300+ shows in 19 days. Can it be done? Maybe not, but the 2012 Melbourne Fringe has begun and there’s enough art on show to keep you busy every day.
For 30 years, the Melbourne Fringe has celebrated independent art and artists with a program that always encourages exploration, experimentation and risk.
This type of open program gives anyone the chance to create and share the kind of art that they really want to do. Fringe festivals are not chosen by a director; they are created by the artists who register. And the only money artists make is from ticket sales.
With so much on offer, it can be hard to choose what to see. The best place to start is melbournefringe.com.au. If it’s too daunting to read it all, pick a random show or choose something based on its title or because you like their photo or because it’s on at a venue near by. Or just head to the Fringe hub in North Melbourne and see what ever is about to start.
The best way to enjoy a Fringe is to share the risk and see shows and performances by artists you don’t know. You might catch a dud, but you might see something that leaves your heart singing. Regardless, it was probably less than an hour and cost about the same as a movie.
And take advantage of 2 for 1 deals on opening nights and cheap tickets on tightarse Tuesdays.
As the festival gets going, there will be reviews and tweets, but this is an event that’s as much about supporting artists and creators as it is about seeing shows, so dive in and enjoy and know that every ticket you buy gives an artist a well-deserved drink at the end of the night.