It’s going to be, without question, bigger and better than ever, and at ‘The Playford,’ you’re perfectly positioned to take in one of the world’s great festivals.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival began as early as 1960 as an alternative to the Adelaide Festival of the Arts, which offered limited opportunities for artists to express themselves. By 1982, the event had expanded to include 86 performing arts groups in more than 50 venues. Fifty-six visual art exhibitions and another 16 performing groups represented an enormous diversity of activities in schools and public places.
Fast forward to 2015, and you’ll find the festival has taken on a life of its own. Just look at this: 376 venues, 1058 events, and a total of 3,875 sessions. So, what is the Adelaide Fringe Festival all about? It’s an open-access art festival run over four weeks, kicking off on 13th February. Unlike a curated festival, the open-access nature of the fringe is that anyone with a show, exhibition, or cultural event can register and be a part of Australia’s most significant art event. The result is one of the planet’s most incredibly diverse art festivals. Hundreds of artists worldwide participate alongside plenty of homegrown talent in art forms that will amaze, surprise, and delight everyone. You name it, the Adelaide Fringe Festival has got it: cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, theatre, music, visual art, and design.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival is such a grand event that it virtually takes over the entire city. Over 900 events are staged in places and spaces of all descriptions. Parks, warehouses, laneways, empty buildings, and established venues such as theatres, hotels, art galleries, cafes, and town halls. Alongside the open access programme, Adelaide Fringe produces many celebratory events and activities in the city that create a revered and joyful festive atmosphere. It all begins with the iconic and tremendously popular Fringe Parade, a brilliant celebration heralding the beginning of the festival. The Fringe St. Theatre Festival is a curated mini-festival within a festival. And there’s the Fringe Funhouse in Rundle Mall. It’s a central place where Adelaide fringe artists can showcase and promote their events.
On the big stage, some of the highlights of this year’s festival will be Danny Elfman’s ‘My Music from the Films of Tim Burton.’ Brilliant jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim from South Africa will dazzle everyone with his extraordinary playing. You’ll get to see, direct from America, the Australian premiere of the Fela! The Concert. American video artist Bill Viola is also dropping in with his stunning show of Selected Works. And from the United Kingdom, the return of Mogwai with their rocking, expansive, instrumental sound will give the place a natural shake. That’s just the tip of this unique and extraordinary festival, full of talent, ideas, and creations. That’s the wondrous beauty of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
So take a big breath, and use ‘The Playford’ as your launching pad as you plunge into a brilliant festival.