Statement re: COVID-19 17 March 2020

Statement re: COVID-19 17 March 2020

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Melbourne Fringe is taking measures to ensure the health and safety of our staff, patrons, artists and wider community.

Our venue, Fringe Common Rooms, will be closed for a one month period effective 17 March. We will reassess the situation over this time and respond to advice and direction from the relevant authorities. Ticketholders to any events scheduled during this time will be automatically refunded to the card the tickets were purchased on, with refunds taking 3-5 business days to be processed. At this stage we are unable to announce new dates for Common Rooms events, but we will announce new dates across our channels once confirmed.

We call on the Federal Government to provide immediate income support for our artists and creative workers. The impact of COVID-19 on our community is vast, devastating and long-lasting. The live arts and entertainment industries are built on freelancers, casual and contract workers and independent artists – most of whom do not have leave entitlements and are left unsure of when they will be paid next. With thousands of workers and artists displaced and out of contract, we urge the Government to fund an urgent and comprehensive support package to fund artists, arts organisations and workers during this unprecedented and uncertain time.

We anticipate that the Melbourne Fringe Festival will go ahead and we will update our stakeholders if anything changes. In the meantime, our hearts are with our colleagues at festivals and venues who have cancelled their events and we will do our utmost to support independent artists and arts workers to ensure the health and longevity of our community.