Participate in the Festival

Money for Art

We know being an artist is a blood, sweat and tears business, and this year, artists have needed more support than ever. During this challenging year, our incredible community of friends and supporters have come together to support over 132 artists facing financial difficulty and awarded over $300,000 of funds covering everything from the cost of registrations, to artist fees and commissions. Read all about that here.

Together we made this happen, and we really can’t thank you enough, our incredible Fringe fam!


ShowSupport is our art match-making service where we pair independent artists with our amazing donors to commission brand-new work to premier at this year’s Festival.
Our 2020 ShowSupport recipients and donors are:

  • Audible Cubicle by Ania Reynolds (presented in 2021)
  • Kindred by Danielle O’Malley (presented in 2021), supported by John and Lorraine Bates
  • Let Fall by Jareen Wee (presented in 2020), supported by Rosemary Forbes and Ian Hocking
  • Stay at Home by Kasey Gambling (presented in 2020), supported by Craig Semple
  • YES? by Kathleen Renehan (presented in 2021), supported by Dr Jenepher Martin
Ralph McLean Microgrants

Since launching in 2017, our Ralph Mclean Microgrants program has massively expanded and this year, we are thrilled to support artists facing structural disadvantage to participate in the Festival. The success of our Ralph Mclean Microgrants program has made this year’s Festival, one of the most diverse we have seen, continuing the great legacy of Ralph Mclean – art legend, former Fringe board member and diversity champion.

We acknowledge a significant gift from Michael Agar and Caroline Farmer, as well as a generous gift from the Persephone Foundation. A very big thank you to our supporters Dan Koop, Robin Lansdowne, Daniel Leighton, Elisa Metcalf, Bertha Rubin and Ron Elisha, Mike Wilson and family and friends of Ralph Mclean.

This year, 23 artists received a microgrant to assist with covering the cost of their registration including Alisa Tanaka King (The Conversations), Alon Ilsar (MorseCode), Anthony Noack (The Preacher), Cameron von Borstel (Lip Sync Roulette), Chelsea Coon (all star), Cheryl Ho ((Luò yè guī gēn) Getting Home), Danni Ray (Dazza and Keif Go Viral In Space with Ya Mum), Eden Porter (GB24 – The Improvised Variety News Channel), Gabriella Imrichova (no destination.), Hideto Ambiguous (Frames of the Chaos), Jake Silvestro (December – a work in progress), J Rosenbaum (Frankenstein’s Telephone), Maria Jose (Pepa) Paiva (The Empty Space), Michelle Lee (Broth Bitch), Michelle Hall (The Dirty Mother), Naomi Klemens (Hustlepuss), Olivia Wang (A stone’s throw), Patricia Silver (Countdown to Clowntown), Sarah Ward (Over 60 Under 10), S.E. Grummett (Creepy Boys), Sara Cowdell (Losing Touch), Simone Slattery (On the Wings of a Godwit), and Susannah Langley (Drawn to Sound Mobile App).

Jewel Box Performances Grants

Together with Jewel Box Performances, we are thrilled to support three artists of colour at this year’s Festival by providing registration fees, advertising and marketing support, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions with the Fringe Marketing Team. We are delighted to announce this year’s participating artists: Samuel Gaskin (RECKONING – Te Waiata Paihere Wairua -The Sounds of Woven Souls), Lynn Jacob (Sensory, to be presented in 2021) and Creatrix Tiara (Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fringe Fest Gala Stream).

Cash For Creatives

Our brand-new Cash for Creatives Lottery provides an easy, accessible way for artists to secure funding without the stress of grant applications. The program has been supported by the ACF National Crisis Response Extension Fund: COVID-19, a sub-fund of Australian Communities Foundation and the Broadtree Foundation, as well as our generous supporters the Ron and Marg Dobell Foundation and Rupert Myer AO.

