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Coordinates: 34°55′24″S 138°35′44″E / 34.92343°S 138.59565°E / -34.92343; 138.59565

The Adelaide Fringe is the world's second-largest annual arts festival, and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, held in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. For 31 days and nights during February and March, it features more than 5,000 artists from around Australia and the world, featuring world premieres, hit shows and new artists. Over 1100 events are staged in pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, laneways and disused buildings as well as established venues such as theatres, hotels, bars, pubs, art galleries and cafes.

Adelaide Fringe
Adelaide Fringe logo (2018).svg
The Adelaide Fringe logo using the bicolour scheme.
Location(s)Adelaide, South Australia
Years active1960 onwards bi-annually, 2006 onwards annually
Previous event16 February 2018 (2018-02-16) - 18 March 2018 (2018-03-18)
Next event15 February 2019 (2019-02-15) - 17 March 2019 (2019-03-17)
Organised byAdelaide Fringe Inc

The festival includes contemporary work in art forms including cabaret, comedy, circus and physical theatre, dance, film, theatre, puppetry, music, visual art, magic, digital and interactive and design. Adelaide Fringe begins with free opening night celebrations, and free events continue for the duration of the festival. In a period in Adelaide's calendar referred to by locals as 'Mad March', the Adelaide Fringe is accompanied by WOMADelaide, a world music festival and the Adelaide Festival. Other events occurring in Adelaide during this period include the Adelaide 500.

The festival attracts interstate and overseas visitors, and brought $29.5 million of new money into South Australia in 2018.



The Adelaide Fringe is governed by the Adelaide Fringe Board. The Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Festival are separate organisations, with different philosophies and intent. Artists from across the globe participate alongside home-grown talent, in all art forms. Adelaide Fringe also organises its own public events. The Adelaide Fringe is an open access event, meaning that the Adelaide Fringe does not actively seek out the events which form part of the Fringe Program and thus a vast variety of different performances can be seen.


As an open-access festival, anyone can perform or apply. Artists pay a once-off registration fee to the Fringe and are charged an administration fee for any tickets purchased online or through a FringeTix box office. The presentation costs of their season, performance, event and/or exhibition are the responsibility of the presenting party. To help participating artists present their work, the Adelaide Fringe provides information, facilitates and brings festival directors and producers from around the world to see artists' shows as part of the Honey Pot program.[1]


1960 - 2006Edit

The first Adelaide Fringe, in 1960, came about when a few artists decided to stage their own event in response to the exclusion of many artists from the curated Adelaide Festival of Arts. Activity recorded in 1960 included a mixture of 60 official and unofficial events. It was seen as an alternative to the 'mainstream' Adelaide Festival of Arts. The latter was seen to offer limited opportunity for local and smaller-scale artists. The Adelaide Fringe is an open access event, allowing anyone with ideas and enthusiasm to register in the program, and so to showcase their arts to the public.[2] For many years the two events were inextricably linked and together created an atmosphere of electric excitement across the city.[citation needed]

It continued to be held biannually, and in 1975 the Adelaide Fringe became an incorporated association with Frank Ford as its head.

In 2006 South Australian Premier Mike Rann announced that the Adelaide Fringe would receive extra government funding (totaling $2 million) to enable it to become an annual event from 2007 onwards.[3]


In 2007, the Adelaide Fringe became an annual event. The 2007 festival received funding from the state government of $500,000 and the change to an annual festival was described as an immediate success.[4] From 2007 onwards, the Adelaide Fringe became an annual event in its own right.[5]

In 2007, at the first annual Fringe, 130,000 tickets were sold through the FringeTIX box office system – with an additional 10,000 ticket sales by national ticketing partners.[citation needed]


187,000 tickets were sold through the FringeTIX box office and their national ticketing partners in 2008. The final box office income was estimated to reach over $5.3 million – a majority of which revenue was passed back to Fringe artists. 281 Fringe venues sold tens of thousands of tickets on the door. Family Day became Family Weekend and doubled in size and attendances.[citation needed]


Ticket sales equaled the previous year's with over 187,000 tickets sold through FringeTIX and other national ticketing partners. This figure does not include tickets sold at the doors of 259 venues to walk-up Fringe-goers. 2,800 artists featured in 250 venues across the city.The 2009 Adelaide Fringe featured 508 comedy, theatre, music, dance and visual art shows.[citation needed]


