Lonely Planet Writer

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2016 to attract record crowds

The Adelaide Fringe Festival looks set to have another record-breaking year.

Fringe, Adelaide
Fringe, Adelaide, 2015. Image by Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA 2.0

The 2016 event held in the South Australian city of Adelaide will feature 5000 artists taking part in over 1000 events, as the festival builds on its increasing popularity that has seen ticket sales rise each year. Festival director Heather Croall told the ABC, “The [pre-sale] tickets went out the door quicker than we could ever imagine so the hunger for people booking for Fringe is there.”

Running from February 12 to March 14, the 2016 arts festival will feature cabaret, comedy, film, dance, circus and children’s performances in a range of venues including, surprisingly, a laundromat.

The opening weekend of the world’s second-largest fringe festival is expected to be a record-breaker, with outdoor street parties transforming the city into a giant carnival. The traditional city parade will also be a feature.

Fringe, Adelaide, 2015.
Fringe, Adelaide, 2015. Image by Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA 2.0

Second only to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in size, the Adelaide Fringe was established in 1960 by artists in response to the exclusion of many artists from the curated Adelaide Festival of Arts. Since then its presence and popularity have grown, with ticket sales skyrocketing in the last 10 years, from 130,000 tickets sold in 1997 to 536,000 in 2015.

2016 Adelaide Fringe ambassador Julian Clary encouraged people to go to see an unknown show or artist. “My motto in life and at the Fringe is to take some risks,” he told the ABC. “I’m all for sticking a pin in the program and going to see something random and obscure.”

To view the full program and purchase tickets, visit adelalaidefringe.com.au