The program offered grants to the following 26 artists to support the presentation of their work at the 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival: Alan Stewart (Southward), Alice Stephens (Lives of Lockdown), Alon Ilser (Trigger Happy Visualised), Ben Sheen (Stargazers), Chelle Destefano (Safe Space), Cordelia Doherty (Fables and Fairy-Tales for the Quiet Australians), David Woods (HomoDeathfuck), Diana Nguyen (The SnortCast Variety Show!), Ebony Macpherson (Fortune), Ebony Muller (Love Me, Please Love Me or sad space), Huei Yin Wong (Romeo and Juliet (2020)), Ian Pidd (Big Day In), James Batchelor (Alien Intimacy), Katie Sfetkidis (The Feminist Poster Project), Koraly Dimitriadi (No I am not washing your dirty plate arts festival showcase), Luna Gawler (Emissary 2920), Mish McNamara (Ineffable), one step at a time like this (Interior), Miss Cairo (The People of Cabaret), Richard Chadwick (Karen From Finance is Out of Office LIVE), Ripetide (Project Intimacy), Sarah Cowdell (Losing Touch), Sarah Ward (Over 60 Under 10), Simone French (A Suffocating Choking Feeling (Digital Experiment)), Snuff Puppets (Snuff Lovers heART), Sophie McCrae (Homesick).


Monash Microgrants

Thanks to our mates at Monash (we love saying that!), we provided microgrants to the following students to participate in the 2020 Festival: Georgia Bell (Glass Cocoons) and Ryan Hamilton (record: 2209, -37 145).

Moreland Microgrants

Our mates north of the river at Moreland City Council supported 10 artists by covering the cost of their registration if they are living or presenting their Fringe work within the city boundary.

The 2020 recipients are: Angela Rossitto (Night Works), Bella Singal (Source Amnesia), Coco Garner Davis (Birds), David Creed (DC Style Fylez – House of Fashion), Hugo Williams (A Red Square), Katrina Gaskell (I Once Was A Tree), Lucy Best (Sass and Chide), Maria Dunne (Silvio Di Baci), Sara Caputo (My Heart is Aching and No One Can Save Me), and Shannon Loughnane ((I’m Going to Die In This Bracket.))

Signal Digital

Signal Digital supports artists to take the next step in their creative practice, covering registration and venue costs, rehearsal spaces, and provided a range of workshops and development opportunities. We are thrilled to announce Alec Katsourakis (Play As You Go) as the 2020 recipient.


Eventotron Bursary

Eventotron – the team that looks after our Festival registration system – introduced the Eventotron Bursary this year, designed to help emerging and professional artists take their work to the next level and open doors in the arts industry. We are pleased to announce the 2020 Eventotron Bursary recipient is Louisa Wall (Lousical the Musical).

Your Space

Your Space is Melbourne Fringe’s inclusive professional development program for artists and producers who are Deaf or disabled. In partnership with Darebin Arts Speakeasy, this national program offers support to artists in the form of cold hard cash, as well as personalised mentoring, development opportunities and a showing of their work at Melbourne Fringe’s year-round-home Common Rooms. Because like Fringe, Your Space is all about making space for the voices we need to hear – right here, right now. The 2020 recipients are: Creatrix Tiara, Sam Martin, Meret Hassanen, Anna Molnar.


Step right up – Springboard is our brand-spanking new development program for circus artists. In partnership with Circus Oz, Melbourne Fringe has commissioned four independent circus companies to make new small-budget works for the 2021 Festival, supporting them with a huge program of professional and artistic development opportunities. Covering everything from pitching and sector development to artistic mentorship, this program is a serious investment in an art form hit hard by the need to be physically distant. Championing the Fringe ethos of diversity and inclusivity, we’re supporting circus artists who are First Nations, feminist, disabled and ready to springboard to greatness.

The Springboard recipients are: A Good Catch (The Continuing Contruction), Gravity Dolls (Future Proof), Throw Catch Collective (Escalation), Samantha Martin (Get Well Soon).


Trades Hall Writers Residency

Our Trades Hall Writers Residency is a brand new Fringe initiative supporting one writer in the (paid!) development of a brand new Fringe play at our new venue Fringe Common Rooms at Trades Hall. The residency is supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation and our inaugural recipient is James Jackson, whose play Bad News breaks open the relationship between power and the written word to reveal the exploited worker beneath.