It's hard to imagine an event on the Adelaide calendar that is bigger than the Adelaide Fringe Festival. It's the largest Fringe Festival in the southern hemisphere, and the second largest Fringe Festival in the world. It's back for 2012, and if you're in Adelaide it will be hard to miss the Fringe fever that grips hold of the city.
The festival officially kicks off on the 24th of February, so if you're not sure what the 2012 Festival will be like, here is a bit of a guide:
The Fringe Opening Night: 24 February
This is the chance for everyone to get involved with the Fringe Festival, regardless of your bank balance. The night starts with the free Fringe Opening Parade. Fringe acts take to King William Street on floats and their feet to share the excitement and atmosphere of the upcoming festival. The fun continues as venues across the city host music, performances, and more.
Some of the venues getting involved include the Adelaide Town Hall, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Dragonfly Bar & Dining, La Boheme, Saldechin, and Tandanya. You can see the full list of Opening Night Venues on the Fringe website.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights: 16 February - 18 March
Could we mention the Fringe Festival without mentioning the Garden of Unearthly Delights? Heck no. It's undoubtedly one of the Fringe's most dazzling venues, and the fun starts well before the opening night.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Even without a ticket you can still have fun in the Garden. There are market stalls, food vendors, rides and even free performers. It's usually a hub of cabaret, circus and physical theatre with of course a few comedians to round things up nicely. Check out their program and you'll find anything from kid's entertainment to R18 shows.
Comedy The Fringe Festival has become well known for it's comedy acts, where comedians from all over Australia and the world show how funny they can be. 2012 is no exception. Some of the bigger names include Will Anderson, Claire Hooper, Ross Noble, and Judith Lucy. Of course there are over 200 comedy performers, so it's also worth taking a chance on some of the lesser known acts.
Will Anderson's Show: Wilarious
The Fringe Festival is all about giving a whole range of acts the opportunity to be seen. So make sure you head along to all your favourites, but also take a gamble on a few comedians and comedy shows you've never heard of before.
Theatre, Cabaret and the Circus
A different side to the Fringe can be seen at any number of the theatre, cabaret, and circus shows. The big theatre shows are always showcased at the Adelaide Festival, but at the Fringe you never know what you might find. Amateur theatre troupes take on well loved plays, and others premiere original scripts on the stage. Cabaret shows can be seen at venues across Adelaide, and you'll the strange and the amazing at some of the circus shows.
There are sure to be some misses amongst the full line-up, but that's half the fun of the Fringe. Some shows are selling tickets for as little as $5, so there really is no reason to not get along.
There is so much more to see as part of the Fringe Festival. Free art exhibitions are dotted all over the city, there are op shop and street art tours. The Spirit Festival has dance, art, music, and workshops all showcasing Aboriginal culture, and the Fuse Festival is all about music.
However many events you end up going to, and whatever you choose to see, the best thing about the Adelaide Fringe is the atmosphere that is creates around the city.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival runs from the 24th of February to the 18th of March, with some special events running outside these dates. There are a range of free and ticketed events all over the city. All the information can be found online, but you're best picking up your free Fringe guide from various venues around Adelaide.