Roll up, roll up! It's that time of the year when the Melbourne Fringe Festival comes to town. Running from 15 September to 2 October 2016 in various venues, this is the festival where you'll find more than 6000 artists from a diverse range and every discipline and more. Impressively performing at 400 plus events in over 160 metro and regional venues, make sure you don't miss out on this multi-artform festival of pure un-curated and unexpected artistic expressions.
These artists will challenge your perceptions and shake up the boundaries of what art is and can be. For the first time in 2016, Early Bird Tickets are being offered, so be sure to grab a steal. Check out The Program and start getting tickets to your favourite artists, or try new ones that pique your interest. You can also view the Program Online or physically get them from various Pick Up Points.
Aside from early bird tickets, there are a few other savings to be had. If you head to the Bank Australia ticket booth (City Square, corner Collins & Swanston streets) at 5pm everyday (except Mondays), you can get $5 off selected shows. Keep your eyes peeled for daily discounts available to those who turn up in person only, and the offer is limited to only 50 discounted tickets each day.
Nope the freebies don't end there. If you've already joined up as a Fringe Dweller, you'll already have access to exclusive discounts and giveaways to Festival shows and discounts on drinks at the Festival Club.
Heck, you might even get to see the whole festival for free! All you need to do is create a Bank Australia Show List (you need to have an account with Fringe to be able to share or save your showlist, so sign in or create your account), and you'll be in the draw to win the Ultimate Fringe Festival Party Pack for you and a friend. Competition closes at 11.59pm on 14 September 2016.
Sunday 18 September 2016 from 12.30pm to 3.30pm is another good date and time to keep in mind. Federation Square's Spotlight Stage will be the platform for a 'variety showcase', hosted by Josh Earl. You could call this free event a Festival taster or teaser, as it gives you a quick look at a variety of Fringe acts across the spectrum to discover, to make it easier to pick shows that appeal to you, at the Fringe. Why not go rogue, and 'eeny-meeny-miney-moe' a show that may surprise you like a breath of fresh and far from familiar, air. You can also indulge on a game of chance to pick a show by asking the Festival Fortune Teller online. Go ahead and play!
The skies will be literally lit up by powerful beams of laser light this year. Sky Light will add excitement to our cityscape with illuminations and sound, so be sure you're out there from dusk to 11pm from 15 to 18 September along the banks of the Yarra River; Flinders Walk, Melbourne; and Southbank Promenade, Southbank for this amazing sound and light experience.
If you happen to be at Prahran's Grattan Gardens from 29 September to 2 October, between dusk to 11pm, look up at the White Beam, which will be backed by an electronic soundtrack and swathed in mist, as it pulses and builds up to a thundering 15 minute performance each hour.
With 39 pages online of shows to choose from, you best get cracking early on that itinerary, so as not to miss out on tickets for popular events. Like the Fringe's Facebook page to stay up to date and current with the conversation.