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Three performers are wearing sequinned colourful costumes on stage. In the foreground is a performer on hands and knees singing and looking at the camera, wearing drag-style makeup, long blonde hair, with a green sequinned gloved hand held up to their face. The two performers behind are leaning back with one arm in the air, also singing and holding onto an arm that appears from out of shot. One wears a necklace that says 'YUMMY'. In the background is blue and pink stage lighting.
  • 22.06.20

Artist registrations for ‘pants on’ events at Melbourne Fringe Festival opening 1 July

It’s time to finally get out of those pyjamas and put your pants on – registrations for in-person events at the 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival open on 1 July.

Our Festival is back 12-29 November 2020 with a diverse program of events to suit whatever COVIDSafe, post-lockdown world we end up in. We opened registrations for digital events on 1 June, and now events with audiences and artists in the same, safely-distanced space are opening 1 July.

Simon Abrahams, our CEO and Creative Director, says: “I think this is going to be the most exciting Melbourne Fringe Festival yet. In all my conversations with artists, they have so much to say, and this November will finally the moment we can all come together so they can be heard. We will be the first major festival to proceed in this new world order, and wanted to be as flexible as possible with the festival’s format this year.”

We can’t wait to see artists and culture-makers back in theatres, galleries, bars, backyards and all the other weird and wonderful places they choose to host a show. We’re still operating our Trades Hall Festival Hub this year, ensuring (of course) that the government physical-distancing requirements are adhered to with flexible room capacities, enhanced hygiene procedures and contactless (and queue-less) bar ordering systems. While in-person audience numbers may be restricted due to physical distancing, we’ve created projects and systems to relieve the financial stress to artists required to have empty seats. This includes ghost seats – where audiences can buy the seat next to them which has to be kept empty for distancing purposes, and selected events will be able to supplement their ‘IRL’ work with streaming on the Festival’s digital platform, DigitalFringe. These projects will further support artists who have worked hard to present a show in 2020, the most challenging year that the industry has faced, to engage with a broader audience base and maximise sales.

Every event in this year’s Fringe Festival will have a physical-distance rating, to help audiences to choose a show that suits their personal preference. We’re determined for audiences and artists alike to feel comfortable engaging in art while keeping whatever distance works for them. The show must go on – in whatever way possible – and we will monitor government regulations and keep all festival participants up to date.

We’re also still accepting Expressions of Interest for our Money for Art (grants and bursaries) program,and we’ve got resources and FAQ sessions galore to help artists navigate this new world.

“We have more grant and support opportunities than ever before, and we’re with artists every step of the way”, says Simon. “Art flourishes in times of crisis, and artists are some of the best at responding to the world around them. We can’t wait to see it all come alive in November.”

To register for the Festival, or find out more, check out the artist registration section of our website.

Image Credit: Yummy Deluxe, Opening Night Party, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2019. Photo by Theresa Harrison.

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