The Adelaide Fringe celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. Compared to the previous year ticket sales were 27% higher in 2010.[6] For the first time, Fringe sold 100,000 tickets prior to the opening parade. The event received extra State Government funding of $350,000 to support the anniversary event. The grant covered the cost of producing 8 inflatable astronauts and erecting them around the city.[7] 300,000 tickets were sold at box offices, more than twice as many as were sold in 2007.[8]


In 2011, the Fringe Parade was cancelled due to rain.[citation needed] 334,000 tickets were sold equating to over $8 million. 1.45 million attendances were recorded and ticket sales increased 11% over 2010's results.[9]


The 2012 festival ran from 24 February to 18 March.[10] 367,000 tickets were sold, a 10% increase on 2011 sales. Ticket sales equated to an approximate value of $9 million. The event featured 6532 performances, over 4,000 artists and 923 Events. There were 20% more events than in 2011. Approximately 40,000 spectators attended the Fringe Parade.[11]


In 2013, Fringe was extended to run for a full 4 week period, commencing Friday 15 February.[12] There were over 4000 artists registered appearing in 930 events and 6139 performances.[13] 1.8 million people attended this year’s festivities. 407,153 tickets were sold.[14] The dollar value of ticket sales equated to $11.6 million.[15]


The festival ran for 30 days and nights from 14 February until 16 March, and brought together over 4,000 artists from around Australia and the world. The program included a controversial dramatic play, The Sheds, by James Cunningham about a gay Australian Football League player.

Adelaide Fringe took over the entire city with over 900 events staged in pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, lane-ways and disused buildings as well as established venues such as theatres, hotels, art galleries and cafes. The official accommodation partner was the Crown Plaza Adelaide.[16]


In February 2015 Heather Croall came on board as CEO and Festival Director.[17] More than $13 million worth of tickets were sold at the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Festival, and more than 536,000 tickets sold across 376 venues, resulting in an increase of 20 percent compared to last year.[18]


Ticket sales for the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival rose 12 percent compared to last year, with more than 600,000 tickets sold. More than 1,100 performances were staged across 430 venues.[19] British comedian Alexis Dubus has vowed not to perform in future Adelaide Fringe Festivals due to the festival being driven by larger venues which attract crowds who solely buy drinks instead of show tickets, leading to poor ticket sales and cancellations for shows.[20][21][22] He returned to the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2018.


The start date of the 2017 festival has been pushed back by one week to 17 February. The revised dates result in the March long weekend falling on weekend four of the festival, instead of the last weekend.


Adelaide Fringe 2018 once again broke all records. The 2018 Fringe is estimated to have attracted 2.7 million attendances across free and ticketed events, including 100,000 for the Opening Night Street Party and 505,000 for the Parade of Light digital projections along North Terrace on every night of the 31-day festival.

Box office revenue reached $16.6 million from 705,761 tickets sold (up 7 per cent) to further cement Adelaide Fringe’s position as the highest ticket selling arts festival in Australia and the second-largest Fringe in the world.[23]

Adelaide Fringe Festival AmbassadorsEdit

In 2012, the Government of South Australia partnered with the South Australian Tourism Commission to create the Adelaide Fringe Ambassador role to promote the Adelaide Fringe Festival across Australia and overseas. The Adelaide Fringe Ambassador also participates in the Adelaide Fringe Opening Night Parade and performs during the Fringe Festival.[24][25]

Year Name Performance Refs
2013 Paul McDermott Paul Sings and The Dark Garden [26][27]
2014 Katie Noonan Love Song Circus [28][29]
2015 Kitty Flanagan Hello Kitty Flanagan [30][31]
2016 Julian Clary The Joy of Mincing [32][33]
2017 Hugh Sheridan, James Cochran, Adrienne Truscott Hugh Sheridan in California Crooners Club; Adrienne Truscott in Adrienne Truscott's Asking For It and THIS; James Cochran's Street Art Explosion [34][35]
2018 Courtney Act and Joel Creasey Courtney Act in Under The Covers; Joel Creasey in Blonde Bombshell [36]
2019 Judith Lucy, Gavin Wanganeen and Hans Judith Lucy in Judith Lucy Vs Men; Gavin Wanganeen in conversation with Holly Ransom for Fringe Talk Show; Hans in Hans Like a German [37][38]

Notable mascotsEdit

Adelaide Fringe's 2014 mascot, Stobie the Disco Cuttlefish, after the opening parade, February 14.

