The Arts industry both in Australia and around the globe has been hard hit by Covid-19. As we know the pandemic forced the cancellation of a multitude of small to major arts events across all creative and entertainment sectors. The industry has responded with resilience and determination by turning to the technologies of the digital world, reinventing the way art is performed, exhibited and delivered to the community, and now with an even wider-reaching audience than ever before.
In response to the cancellation of the annual ‘Sydney Fringe Festival’ (SFF) in 2020, and as a way to support artists with new opportunities during these particularly hard times, the SFF team have been working behind the scenes to bring ‘Global Fringe’ to audiences from 2 to 30 September.
Developed by SFF in partnership with Innocent Bystander, the inaugural ‘Global Fringe’, is geared towards delivering an energetic program of live-streamed and on-demand events from local and international Fringe festivals including Stockholm Fringe, San Diego Fringe and Hollywood Fringe. In addition to the online platforms a number of ticketed Live in Person Sydney performances are scheduled at 5 Eliza Gallery, Old 505 Theatre and at Fringe HQ (locations to be advised). All live events will proceed in-keeping with Government guidelines for social gatherings.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer, alongside our incredible program of international and local headline shows, a suite of unique Fringe experiences. Be it an intimate living room moment all the way from the UK or real time, in our case late night, access to some of Stockholm Fringe’s incredible content there are some amazing additions to the program. Some of the best Fringe experiences are the late-night side shows that challenge the typical theatre experience, so we’re delighted to be able to offer something similar this year online,” says Sydney Fringe CEO and Artistic Director Kerri Glasscock.
A lively program of cabaret, theatre, dance and performance presentations, film, comedy, music, storytelling, workshops and talks, will bring the ‘Global Fringe’ experience to life across a range of community, and industry focused happenings. Some events will be Auslan Interpreted and/or Closed Captioned and/or Audio Described, check individual event pages for clarification.
On the Fringe A podcast series hosted by Charley Sanders introduces a diverse line-up of guests including writer, producer and performer Maeve Marsden, author of Trainlord Oliver Mol, and Sydney-based singer, songwriter, arranger and composer Sarah Belkner. New radio plays, stories, short stand up sets and spoken word presentations will be added weekly.
Gala Livestream Events Every Wednesday in September a triple bill of the best independent performances from around the globe will hit ‘Global Fringe’s’ digital platform. Opening with Gala#1, A Celebration of Theatre brings movement and soundscape together and features Clockfire’s meditation on nature’s most mysterious element inspired by Brett Whiteley’s beachside paintings, as well as the retelling of a murder by Ninefold performed to Max Richter’s re-composition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and a ballet by UK dance duo Thick&Tight. Followed by Gala #2 Gritty Intimacy, Gala #3 Identity and Gala #4 The Queer & The Camp, in the coming weeks.
Stream On-Demand Showcasing the best independent performance work from Sydney and international artists. From 10 to 13 September By Virtue of the Same Movement a movement and performance work presented with visual image and sound. From 17 to 20 September Mr Yunioshi (USA) a comedic-theatre performance written and acted by Asian-American actor J Elijah Cho, which traces actor Mickey Rooney’s attempt to bring his character to life for ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Plus several more.
Stockholm Fringe Gala Livestream Events A series of four special live events will be livestreamed direct from ‘Stockholm Fringe’. Due to time differences these are ideal for night owl audiences. Livestreams include Stoff Opening Party with Alex the Robot Dancer, as well as … and Trans people are from Mercury, performance art from Sweden titled Black Ocean, and Sanitasia – The Sanitation Gala.
Industry-focused Digital Events will be presented on Facebook at Sydney Festival 2020 Live, and thereafter available on the Sydney Fringe website until the festival closes. First Nations Arts Program: 5 September at 3pm. The SFF leadership team and a panel of First Nations artists and arts leaders discuss First Nations Art and what the Festival will be doing in the future to honour, celebrate and champion First Nations work. This new initiative marks the beginning of an extensive community consultation process that Sydney Fringe is undertaking as part of the inaugural First Nations Hub Program in 2021.
Trans Tasman Fringes: 8 September at 3pm. Artists are invited to join Fringe Festival leaders from Australia and New Zealand for a conversation about what sets these Fringe festivals apart and how they can engage with the Trans-Tasman network while international touring is on hold.
The World Fringe Network: 22 September at 3pm. Fringe leaders from Stockholm to Sydney unite for a panel discussion about the world fringe network. A range of models will be explored, alongside regional touring networks and new programs developed by Fringe Festivals around the world.
There is much to explore during the digital ‘Global Fringe’ festival. All online events use the ‘Pay What You Feel’ system. the ‘Global Fringe’ team encourage viewers to support the artists and performers by contributing payment that reflects “what you believe the work has been worth to you.”