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The Art of the Pivot

While we may not have thought we’d hear this word again in 2021, here we all are, pivoting and re-pivoting to the point well past 360 degrees. When it became apparent we’d not be able to proceed with an in-person Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2021, we knew it would be difficult for our artists to bounce back once again – financially, emotionally and creatively – and pivot their shows to digital. As PonyCam (A Red Square) put it so eloquently and perfectly… 

“COVID f*cked us. F*cked us good.”

That’s why we were so pleased to see over 120 events confirm for the revamped 2021 program, and support a bunch of artists to get their digital shows up and running. Our excellent Programs and Projects team have been on call for the last few months, ready and raring to answer all the artists’ questions and assist those looking to shift their shows online. Now the festival has kicked off, they’re on board as IT and tech assistance, and are also available just to lend an ear.

“I have had so much fun reimagining my work for a digital audience, and I am really grateful to the whole Melbourne Fringe team who made it really easy for someone like me, who hasn’t done a digital show before, to make it happen” said Jess Stanley from JSMR. 

And thanks to our legendary mates at Front Of House Productions, who provided in-kind recording and editing services to a handful of Fringe artists, even more amazing Fringe shows have made it to eyeballs in 2021 (with fully profesh, extra schmick staging, lighting and editing… we might add). 

“Thank you to Melbourne Fringe for helping to transfer my supposed-to-be-in-person show to the digital platform” said comedian He Huang, performing her show Fresh(ish) Off the Boat“It was a very fun and professional experience for me”.

Our Digital Fringe program this year has offered so many artists the opportunity to amplify their voice and does a pretty good job of bringing us together in a locked down world.  It’s also important to remember that performance is usually a two-way street, so let’s make sure artists know we appreciate all their creativity and hard work. Jess Stanley added, “If you really enjoy an artists’ work, they probably won’t see or hear that. So reach out”. 

So, if you love something – flick the artist a tweet! Leave a message in the event chat (if your show has one)! Post on your socials! Think of it as your digital standing ovation. And, if a show really floats your boat, don’t forget to vote for it for the People’s Choice Award. 

If you want to support our indy artists, buy tickets to events (like, lots of them) and for those who really want to go above and beyond, you could consider giving to our Phoenix Fund to help artists and arts workers who had to cancel their seasons in line with COVID restrictions. You can donate here. 

Bring on the final week of Fringe!

Get tickets to JSMR, or watch the video here
Get tickets to A Red Square, or watch the video here.
Get tickets to Fresh(ish) Off the Boat, or watch the video here. 

Recorded at Front of House Productions: