As this year’s Melbourne Fringe came to a close on the weekend, the 2015 Festival Awards saw renowned theatre and festival director, Ian Pidd presented with the inaugural Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend Award.
The Living Legend Award goes to an individual who has inspired and facilitated high quality work that provides an exemplar to the Melbourne Fringe community. The winner will have achieved a body of work that has raised the bar in Melbourne’s creative community, daringly shifted the focus of practice, ideas and debate, supported other artists to create innovative and unique work and provided leadership and service to the sector which goes above and beyond the call of duty.
On the decision, Simon Abrahams, Melbourne Fringe Festival CEO and Creative Director said: “Ian Pidd has been an integral part of Melbourne Fringe for over 25 years, as a champion for the independent arts, a mentor for emerging artists, an awards judge, and for many years working as Chair of the Fringe board where he developed and grew the Festival’s strategy.”
“His strategic influence continues to be felt within the organisation, and his artistic influence as a director of theatre, puppetry, live art, festivals, installations and community projects nationally and internationally has altered the practice of a generation of artists.”
“Ian is committed to bold, new ideas and to taking risks, and he has as big a heart as any human on the planet. He is truly a Living Legend in every sense of the words. There is no greater friend of Melbourne Fringe than Ian Pidd.”
Upon receiving the award, which will become an annual tradition for Melbourne Fringe. Ian Pidd stated; “I couldn’t be more pleased to receive this honour. To my mind Melbourne Fringe is the most interesting and important Fringe in the world.”
“Most other fringes have become de facto comedy festivals. But Melbourne, of course, has its own Comedy Festival, so the comedians (bless em!) haven’t needed to colonise Fringe. And the other fringes around Australia are, unsurprisingly, dominated by Melbourne based artists.”
“Melbourne Fringe is, quite simply, a snapshot of the incredibly vibrant arts scene in this city (with, of course a great handful of work from around the country). It really can’t be said to be the fringe to or of anything. It’s just what’s going on.”
“And what’s going on at Melbourne Fringe can truthfully be said to be a large slice of what’s going on in contemporary arts in Australia. Receiving recognition from such an institution will keep me cheerful for quite a long time, I can tell you. And long may Melbourne Fringe prosper!”
The Melbourne Fringe also presented 10 Category and 15 Sponsored Awards at the Ceremony. To view the list of winners, click here.
Presenting 401 events across nine genres, the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival was the largest in the Festival’s history, supporting over 6000 artists to present work in over 160 venues. Ticket sales for 2015’s Festival topped the previous year’s record high levels. Registrations for 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival will open in April 2016. For more information, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.
Image: Ian Pidd (supplied)