Sydney Fringe Festival announces 2023 program highlights

CIRCUS-The-Show-photo-by-Mali-CohenSydney Fringe Festival, New South Wales’ largest independent arts festival, has announced program highlights for 2023.

Presented across the city from 1 – 30 September 2023, this year’s Festival marks Kerri Glasscock’s 10th year as Festival Director and CEO, featuring a dynamic program spanning theatre, music, comedy, visual art, film, musical theatre, dance, circus, street festivals, literature and poetry, as well as a precinct takeover at Entertainment Quarter.

A new impact report produced by Hawkridge Entertainment Services for the Festival has also been released, outlining the vast significance of Sydney Fringe Festival for the city.

It found the 2022 festival generated an extremely positive economic impact of over $36 million for Sydney, and produced over 400 full time jobs. These remarkable statistics confirm the huge importance of the festival and the value independent art and creativity brings to the city.

“Each year Sydney Fringe Festival has gone from strength to strength, hosting big international names and nurturing local talent,” said Sydney Fringe CEO and Festival Director Kerri Glasscock. “Over my ten years as Festival Director and CEO, I’ve seen Sydney Fringe Festival develop into a world-class event and I’m so proud of what our community has created.”

“Globally recognised for our unique festival model, we’ve established game changing activations and pilot projects that have driven lasting change within the city, and this new report is evidence of the vital role Fringe and our local artists play in Sydney’s economy.”

“This 2023 program is set to be better than ever, kicking off with Fringe Ignite and seeing the return of the fabulous Spiegeltent as part of our exciting precinct takeover at Entertainment Quarter. You won’t want to miss it!” said Kerri Glasscock.

This year, Sydney Fringe Festival presents a new playground of fun with Spiegeltent Festival Garden at the Entertainment Quarter Showring in Moore Park.

Bringing all the splendour and razzle-dazzle of the Big Top to the Entertainment Quarter, the iconic Sydney Spiegeltent will pop up as home to Australia’s hottest new musical comedy The Marvellous Elephant Man the Musical. Directed by West End and Broadway legend Guy Masterson, this hilarious must-see show will make its Sydney debut after sell out seasons in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Also landing at EQ for Sydney Fringe, is the glorious 300 seater circus dome, The Vault. Comedy-acrobats Headfirst Acrobatics will bring the biggest party to hit Mount Olympus since 500 BCE, in their multi-5-Star reviewed show GODZ.

Sydney Fringe returns to The Rocks kicking off the program with our opening night party, Fringe Ignite on Saturday 2 September. Showcasing tasters from the Fringe program in cobblestone laneways and sandstone buildings, audiences will experience some of Sydney’s best voices on the mainstage in the Argyle in this massive free party.

Plus the popular Sydney Fringe Sideshow returns, running Thursday-Sunday throughout the festival offering a huge line up of immersive and experiential shows performed in pop-up spaces throughout the precinct. Sydney’s ultimate pop-up musical theatre club and hottest ticket in town, Lola’s Piano Bar is back.

The Festival extends to Parramatta, with a pop-up cabaret club at Riverside Theatre presenting Big Thick Energy as headliner plus a full program of cabaret, comedy and a pop-up piano bar!

Rounding out the Western Sydney season Young Henrys will be bringing their iconic Best Served Loud live music series to Parramatta for the first time as part of Sydney Fringe. Get ready for a free show of live music, cheap beer and good times.

A number of Sydney Fringe Festival pop-up activations will take place around the city centre, including the return of the annual favourite Acoustic Ritual at George Place, featuring a series of free morning concerts by leading local singer-songwriters, and new for 2023, Circular Quay’s newest dining and lifestyle precinct, Sydney Place, will be transformed into a visually mind-bending art block party.

Fringe Kids is back and better than ever before, featuring a new 200 seat family friendly circus tent installed on the green in Darling Quarter that will be headlined by internationally award-winning, sell-out sensation, CIRCUS – The Show.

Supported by The New Sydney Waterfront Company and Darling Quarter, Fringe Kids will see jam-packed days of fun from 18 – 30 September with a full school holiday program also taking place in the ARA Theatre.

On 30 September, the final night of the festival, audiences can immerse themselves in an explosion of Caribbean culture, as picó collective El Gran Mono takes over the city’s most eclectic eat street, Kensington Street for our official closing party – with DJs, live music and dancing all night long.

The 2023 Sydney Fringe Festival runs 1 – 30 September. The full program will be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: CIRCUS – The Show – photo by Mali Cohen