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|FRINGE WORLD Festival|
|Location(s)||Perth, Western Australia|
|Years active||2011 to Present|
|Previous event||26 January 2018– 25 February 2018|
|Next event||18 January 2019– 17 February 2019|
Fringe World Festival is an annual multi-arts fringe festival held in Perth, Western Australia during the city's summer festival season of January/February. Fringe World is recognised as the third largest Fringe in the world. The 2018 Festival recorded over 368,000 tickets sold, valued at $10.1 million and attendance at free and ticketed events was almost one million.
The annual program of events features artists and acts from a range of styles including circus, cabaret, comedy, music, dance, theatre, film and visual art. Fringe World is produced by Artrage who is recognised as one of the largest and most successful arts organisations in Western Australia.
Fringe World is an open access Festival, which means that artists from anywhere in the world can register to be part of the Festival. The open access policy is similar to that of the Adelaide Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe festivals.
The Festival features many 'pop-up' venues, such as De Parel Spiegeltent, which was purchased by Artrage in 2011 with the assistance of Lotterywest. The full name of Fringe World's spiegeltent is De Parel Van Vuren or 'The Pearl of Fire', it was built in 1905 by Belgium's renowned Klessen family. The venue has unique architecture and a long touring history in Europe. Fringe World is the only fringe festival in the world to own its own spiegeltent. In 2016, Fringe World facilitated the purchase of a spiegeltent for Edith Cowan University; the venue will be re-named The Edith Spiegeltent.
The Festival Fringe Society of Perth was established in 1983 and was the forerunner to the Fringe World Festival. The Society held an annual Fringe Festival up until 1988 at which time the organisation decided to move the Fringe from summer to spring and to re-brand it as Artrage, an annual festival dedicated to the presentation of alternative independent arts – a format that was followed until the organisation's 25th 'Silver' Festival Anniversary in 2008. Shortly after this time Artrage began consulting with stakeholders and the wider arts community in Perth around the idea of reintroducing a genuine independent 'fringe' to the Perth summer. This led to the presentation of a pilot Fringe program in February 2011, staged in the newly purchased De Parel Spiegeltent in the Perth Cultural Centre. The pilot Festival featured 23 events at six venues and there were 12,000 tickets sold. The success of this pilot Festival gave Artrage the encouragement and confidence that there was enough appetite for a full Festival to be delivered the following year.
The 2012 Festival was the first full Fringe World Festival, held from 26 January to 19 February. The Festival presented over 200 events running across 40 traditional and non-traditional venues in Perth. Free and ticketed attendance was over 150,000 and box office sales was over $1 million.
The 2013 Festival extended one week more than in 2012 and was held from 25 January to 24 February. Ticketed attendance at the 2013 Festival was over 120,000 and the program featured more than 300 events at more than 60 venues. The total free and ticketed attendance was over 215,000 and over $2 million was spent at the box office. The majority of events in the 2011–2013 Fringe World Festivals were held in Northbridge and the Perth CBD, but more specifically at several pop-up performance venues (including De Parel Spiegeltent) in the Perth Cultural Centre.
In 2014 Fringe World revealed that it would be expanding its presence in Northbridge with another site of venues to be held in Russell Square, Perth, which would be transformed into The Pleasure Garden for the Festival's duration. The 2014 Festival was held from 24 January to 23 February and featured 1,788 participating artists, 418 free and ticketed events, 80 venues, free and ticketed attendance of over 370,000 and box office sales of over $3.2million.
The 2015 Fringe World Festival was held from 23 January to 22 February and was billed as '31 Days of Perthect' featuring a program of more than 500 events at over 100 venues throughout the Perth metropolitan area. The 2015 Festival featured The Gold Digger, a new custom-designed pop-up venue in the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia courtyard, that presented a program of Australian and international comedy talent as part of the Fringe Comedy Central program. The Gold Digger was presented by the Perth Theatre Trust as part of a long-term collaboration with Fringe World.
The 2016 Fringe World Festival was held from 22 January to 21 February. The Festival recorded over 350,000 tickets sold, valued at $9.3 million and attendance at free and ticketed events was almost one million. A new feature to the Festival was the FRINGE WORLD Fairground, which was part of the opening celebrations of the new waterside precinct, Elizabeth Quay. A 1920s fairground on Perth's waterfront called 'Uglieland' was an inspiration for the Fringe World Fairground. The 2016 Festival delivered $8.3 million in gross box office returns to artists and boosted Perth's cultural life, tourism appeal and social cohesion.
The 2017 Fringe World Festival was held from 20 January to 19 February, during which time the Festival expanded into a new venue at Cathedral Square in Perth, where the Edith Spiegeltent hosted La Soirée. Total box office across the Festival grew to $10.2 million and it is estimated that visitors to Fringe World spent more than $60.6 million with a total flow on economic impact of $84.3 million.
The 2018 Fringe World Festival was held from 26 January to 25 February 2018. The Ice cream factory was a new addition to the Festival, where Club Swizzle was presented in this custom built venue. Over 368,000 tickets sold were sold at the box office valued at $10.1 million.
Fringe World has been touring to regional Western Australia since 2012.
With support from Fringe World partner Woodside De Parel Spiegeltent has toured to Karratha several times since 2012 to present shows at the Red Earth Arts Festival. Also with support from Woodside, Fringe World has toured artists to the Shinju Matsuri Festival in Broome.
Support from the Western Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet enabled Fringe World to present the Outer Fringe tour to regional WA from 2013 – 2015.
Fringe World events are presented at venues in the Perth metropolitan area and further afield in Western Australia. The Festival hubs (clusters of venues) are located in Northbridge at The Perth Cultural Centre, The Ice Cream Factory and The Pleasure Garden at Russell Square, Perth.
Festival events are also presented in independent venues and programs. These include:
- The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights Program
- Freo Royale
- Sunset Veranda at the Summerset Arts Festival
World Fringe Alliance
Fringe World is part of the World Fringe Alliance alongside other key fringe festivals including;
- Adelaide Fringe Festival
- Amsterdam Fringe Festival
- Brighton Festival Fringe
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- New York International Fringe Festival
- Hollywood Fringe Festival
- Prague Fringe
- National Arts Festival
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