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Fringe Fund

The Fringe Fund helps our very best emerging and independent artistic talent achieve incredible things, supporting artists to find the money they need to make ground-breaking, innovative and brilliant art. The Fringe Fund provides commissioning opportunities, concessions on fees, and even cold hard cash to ease financial pressure on artists so they can do what they do best.

If you are an artist, under Opportunities for Artists you’ll find a list of all the Fringe Fund opportunities that are currently open, and you can apply via the forms linked at each opportunity. Check back regularly – new callouts for commissions and grants are announced throughout the year, so don’t be a stranger!

If you are interested in supporting our work by giving to the Fringe Fund, read more about Supporting Artists to find out how.

If you have any questions about anything Fringe Fund-related you can email our Artist Services team at artists@melbournefringe.com.au or give us a call on 03 9660 9600.

Artist Opportunities

Round one of Fringe Fund opportunities are now live! Keep reading for more information on how to get some cash to make art.



Melbourne Civic Commission

Presented by Melbourne Fringe and Naomi Milgrom Foundation


Melbourne Fringe’s richest ever public art commission returns for a third year! Our Melbourne Civic Commission in partnership with the Naomi Milgrom Foundation offers $100,000 for you to create a new civic artwork which will premiere at the 2025 Melbourne Fringe Festival. We’re on the hunt for the next big, brave and beautiful major public artwork that will capture the imagination of our city at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.

The Melbourne Civic Commission is a chance for established artists with experience in creating complex public work to let their imaginations run wild and serve up a new idea to invigorate the city streets. We invite creative thinkers of all disciplines to come at us with a huge, ground-breaking idea that responds to three provocations: participation, place, and design. It could be installation, live art, performance, visual art, music, architecture, design, moving image, digital media… or something completely surprising. It might go for a minute, a day, an hour, or the whole length of the Festival.

We’re taking expressions of interest now from established artists based in Victoria, and applications from First Nations artists, culturally and linguistically diverse artists, and d/Deaf or Disabled artists are especially welcome. Help us bring big art to the streets.


Want to find out more and apply? Download the Melbourne Civic Commission info pack:

Plain Text Word Doc

AND – read the Melbourne Civic Commission FAQs

Expressions of Interest will remain open until 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 March 2024.


‘Two Hundred Seats’ Grant

Got a slick idea that needs a little extra help getting bums on seats? Melbourne Fringe’s Two Hundred Seats grant is designed to help experienced artists with a winning idea level-up their audience engagement with a juicy marketing plan, so you can fill the 200-seat ETU Ballroom for a three-week run at this year’s Festival. We’re looking for big, bold and commercially viable projects from artists or collectives with demonstrated experience presenting work in similar sized venues.


You bring your great new project, and we’ll contribute:

·       $25,000 cash to cover your production, marketing and publicity

·       Guaranteed programming for 15 nights in the ETU Ballroom at the Festival Hub (Trades Hall)

·       3,000 potential seats (2 – 20 October, five nights per week).


Want to find out more and apply? Download the ‘Two Hundred Seats’ info pack:

Plain Text Word Doc

Applications close at midnight on Sunday 25 February, 2024.


Climate Crisis Commission

In an exciting new commission for 2024, Melbourne Fringe has $20,000 to commission a new text-based work that engages with the environmental issues that jeopardise the planet’s ecosystems and the future of local communities. This opportunity, supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, is open to any artist or collective based in Australia, working in new writing / text-based theatre. We are especially keen to hear from creative leads who are First Nations, Deaf, Disabled, People of Colour and/or transgender.

We are looking for a concept that will stimulate conversations and connections, bring audiences together around important ideas that affect us all, grow understanding of new ideas, and propose new ways of living and working to adapt to a changing climate. We are looking for art that inspires action and change.

You bring your great new project, and we’ll contribute:

·      $18,000 cash from the Fringe Fund to produce and present your new idea

·      $2,000 for a mentor of your choice, to support you in the development of the work


Want to find out more and apply? Download the Climate Crisis Commission info pack:

Plain Text Word Doc

Applications close at midnight on Sunday 25 February, 2024.


Cash to Create Grants

Looking to create something new for this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival? We’ve got cash to help.

Melbourne Fringe is thrilled to offer two $20,000 commissions for artists to premiere their new work at this year’s Festival (1-20 October, 2024). This grant is open to any artist or collective working in Australia in any artform – so whatever flavour project you’re cooking up, we want to hear from you! We are especially keen to hear from creative leads who are First Nations, d/Deaf, Disabled, People of Colour and/or transgender. The application process is quick, easy and artist-friendly – all you need to do is get us excited about turning your creative dreaming into reality!

If successful, you will receive:

·      $20,000 cash from the Fringe Fund to produce and present your new idea


Want to find out more and apply? Download the Cash to Create info pack:

Plain Text Word Doc

Applications close at midnight on Sunday 25 February, 2024.

How it Works

Cash to Create

Cash to Create opportunities all have one thing in common: they financially support artists so artists can get creating.

Throughout the year applications will be opened for commissioning opportunities including our Club Fringe Commissions, Fringe of the Hub Commissions, ShowSupport and Melbourne Civic Commission. Check back regularly to see how the Fringe Fund can support you to make great art.

Cash for Equity

Cash for Equity is our way of levelling the playing field and making sure that anyone with an amazing idea can have their voice heard at Melbourne Fringe.

Melbourne Fringe acknowledges that people facing financial hardship or structural disadvantage are met with barriers that prevent engagement with the arts and the amplification of their artistic voice. This includes First Nations peoples, Deaf and Disabled people and people who identify as people of colour or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse.

Cash for Equity aims to remove barriers to access. We provide concessions on registration fees, support for audience accessibility services, and bespoke support through Microgrants of $100-$500 that are allocated to alleviate pressures on artists from our communities of focus.

If you are experiencing a barrier to participating in the Festival, please email our Artist Services team artists@melbournefringe.com.au and we can start a conversation around how we can support you to be a part of Melbourne Fringe.


Supporting Artists

Joining us as a Fringe Fund donor will make an incredible impact on the lives and work of independent artists. You’ll be backing big bold ideas, supporting bright emerging talents and helping elevate vital voices as they make exciting and meaningful contributions to the cultural life of our city.

You can add your name to the family of supporters already generously donating directly to the Fringe Fund here – or if you’ve got your own big, bold idea about how to support the Fund, reach out! We’d love to chat.

Fringe Fund is supported by