The Adelaide Fringe Festival is back again with a packed month of fun things to do - in Adelaide and across the regions of South Australia. Performers and artists from around the world are flocking into Adelaide and I'm already starting to feel more cultured, even before I've seen a show.
With hundreds of venues hosting a zillion Fringe Festival shows, finding something you like can be daunting. One easy way to get started at the Adelaide Fringe is to head to a Fringe hub and take it from there. This year there are five major Fringe hubs in Adelaide city, with many smaller and more intimate venues too. Let's take a look at the biggest Adelaide Fringe venues first.
Fun for Kids and All Ages at Royal Croquet Club Pinky Flat (Image: Matthew Kroker)
I've written glowingly about the Royal Croquet Club when it was in Victoria Square, and I'm confident the organisers will do even better at their new home in Pinky Flat this year. The Royal Croquet Club is one of the busiest Adelaide Fringe venues because their creative team are so innovative, making a space that's inviting for all ages.
The RCC at Pinky Flat stretches all the way from Morphett Street to Adelaide Oval, which is quite handy as the oval is hosting a Fringe hub too. It's an easy stroll between the venues to have your pick of shows and fun things to do. Performance spaces the Panama Club, Menagerie, Ukiyo and the Parlour are all back, with The Black Forest appearing for the first time at the RCC. You'll have 36 great shows from around the world to choose from this year at The Royal Croquet Club.
Families with young children can find shows tailored especially for them, and every weekend from 11am there's free activities for kids, roving entertainers and a petting zoo. Of course there will be plenty of awesome grub to eat from your favourite food trucks too.
Crowds of Party Revelers Pour Into the Garden of Unearthly Delights Into the Night
Garden of Unearthly Delights The Garden of Unearthly Delights needs no introduction to Adelaide Fringe Festival visitors. It's one of the most popular places to visit during the Fringe Festival, and if you've ever been before then you'll be back! Expect more of the same - only even better this year.
Wander along after work with a friend, have a beer and a bite to eat (or your choice of exotic food and wine). Relax and unwind as you get into the swing of the Adelaide Fringe, then check out some of the shows from around the world in the cool of the evening. The Garden of Unearthly Delights is an exotic place to visit for a romantic evening, or with a group of friends.
Out of the Tunnel - Gluttony @ Adelaide Fringe Festival
Gluttony Conveniently close to the Garden of Unearthly Delights you'll find Gluttony. Despite the government going to earth in Rymill Park's tunnel, the organisers of Gluttony have been the winners with even more space for market stalls, food trucks, and exotic shows in their eight venues.
Dinosaur Time Machines is one show that's fantastic fun for kids (The Advertiser named it Best Children's Show in 2016), while the thrillingly sordid story of Fire in the Meth Lab is a compelling performance with wide critical acclaim.
Both Adelaide Fringe venues in the East End are awesome and deserve a visit. Whether you swing by Gluttony first or second, is your call.
Live on 5 - Adelaide Oval As an infrequent visitor to the Adelaide Oval, I wondered at the name of this newest of Adelaide Fringe venues. The oval wasn't finished on an earlier visit, but I found that the Live on 5 Adelaide Oval fringe hub has taken over level 5 of the Riverbank Stand. From February 24 to March 11 (closed Mondays) you can visit for a range of shows during the Fringe Festival.
Families with children can find plenty of fun for kids at Live on 5 Adelaide Oval:
free entertainment on the Fringe Festival opening night,
free unicorn rides, live mermaids, marbling and face painting
a total of nine free family entertainment shows
Quirky Adelaide Fringe Venues in the City At Raj House, the new LGBTIQ headquarters for the Feast Festival in Adelaide you'll find a quirky Fringe Festival hub to relax and have a drink in a venue hosting shows with appeal to the gay and lesbian community and friends.
It's impossible to do justice to all the Adelaide Fringe venues here, so get online to easily find the Fringe Festival venues near you.. There's a searchable map, so even if you're too drunk to drive you can still stagger to the nearest one.