An update from our CEO and Creative Director

Turns out there are some things that a mirror ball and a glitter cannon can’t fix – not quickly, anyway.

The arts aren’t designed to socially distance – our aim is to bring people together, to breathe in sync, to slap our hands together and to build communities. It’s community – and our need to protect each other – that’s forcing us apart physically right now, but we know that creative expression will thrive, even in this strange new temporary way of life.

The good news? We are proceeding with the Melbourne Fringe Festival this year, with revised dates of 12-29 November 2020. The later dates will ensure that we can provide the best opportunities and support for artists as we all work our way through this unprecedented crisis. We are working on changes to the registration timelines and processes to support artists as best we can. Artist registrations will open on 1 June – we will have further information on this soon.

We’re planning for every contingency to ensure that no matter what form the Melbourne Fringe Festival will need to take come November – in the same room, socially distant or completely virtual – we’ll have ways to celebrate Melbourne’s extraordinary creative expression together. In 2021 and beyond, we’ll be back in our October timeslot.

We understand this is a financially challenging time for artists and organisations too. We will be announcing some commissioning opportunities, grants and microgrants over the coming weeks – we want to see your work in 2020 and will do our best to help facilitate this. Watch this space.

Sadly, our venue Fringe Common Rooms remains closed until further notice but we will re-open for programming – in whatever capacity or space we can – as soon as possible.  Keep sending us your ideas and plans and let us know how we can help – we’re madly planning for the future, even as it’s changing so rapidly in front of our eyes.

My thanks to everyone who supports us at this time – our donors and funders and partners – you’re all amazing. On behalf of the whole Fringe team, our hearts are with all artists, producers, venues and organisations and we’re here to help in any way we can. Keep in touch, stay creative and let’s support each other with virtual glitter.

Until the mirror ball spins again – all my love,

Simon Abrahams


Can you help?
We know how hard it’s going to be for independent artists to self-produce their work in the Festival and beyond, with limited cash flow and potentially no income between now and then. Melbourne Fringe is nothing without our community of artists, and they need us now more than ever.

If you can, please help us by making a tax-deductible donation to Melbourne Fringe. Your donation helps us help our artists through development programs, commissions, workshops, residences, mentorships and lots, lots more. DONATE HERE.

Image Credit: Glitter and Snatch, Club Fringe, Melbourne Fringe 2019. Photo by Duncan Jacob.