facing financial disadvantage, launch past the barriers society has placed that might have prevented them from participating in the Festival.

Cash for Creatives is supported by the Australian Government RISE Fund. Ralph Mclean Microgrants is supported by significant gifts from a Friend of Fringe and the Persephone Foundation.

Jewel Box Grants

We’re partnering up once again with Jewel Box Performances to provide a tailored program of support for artists who identify as Indigenous, Black or people of colour. The Jewel Box grants not only commission original works to be presented at the Festival, but offer bespoke marketing support for each recipient, too.

Our 2021 Jewel Box grant recipients are Thomas Fonua, Melody Shotade and Malith Wijayawardhana.

Digital Discovery Commissions

These juicy commissions of $5,000 look for something special in the digital space. They focus on work that challenges how we think about digital art and performance, where artists embrace the digital form and create something that simply couldn’t exist IRL. We’re ready to have our digital minds blown.

Our 2021 Digital Discovery Commission recipients are Djovan Caro and Vidya Rajan.



Festivals Moreland Development Program

Our incredible friends at Moreland City Council have developed a brand-new commission for three lucky artists living and/or working in the Moreland municipality. The commission, including up to $5,000 went towards artist fees for the development of a compelling new participatory or live artwork at the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

The 2021 Festivals Moreland recipients are Katrina Gaskell, Rebecca Jensen & Sarah Aiken (Deep Soulful Sweats) and Laura Trenerry.


Monash Microgrants

Current Monash students are eligible for a Festival registration fee waiver as part of our partnership with Monash University’s Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance. Valued at $430 for a season of work in 2021, these ten microgrants cover inclusion in the Festival program, support from our artist services and accessibility teams, and artist development opportunities throughout the year.