A blessing of unicorns travelling from Rundle Mall to the East End will herald the official launch of the 2017 Adelaide Fringe program this evening. With more than 1100 events, the 2017 Adelaide Fringe program boasts another record number of attractions to delight, inspire and challenge audiences.
More than 5250 artists will present works across a range of genres including 290 comedy shows, 248 music events, 143 theatre productions, 132 cabaret shows, 89 visual arts and design exhibitions, 65 children’s events, 60 special events, 43 circus/physical theatre events, 38 dance shows, 25 interactive events, 17 magic shows and 10 film and digital events – all turning South Australia into a Fringe wonderland.
More than 100 new venues have come on board – including Adelaide Oval, Station Underground, The Henry Austin and Hindmarsh Square – and the Royal Croquet Club has moved to a new home at Pinky Flat. Additional Fringe ‘hubs’ are also sprouting up in the suburbs of Adelaide and regional SA including Stirling Fringe, Playford Palace and Fleurieu Fringe in Port Noarlunga.
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said the 2017 Fringe would have more to offer audiences than ever before when it transformed Adelaide into a wild wonderland of mythical proportions for four weeks. “With a record number of shows on offer and exciting venues to explore, we encourage everyone to get out there and take a risk with their show selection,” she said.
“Adelaide Fringe has developed a new ticketing system that will allow people to print their own tickets at machines in Rundle Mall and Westfield shopping centres, while our revamped rewards program, Fringe Membership, will make it easier for members to navigate the program.”
Fringe-goers will be encouraged to explore all of the festival’s 300 venues via the new GooseChase scavenger hunt game for smartphones. Beginning on January 7, 2017, the competition’s overall winner will receive return flights to attend the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe (thanks to festival sponsor Qatar Airways). To participate, Fringe-goers need to download GooseChase from the app store and join the ‘Adelaide Fringe 2017’ game.
The Street Art Explosion program will return to transform blank walls into beautiful artworks, with 2017 Adelaide Fringe Ambassador and internationally renowned visual artist James Cochran (aka Jimmy C) set to create a new mural. In an Adelaide Fringe first, Mr Cochran will be joined by two other Ambassadors – Adelaide-born actor and musician Hugh Sheridan, and New York-based performer Adrienne Truscott.
Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said the annual arts festival would have been unable to reach its status as the second-largest of its kind in the world “without the support of the State Government, Adelaide City Council and our corporate sponsors.”
“The Adelaide Fringe also owes its success over the decades to the thousands of artists who step up and showcase their talent, along with the local and visiting audience members who join us for what is a month-long magical ride,” added Mr Minear.
The 2017 Adelaide Fringe fires up with shows and a sunset ceremony on Friday 17 February, before the Fringe Parade makes its way down North Terrace on Saturday 18 February. The opening weekend celebrations will also include the Digital Walls project – which will see the facades of iconic North Terrace buildings like Elder Hall and the SA Museum turned into living canvasses of light.
Minister for the Arts Jack Snelling said the Adelaide Fringe was a staple of the South Australian arts calendar. “The city comes alive with 30 days and nights of comedy, cabaret, theatre, music, visual art, circus acts and digital media,” he said. “The Fringe plays an important role in fostering new and emerging artists, as well as providing a platform for those who are established.
“The artists in the Fringe take so many risks, and I encourage festival-goers to do the same. For every old favourite, buy a ticket to something new – you never know, you might just discover the next big thing!”
The 2017 Adelaide Fringe runs 17 February to 19 March. Tickets are now on sale. A digital Fringe Guide is now available online before the printed program hits the streets from Saturday 7 January 2017. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefringe.com.au for details.
Image: SOAP (supplied)