Adelaide Fringe Festivals have occasionally featured memorable mascots. In 2010, eight giant 10–12 m high inflatable astronauts were placed around Adelaide.[39] They were produced by Mr Inflatables, who delivered them in five weeks.

The 2014 event's mascot was Stobie the Disco Cuttlefish, a 13 m long street performance puppet inspired by the Giant Australian Cuttlefish of South Australia. Stobie the Disco Cuttlefish flashed multi-coloured lights, waved its tentacles and played pre-recorded disco music while a group of professional dancers performed original choreography each Saturday night during the event.[40] Public participation was invited and a video teaching the steps to a dance called 'The Cuttlefish' was available online.


The Adelaide Fringe is Australia's largest open access festival hosting thousands of artists from Adelaide, Australia and the world, all needing a space to present their work. Since the very first Fringe, venues across the city and surrounds have been supporting artists by providing or transforming their venues into visual and performing art spaces. In 2012, over 330 venues opened their doors to Fringe performing and visual artists. These venues ranged from the 2000 seat theatres to the corners and function rooms of pubs, clubs, council buildings, outdoor venues, churches, cinemas and the odd alley way.

Because of Adelaide's very strict street layout within a square mile, venues are close together, enabling patrons to easily cross the city streets. The city's surrounding parks provide venues outside of the established and converted venues within the city itself. With the Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Writers' Week all sharing the same spaces, there is significant opportunity for patrons to participate in events in all three festivals in those years they all run.

Ticket pricesEdit

The Fringe includes free and priced events. Free events are listed in the Fringe guide and Adelaide Fringe website in the lead up to the festival.


The Adelaide Fringe allows any type of artist, national or international, to perform, interact and play with their audiences. In 2018, more than 6,900 artists performed in 1,231 events across 442 venues.

Poster competitionEdit

Since 2007, the Adelaide Fringe holds an annual competition to select the cover art for the festival's guide, website, posters and general branding. Previous winners include:

