Now in it’s sixth year, the largest independent arts festival in NSW, the Sydney Fringe Festival has announced its most ambitious programme yet. Running 1 to 30 September, for the first time it will present a Festival Village in Erskineville and a range of pop-up spaces, shop fronts and street activations, breathing creative energy into the streetscapes of the Inner-West.
Spread across five cultural villages – based in Newtown, Erskineville, Marrickville, Redfern and Surry Hills – the Sydney Fringe Festival celebrates local talent and encourages new audiences to experience the independent arts of Sydney.
Artists, practitioners, orators and inspirers will present more than 300 productions at 50 venues, including a theatre show set in a hair-dressing salon; a site-specific triptych in a pop-up; and Masquerade Ball Horror installation experience in a warehouse.
The inaugural Festival Village will be created in Sydney’s inner-west suburb of Erskineville, playing host to Fringe Ignite – the Festival’s opening night party on Saturday 5 September. Fringe Ignite features a decadent program of performances presented in the shop fronts and venues of Erskineville Rd.
Erskineville will also be home to a month-long program of talks, performances, comedy and music in the village presented by City of Sydney’s Late Night Libraries. It will invite audiences to experience a pop-up 1920’s inspired festival bar presented by the Erskineville Hotel and Coopers, a Speak Easy Lounge and theatre performance spaces in the beautiful Erskineville Town Hall.
Redfern Community Centre will team up with Sydney Fringe to present a day of Indigenous art making, music and performance on 12 September. Featuring local artists, food trucks and market stalls this family friendly event will reveal the heart of Redfern and invite Festival-goers to meet with local artists and musicians.
This year the Sydney Fringe is shipping in a festival mascot. All the way from Berlin performance artist Peter Baecker is heading to the Fringe to ‘live’ in three locations across the festival. Merging dance, DJ-ing, performance art, vox-pop, multimedia, Peter Baecker connects with adults and kids alike.
He’ll be meeting Fringe audiences, artists and city visitors throughout the festival, filming daily video blogs, creating living installations and oodles of good vibes across Sydney. Peter will be ‘living’ in Broadway in Sydney’s CBD from 7 September so keep your eyes peeled for a shiny silver jumpsuit and the biggest mohawk you’ve ever seen.
Fringe Festival is also taking over the iconic Marrickville Town Hall in partnership with Marrickville Council to host a dynamic Kids Program from 19 until 26 September. This historic building will be transformed into an indoor park with a full program of some of the best kids and family shows during the daytime including Lah Lahs Big Live Band, The Vegetable Plot and more.
A Silent Dinner Party will also activate Marrickville Town Hall on Saturday 26 September as one of the Festival’s closing weekend highlight events. Internationally renowned performance artist Honi Ryan, will host the intimate night of no words, instructing those who attend to “not use words or your voice, please don’t read or write, try to make as little noise as possible, don’t interact with technology and stay for at least 2 hours.” Dinner is included in the ticket price, inviting the chance to be part of a living artwork that has now been hosted in eight countries since 2006.
The 2015 Sydney Fringe Festival runs 1 to 30 September. For more information and complete programme, visit: www.sydneyfringe.com for details.
Image: Liam Benson, The Executioner 2015