New Adelaide Fringe funding makes festival more affordable for artists and audiences

Adelaide Fringe Heather CroallAdelaide Fringe has welcomed $1 million of new funding from the South Australian State Government to help make the annual arts festival more affordable for artists, audiences and venues.

The funding will enable Adelaide Fringe to abolish inside charges for artists with tickets under $35 and halve inside charges for artists in the higher tier from 2018. This will make it cheaper and more viable for artists to bring their work to Adelaide Fringe.

Adelaide Fringe CEO and Director Heather Croall said the not-­for-­profit organisation was overjoyed by the government’s funding commitment, which would benefit thousands of artists and keep ticket prices affordable  for audiences, and will help to cement the festival’s enviable title as the second largest Fringe festival in the world.

“We’ve listened to feedback from artists who have said it has been difficult to make the season financially viable. Removing inside charges makes participating in the Adelaide Fringe more affordable for all artists, especially those taking risks and first timers, and it also has a flow on effect for audiences and venues,” said Ms Croall.

“Hundreds of Fringe festivals have popped up all over the world in the past few years and for Adelaide Fringe to keep its crown, we need to be bold and set new benchmarks. One way to stand out is to make Adelaide Fringe the most affordable Fringe festival for artists, audiences and venues and with support from the State Government, we’ll be able to achieve that,” added Ms Croall.

Adelaide Fringe has also committed to increasing its ticket sales to 1 million by 2022 and substantially increasing the number of interstate and international visitors. A portion of the new government funding will be used to build a targeted interstate marketing campaign in collaboration with the South Australian Tourism Commission. In 2016, the Adelaide Fringe sold 604,000 tickets, recorded 2.2 million attendances and generated an estimated $77 million in economic expenditure for the state’s economy.

Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said increasing the return to artists would also ensure that audiences continued to see the very best of what the Fringe world had to offer. “Artists are at the very core of the Adelaide Fringe and increasing their potential earnings ensures a continually improving Fringe for our audiences. The better the Fringe, the better the overall economic benefit to South Australia,” said Mr Minear.

Minister for the Arts Jack Snelling said the government was very pleased to support the much-­loved festival and  the  artists who  make  its success possible. “Listening to artists and making the Fringe more viable for them and more attractive to audiences is what this initiative is all about,” said Minister Snelling.

Fellow Adelaide Fringe cabaret performer Anya Anastasia said the funding would make a “huge difference to independent artists and production companies. Adelaide and South Australia continue to set the bar for artist-­friendly practises and are ahead of the game,” said Anastasia.

“I’m so pleased to see artists recognised for the merit of what we do for South Australia’s economy, quality of life and community and it’s great to see people are starting to understand the struggle of trying to make our shows viable and see a future in this industry.”

The 2017 Adelaide Fringe opened last, and continues to 19 March. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefringe.com.au for details.

Image: Adelaide Fringe CEO and Director Heather Croall

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