Melbourne Fringe is proudly open access, which means that anyone can register to be part of the Festival. The Festival challenges traditional notions of art by creating a space for the big names to stand proudly side by side with the little guys. Freedom of artistic expression is what Fringe is all about.
No matter who you are or where you’re from, your art matters. Melbourne Fringe celebrates creativity in all its glory across 11 different art forms (think cabaret, dance, visual arts, theatre, experimental and more).
All participants need to register is an idea, and the Melbourne Fringe team will support anyone to find a venue and produce their wok. Artists can also apply to be part of the brand-new Fringe Hub at Trades Hall – so be the first to play with Fringe in their new home and be a part of Melbourne Fringe history.
This year, Melbourne Fringe has expanded its Money for Art program of micro-grants and bursaries for independent artists to make the Festival even more accessible. For Simon Abrahams, Creative Director & CEO, the Money for Art program is Fringe’s way of levelling the playing field:
“Melbourne Fringe champions inclusion, diversity and freedom of artistic expression,” says Abrahams. “We know there are many barriers to participation, so our Money for Art program gives an extra helping hand to make sure anyone can participate in Fringe.”
The Ralph Mclean Microgrants program offers free registrations for artists who are facing structural disadvantage. This includes artists from diverse backgrounds and identities such as those from the LGBTQI+ community, artists who are Deaf or with disability, First Nations artists or artists who are culturally and linguistically diverse.
The Jewel Box Performances Grants program also offers people of colour support in marketing and promoting their show as well as assisting with the registration fee, while Show Support is Melbourne Fringe’s match-making service that pairs artists with private donors who are interested in commissioning original artwork for the Festival.
Moreland Microgrants cover the cost of registrations for artists living or presenting their Fringe work in the City of Moreland and the Council is also offering artists producing live art or participatory work to be part of the Coburg Carnivale. Microgrants also support selected artists in the City of Port Phillip.
For young artists, SIGNAL Incursion supports young artists by providing space and mentoring support. Melbourne Fringe’s NAVIGATE mentorship program is also currently accepting applications.
The 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival runs 12 – 29 September. Artist registrations are now open and close Friday 31 May. Early bird registrations close Monday 13 May 2019. For more information, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.
Image: Queen of the Night, Melbourne Fringe 2018 – photo by Duncan Jacob