Sydney Fringe Festival 2014: a celebration of independent art and grass roots culture
A celebration of the grass-roots cultural heart of the city, the 2014 Sydney Fringe Festival is ready for lift-off, writes Garrett Bithell.
The Sydney Fringe Festival is back next month, with a stellar program from new Festival Director Kerri Glasscock. Celebrating the experimental, grass-roots cultural heart of Sydney, the modus operandi of the Festival is highlighting the city’s independent artists and their communities.
“We aim to provide a platform from which local artists, small to medium sized venues, independent arts organisations and art-lovers can collaborate, share resources and develop new audiences,” Glasscock tells SX.
“Sydney is often extremely focused on main stage arts, commercial projects and all things harbour-side, so once a year the Sydney fringe offers up a terrific representation of the independent sector and the incredible work it generates all year round.”
Unlike many fringe festivals, Sydney Fringe is not attached to a main stage arts festival, which means “our overarching goals are slightly different”.
“We are a celebration of the independent artists of Sydney, and while we are still an open-access festival – meaning anyone can submit works for inclusion in the festival – we do partner with curated venues and we do handcraft the entire festival,” Glasscock says. “We like to say that while we don't curate the art, we do curate where it goes. This means that great care is taken as to where works are placed and this hopefully offers audiences, artists and venues a much more enjoyable experience.”
The 2014 Sydney Fringe program spans a diverse range of artforms including theatre, music, comedy, visual art, design, film, cabaret, musical theatre, dance, circus, literature and poetry. All in all, the Festival comprises 350 ticketed productions, as well as a free events program, at more than 60 venues across Sydney.
“Sydney is such an enormous city and it only goes with the territory that our Fringe festival would be huge,” Glasscock says.
“Now in its fifth year, the Sydney Fringe is the largest independent arts festival in New South Wales.
This of course means that we are very spread out geographically, unlike other great Australian festivals like the Adelaide Fringe where there is a clear centre to the festival. Here in Sydney we need to create those great festival vibes in many places across the city.”
[Image] Gigi Dearest, part of Sydney Fringe 2014. Photo: Mister + Lady
Sydney Fringe Festival 2014, September 1. For the full program, head to www.sydneyfringe.com