  • 2007 - Ryan Stephens[41]
  • 2008 - Hat Morgan[41]
  • 2009 - David Blaiklock[41]
  • 2010 - David Capriotti[42]
  • 2011 - Kamen Goranov[43]
  • 2012 - Sue Ninham[44]
  • 2013 - Andy Petrusevics[45]
  • 2014 - Sharon Moreno[46]
  • 2015 - Jonathon Oxlade and Chris Moore[47]
  • 2016 - Stephanie Mitchell[48]
  • 2017 - Jennifer Rimbault[49]
  • 2018 - Jacqueline Daniel[50]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Arts Industry. Adelaide Fringe. Retrieved on 3 January 2013.
  2. ^ History. Adelaide Fringe. Retrieved on 3 January 2013.
  3. ^ ALP News Release, 25 February 2006
  4. ^ Spoehr, John (2009). State of South Australia: From Crisis to Prosperity?. Wakefield Pres. p. 39. ISBN 186254865X. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  5. ^ Scott-Norman, Fiona (14 February 2008). "Adelaide Fringe no longer oddball grunge". Retrieved 13 January 2009.
  6. ^ Boland, Michaela (16 March 2010). "Adelaide Fringe Festival a soaring success". The Australian. News Corporation. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  7. ^ McDonald, Patrick (17 February 2010). "Giant astronauts mark the launch of a successful Fringe festival". The Advertiser. News Corporation. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  8. ^ Meacham, Steve (13 November 2010). "Festival of Delight". Sydney Morning Herald: Traveller. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  9. ^ History Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia. Accessed 2014-02-20.
  10. ^ "Little 'monsters' promote Adelaide Fringe". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Ticket sales up 10%" Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia (2012). Retrieved 2014-02-20.
  12. ^ "Fringe extended in 2013" Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia. Accessed 2014-02-20.
  13. ^ "About" Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia (2014). Accessed 2014-02-20.
  14. ^ "A staggering $64.6 million impact" Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia. Accessed 2014-02-20.
  15. ^ "Ticket sales up 10.9%" Adelaide Fringe Festival, South Australia. Accessed 2014-02-20.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Sheffield Doc/Fest director Heather Croall to step down,, 5 January 2015, retrieved 1 June 2015
  18. ^ Staff writer, ABC News (15 March 2015). "Adelaide Fringe Festival breaks ticket sales records, as event wraps up for 2015". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  19. ^ Staff writer, ABC News (13 March 2016). "Adelaide Festival earns $2.8 million, Fringe and WOMADelaide also pull strong crowds". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  20. ^ McLoughlin, Chris (7 March 2016). "British Comedian Alexis Dubus critical over Adelaide Fringe Festival's direction". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  21. ^ Keen, Suzie (8 March 2016). "Adelaide Fringe: If you can make it here..." InDaily. Solstice Media. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  22. ^ Richardson, Tom (8 March 2016). "Political leaders welcome Fringe debate". InDaily. Solstice Media. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  23. ^ "2018 Adelaide Fringe increases visitor expenditure in SA by 19.3% | Adelaide Fringe - 15 February - 17 March 2019". Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Adelaide Fringe: Annual Review 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Adelaide Fringe: Annual Review 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  26. ^ Bayly, Jess (7 December 2012). "Adelaide Fringe Launches 2013 Program". Rip It Up. Rip It Up. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  27. ^ McDermott, Paul (27 October 2012). "Ambassador Paul Mcdermott justifies his Fringe Festival role in a letter". Adelaide Now. News Corporation. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  28. ^ Staff Writer (15 October 2014). "Singer Katie Noonan is the new ambassador for the Adelaide Fringe". ABC News. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  29. ^ Keen, Suzie (15 October 2013). "Katie Noonan to spread Fringe magic". InDaily. Solstice Media. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  30. ^ Smith, Matthew (18 September 2014). "Kitty Flanagan Announced As Adelaide Fringe Ambassador". ABC News. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  31. ^ Keen, Suzie (18 September 2014). "Kitty Flanagan to spruik Adelaide Fringe". InDaily. Solstice Media. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  32. ^ Staff Writer (23 October 2015). "Julian Clary announced as Adelaide Fringe Ambassador". The Lead South Australia. The Lead South Australia. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  33. ^ Boon, Maxim (24 October 2015). "Julian Clary named as Adelaide Fringe ambassador". Limelight Magazine. Limelight. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  34. ^ Staff Writer, Arts Review (3 October 2016). "Adelaide Fringe Announces 2017 Ambassadors". Arts Review. Byte Media. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  35. ^ Keen, Suzie (28 September 2016). "Jimmy C to add his artistic touch to Adelaide Fringe". InDaily. Solstice Media. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  36. ^ Staff Writer, Broadway World (31 October 2017). "Adelaide Fringe Announces 2018 Ambassadors". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  37. ^ Byrne, Jordan (4 October 2018). "2019 Adelaide Fringe Ambassadors Announced". Glam Adelaide. Glam Digital Pty Ltd. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  38. ^ Staff writer, Broadway World (3 October 2018). "Diverse Trio of Artists Announced As 2019 Adelaide Fringe Ambassadors". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  39. ^ "Adelaide Fringe 2010 Mr Inflatables" Mr Inflatables, (2011-06-06). Accessed 2014-02-20.
  40. ^ McDonald, Patrick "Stobie the Disco Cuttlefish poles apart from usual Fringe fare" The Advertiser, South Australia (2014-02-12). Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  41. ^ a b c Staff writer, Fringe Fever (22 July 2009). "Previous Winners". Fringe Fever. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  42. ^ McDonald, Patrick (6 November 2009). "2010 Fringe poster out of this world". The Advertiser. News Corporation. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  43. ^ McDonald, Patrick (4 November 2010). "Ahoy! 2011 Fringe poster sets sail". The Advertiser. News Corporation. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  44. ^ Sieben, Belinda (13 October 2011). "Local Artist Celebrated at Adelaide Fringe Poster Launch". Glam Adelaide. Glam Digital Pty Ltd. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  45. ^ Noble, Kelly (26 October 2012). "Get Your First Look At the 2013 Fringe Poster". Glam Adelaide. Glam Digital Pty Ltd. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  46. ^ Staff writer, ABC News (1 November 2013). "Collision of spots wins 2014 Adelaide Fringe poster competition for graphic designer Sharon Moreno". ABC News. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  47. ^ Frangos, Daniela (13 October 2014). "2015 Adelaide Fringe Poster Revealed". Rip It Up. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  48. ^ Templeton, Anthony (25 September 2015). "Fringe released poster and announced partnership for Google cube". The Advertiser. News Corporation. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  49. ^ Staff writer, InDaily (19 October 2016). "Unicorn design harnesses the magic of Fringe". InDaily. Solstice Media. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  50. ^ Staff writer, Scenestr (10 September 2017). "Adelaide Fringe 2018 Poster Revealed". Scenestr. Retrieved 14 September 2017.

External linksEdit