Fringe festivities draw to a close

Mount Gambier’s Fringe Festival has drawn to a close, following a host of successful events which attracted thousands of patrons.

Festival committee spokesperson Talie Teakle said, as the sun sets on Optus presents Fringe Mount Gambier for 2021, the team has moved into the acquittal phase relieved they managed to stage a festival under the shadow of a pandemic.

“With figures still rolling in from venues it appears approximately 8000 people attended more than 60 events in 20 venues over the 10 day festival,” she said.

“When planning began the team was aiming for a mini festival after having to cancel the entire program in 2020, but as confidence amongst local venues grew and COVID restrictions became more manageable, the registrations for events flowed in.

“As border restrictions were lifted the city saw an influx of touring artists to complement the local entertainment, as well as audiences travelling from up to four hours away to participate in Fringe events, bringing with them an injection of tourist funding to our local accommodation, hospitality and retail industries.”

Ms Teakle said many of the ticketed events sold out, with a record sellout for Nat’s What I Reckon in 15 hours, to his largest ever show as 400 people filled The Barn.

“For people who were not able to make it to events we hosted a plethora of online activities from a film screening, to cocktail making, to a keynote with both local artists and Ladybeard live-streamed from Japan and performances from the stage of the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre,” she said.

“This online content made the festival accessible to anyone with an internet connection and will live on as a testament to the diversity of this year’s festival.”

Ms Teakle said the success of the festival was due in part to the support of a range of organisations, in particular the Mount Gambier City Council, Optus and the State Government.

“With some funding agreements reaching an end this year, the team have no time to spare, heading straight into acquittals and applications to secure funding for 2022 and beyond,” she said.

“After seeing and hearing about the impact the festival had on our local industries and venues this year and the gratitude from artists and patrons for bringing such a wide range of arts and culture to the city for Fringe, the team is ready to start working on 2022 immediately to secure its future and promises to deliver a festival that is ‘out of this world’ in 2022.”

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