Explore your world
Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016: What To Expect

Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016: What To Expect

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 2 September 2016
Now in its 34th year, the Melbourne Fringe Festival celebrates cultural democracy, diversity, innovation and self-expression through various artistic and performance mediums. This year’s event will feature thousands of artists in hundreds of events catering to both metro and regional audiences, and is expected to draw crowds of half a million. With so many events, the program is an overwhelming lucky dip of artistic discovery, so we’ve outlined a comprehensive festival guide for you. Or, you can always ask the festival fortune teller to discover your festival destiny.


Sky Light

The Melbourne Fringe Festival Keynote Project by Robin Fox will see Melbourne’s skyline transformed with a laser light installation. Watch as iconic landmarks are linked through illumination and sound, as Sky Light prompts viewers to consider the ‘physicality on connection and dislocation’. Position yourself at one of the sound stations located outside Hamer Hall, Southgate Promenade, and the Arbory Bar & Eatery and watch as laser and sound connect every half hour.

Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 Sept
Dusk – 11pm
Flinders Walk, Melbourne and Southbank Promenade, Southbank

Sky Light Two LR

Courtesy of Fringe Festival

White Beam

Just like Sky Light, Robin Fox’s other illumination project White Beam encourages spectators to look upwards to a shared sky. Located above Prahran’s Grattan Gardens, a static stripe of white light will pulsate to electronic sounds as it escalates towards a 15 minute performance every hour.

Thursday 29 Sept — Sunday 2 Oct
Dusk – 11pm
Grattan Gardens, Greville Street, Prahran

Fringe Furniture 30: Redesign

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this exhibition, Fringe Furniture has asked designers to focus on the original brief in an effort to use history as a way of looking to the future. Fringe Furniture is known for innovation and at times impractical design as well as retail ready furniture.

15 September – 2 October
Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Abbotsford Convent Sacred Heart Chapel Oratory and Ironing Rooms 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford


Courtesy of Fringe Festival


Polyglot Theatre presents Bellbird, an enchanted forest of billowing streamers and brass bells where senses are heightened in an invisible world. Children and families are welcome to wander through ArtPlay and create their own unique soundtracks through movement. The event is free and sessions run every twenty minutes.

Thursday 22 — Sunday 25 Sept
ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr (Behind Federation Square)

Bell Bird-Sarah-Walker_1

Courtesy of Fringe Festival

Kids vs Art

Kids are candid and will speak their mind with brutal sincerity which is why they make for brilliant critics. Directed by Jackson Castiglione and Jason Maling, Kids vs Art is a podcast series where children interview artists and review festival shows. Discover what they really think about contemporary performance art in a hilariously honest series.

New podcasts released Thursdays 15, 22 and 29 September

Kids vs Art

Courtesy of Fringe Festival

Festival Club

Every night the Festival Club presents a major event celebrating the eccentric nature of the festival.  The line-up includes The Electrotropical Dance Party, improvised jazz composition, an examination of pop icon Madonna, queer cabaret, a millennium dance party, an artistic commentary on the AFL Grand Final and the closing night Fringe Awards, along with many other fantastically peculiar events.


Courtesy of Fringe Festival

Fringe Hub

No Fringe experience would be complete without visiting the festival’s all ages nerve centre. Spread across the Arts House, Errol’s Café and the Lithuanian Club, the Fringe Hub is home to three bars, the Festival Club, Kids Club and will host more than 70 innovative and unforgettable events.

Nando’s PERi-PERi Spotlight Stage

Not sure where to start Fringe 2016? Then head to the Spotlight Stage at Federation Square for a sample showcase of festival acts. Hosted by Josh Earl, the Spotlight Stage will feature the who’s who from this year’s program as well as musicians from the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the VCA.

Sunday 18 September
12.30pm – 3.30pm
Federation Square