Thursday, January 14, 2016


Adelaide Fringe 2016

February 12 - March 14 2016

by Peter Wilkins

It’s time to take a walk on the wild side. The 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival is set to burst onto the streets of Adelaide in a kaleidoscopic display of theatre, dance, film, comedy, digital media, music, cabaret and much, much more. For the first two weeks of the Fringe, the cultural institutions along North Terrace will be splayed with colour in a Fringe first, Fringe Illuminations.  Fringe-goers will also have a plethora of free events to make their Fringe Experience one of the biggest and the best in the Southern Hemisphere. Apart from the Fringe illuminations available to all who wander along North terrace on a balmy Adelaide night, there will be Kaurna Palti in Elder Park. This very special ceremony  will invite all to pay respect to the land, the river and the people of the past today with the Paitaya Dance Group in Tindo Yolurendee, a Sunrise Ceremony , led by Senior Custodian of Ceremony, ‘Winda’ Telfer. A stroll down Rundle Mall in the heart of the CBD will offer festival enthusiasts a smorgasbord of entertainment. Further down the mall, you will come across Hybocozo, a collection of brilliantly worked dodecahedron sculptures, illuminating the Mall and lighting up your mind. The Opening Weekend on February 13th. Will delight with even more free events, such as the Friday night Street Parties  and the huge Saturday Night Fringe Parade with 80 floats, 1,500 artists and a pumping soundtrack by DJ TRIP.
Heather Croall.
Director and Chief Executive of Adelaide Fringe 2016
But wait! There’s more!  There will be incredible 3Dsidewalk chalk drawing at Fringe at the Airport to entice visitors to the Fringe Festival city with performance artist Ulla Taylor giving visitors an experience they will never forget and a welcome with a difference. There will also be street art, the famous Adelaide Fringe Street Theatre Weekends, a Digital Playground at the State Library to blow your virtual reality mind. Port Augusta in the North will again play host to Desert Fringe with weekend visits by Fringe artists to bring their special brand of entertainment to the country. As the Fringe comes to a spectacular close, Rymill Park will again be the venue for the Adelaide Fringe Street Theatre Festival.

At a time when Adelaide has something for everyone with the Adelaide Fringe, the Adelaide Festival, including Writers Week, and WOMAD, any visitor to Adelaide can gorge themselves on a cultural gran bouffe. Adelaide Fringe is the banquet feast for everyone.
The statistics are staggering. There will be 1100 events, which is a new record for the Fringe that started as a modest sideshow to the Adelaide Festival of Arts 56 years ago. Now it is the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the second largest after the Edinburgh Fringe. 5000 artists, presenting every possible artform including 228 music events, 24 interactive events, 112 cabaret shows, 35 circus and physical theatre events,32 dance shows, nine film and digital events151 theatre productions, 11 art and design exhibitions 58 children’s events and 45 special events. Magic and Interactive Experience will be two new genres in the 2016 Fringe and the Youth Education Programme (YEP) will be revived to provide suitably curated shows for performance in schools.
Delia Olam as Thirih in "Just let the wind untie my perfumed hair
"Or Who Is Tahirih?"
With such a vast array of performances and events available to the Fringe-goer, one can imagine that venues across the city will be at a premium. Some are familiar like the colourful Garden of Unearthly Delights, Holden Hill Theatres, the Tuxedo Cat. La Boehme, the Royal Croquet Club, Tandanya Aboriginal Arts Institute, Gluttony, the Queens Theatre and the Lion Arts Centre. Others are tucked away in alleyways, upstairs in pubs, and any space that a performer may be able to find across the width and breadth of the city. The 145 page guide will astound and amaze, but don’t be frightened. Years of experience have made it a navigable adventure. You can also plan ahead, buy tickets and access the digital guide online at

It all promises to be a wild ride. At the helm of her first Fringe, Artistic Director and CEO, Heather Croall invites people to take risks. “Don’t play it safe – walk on the wild side. Brave artists deserve brave audiences, so hold hands and leap into the unknown.”  It is a sentiment echoed by this year’s Fringe Ambassador, the outrageously unique Julian Clary. As he says, “My motto – in life and at the Fringe – is to take some risks. I’m all for sticking a pin in the program and going to see something random and obscure. You might love it or hate it ,but you’ll have something to tell your friends about while you’re prodding the sausages on the barbie.”
Street Theatre in the Mall
It is a message echoed by a long line of past Fringe directors, each  urging visitors to this brilliant community event to take the risk, try something new and experience works from all over Australia, South East Asia, America and Europe. With so many shows to choose from, there is sure to be that pearl within the oyster that one day will be a household name or launch a renowned artist or production or event, and you will be able to say, “I experienced that first at the Adelaide Fringe. “I’m thrilled to see the diversity in the 2016 Adelaide Fringe” Croall says,. “ I encourage everyone to get out and get amongst it all.”

Whether your taste is theatre or music, cabaret or comedy, circus, galleries or simply hanging out and savouring the amazing atmosphere or crowds flocking to the Garden of Unearthly Delights or taking a casual walk past the North Terrace illuminations, rushing from one thing to another or simply sitting at a sidewalk table and enjoying the fabulous food that Adelaide has to offer, the Adelaide Fringe will not disappoint.

A walk down Rundle Mall and into the East End of Adelaide on any evening of the Fringe will reveal a city exploding with activity. There is a buzz that the Minister for the Arts, Jack Snelling, recognizes when he says, “It really is a true people’s festival.” Each year I jostle and bustle through the crowds, surging into the Garden of Unearthly Delights , lining up at popular shows vying for the Fringe Awards, or taking a break with friends for a bite to eat before heading off for an unknown performance in an obscure performance space. This is the Adelaide Fringe and there is no other like it. After all, how many other festivals would invite you to risk all and take a walk on the wild side?
Adelaide Fringe 2016
For further information and bookings go to