Fringe glow up

Fringe glow up

All the fun of Fringe will kick off in Mount Gambier this weekend, as the much loved festival returns to the Blue Lake city.

While Fringeland and the Lift Off party will have a hiatus this year, a host of spectacular events are scheduled for the three week festival.

This year Fringe takes on Laneways with its theme “Grow & Glow”, running from March 22 to April 7 and including the Easter weekend.

More than 30 fabulous Fringe events are set to sprawl across venues and public spaces in the city.

The full program features comedy, cabaret, burlesque, music, theatre, kids entertainment, dance, visual arts and more – something for everyone.

Fringe Artistic Director Louise Adams said the Mount Gambier team was striving to bring the excitement of Fringe to the community in a range of settings each 

“In 2024 the festival is excited to introduce Fringe Laneways, a series of Fringe events taking over selected laneways, including a Fringe Laneway Fiesta on Saturday, March 30,” she said.

“Whilst Fringeland and the street party take a breather this year, returning in 2025, Fringe Laneways will bring Fringe performances, roving artists, street performers, Twilight markets, DJs and music, kids entertainment, interactive art, showcases of local wine, craft beers and street food to our CBD laneways.

“Fringe Mount Gambier loves to explore the ways that Fringe can reach our community, activate and energise our city.

“There are so many cool laneways across the city, and bringing Fringe performances, rovers, interactive art sessions, markets, bars and street food into these spaces is really exciting.”

Ms Adams said she was excited to include the Easter Long weekend in the festival dates in 2024.

“We anticipate people moving into the region with Easter, Victorian school holidays and the AFL Gather Round, and we want to show what Mount Gambier has to offer. We want our community and those visiting the region to enjoy the vibrancy of our city,” she said.

“Fringe 2024 will also feature a major project with video and light projection artist, Video Architecture (Jim Coad), who will head direct from the Murten Licht Festival (Switzerland) to create (with community) and deliver his projection art onto key Mount Gambier heritage buildings.

“Video Architecture specialises in using digital technology to re-imagine public spaces through drawing, photography, painting, movement, light and sound.

“The 2024 festival theme ‘Grow & Glow’ will inspire creativity and imagination linked to the region’s glow mushrooms, rich green landscape and forests, and encourage our city, spaces and artists to grow and glow in their most wonderful way.
 Festival art has been provided by the talented Tim Goschnick.”

Ms Adams said businesses, organisations, schools and the community are encouraged to participate and Fringe UP!

“The festival invites the community to embrace this year’s theme and the festival colour BLUE, with prizes available for those best efforts,” she said.

“Fringe Mount Gambier/Berrin is an open access arts festival; this means that anyone with a creative idea can register and present a Fringe event.

“It is the defining feature of any Fringe festival across the world; it encourages artists both professional and emerging to participate, to experiment, and present new work, and this year we have over 30 events doing just that.

“We love welcoming our visiting Fringe artists, our unofficial ambassador Tash York is back and I am also excited to see a huge increase in locally produced Fringe shows in 2024.

These include aerial extravaganza ‘Air Overboard’, drag show “Defibrillator Disco’, visual artists April Hart and BeArtiful, cabaret / jazz shows ‘Ms Sassy’ and ‘Corner Pocket Big Band’, kids event ‘Consult-a-Kid’, and classical music event ‘Vibe the walls with Circa 300’ at Suttontown Chapel to name a few.

“One such amazing example of the creative force in our city is the feature Fringe event ‘Hidden Carousel’, a burlesque cabaret written/produced by local company Honey Armour, and includes an all-Mount Gambier cast, a live band made up of Mount Gambier musicians, and a local production team and set design. Amazing.”

Ms Adams said it was incredibly important for regionally based artists to have the opportunity to explore and present their art in a format like Fringe.

“After six years of Fringe, we are seeing the flow-on effects grow” she said.

“We have more locally produced shows, higher regional artist participation, connections building between regional and visiting artists, and festival pathways with an increasing number confidently venturing to Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Fringe, Port Fairy and other arts festivals.”

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