• header_melbourne

Melbourne Fringe Festival Is Back!

by Aldwin Matawaran

Witness the Melbourne Fringe Festival transform the city into an artistic platform that presents 450+ works in 170+ venues from over 3,000 artists. From September 12th – 29th 2019, the festival will hold events that pushes and breaks artistic boundaries and inspire new ideas. Participants will be tested outside of their comfort zones – transforming Melbournians along with their city. Events range from theatre and experimental performances to stand-up comedy.

melbourne subscribe venues function rooms bars restaurants venue hire birthday party wedding engagment bar restaurant rooftop top best good 2

Their Open Access program celebrates cultural democracy and freedom of artistic expression. This festival is where new artists stand with big-named ones – where the ‘voice’ of everyday citizens and the ‘voices from the margins’ are amplified across Melbourne.

It’s ‘art for anyone.’ It unites all artists from all kinds of fields and disciplines.

FringeFestival Festival Melbourne Events WhatsOn StandUp Comedy Threatre Experimental CBD Performances Art Artist 6

The Fringe Festival is unique in that their events not only take place in the usual venues such as theatres, galleries, libraries and bookshops but also in living rooms, alleyways and even the backseats of cars.

FringeFestival Festival Melbourne Events WhatsOn StandUp Comedy Threatre Experimental CBD Performances Art Artist 3

The Fringe Hub is the center of all things to do with Fringe. It features over 60 events across venues at the Lithuanian Club and Arts House in North Melbourne. The legendary Festival Club is ‘the social heart’ of the Fringe – a place where you witness some ‘eye-opening’ free performances. 

Every year, Melbourne Fringe collaborates with Australia’s leading artists, companies as well as venues to present a free program of new and bold public artworks for all of Melbourne to enjoy. In these programs, Melbournians take the lead. They share their ideas and their voices to contribute to the creation of innovative artwork.

FringeFestival Festival Melbourne Events WhatsOn StandUp Comedy Threatre Experimental CBD Performances Art Artist 2

Here’s only a few of the events so you can get an idea of that they have on offer:


In Search of the Truth

In this experimental event, you step in a large inflatable speech bubble labelled ‘Truth’. Then you take a seat and confront the camera’s single eye while you respond to the prompt:

‘The truth is…’

The participants’ responses are captured. They are then edited and then put together as a public exhibition – creating a ‘portrait’ of Melbournians.

The Fringe asks: ‘what is the truth for you, Melbourne?’

Venue: Grattan Gardens

Presented by: Melbourne Fringe

Devised by: Cause Collective

Warning: Contains some infrequent/low pressure audience interaction


Cardinal Sins: Pell in a Cell

This critically-acclaimed comedy show goes beyond laughter. It is an emotional and heartwarming performance in which Frank Hampster shares his experience of growing up in Ballarat as a Catholic boy. The comedian was a witness at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Due to potential interference with the legal process of George Pell’s case, Hampster was only able to perform the first two shows of his four-part series. Now that Pell is convicted, Hampster’s Cardinal Sins is now in its fourth year. It is an honest and challenging story that includes humour and also ideas of ‘love and hope.’

Venue: Fringe Hub: Trades Hall – Toy Library

Created and Performed by: Frank Hampster

Produced by: Jo Bain

Warning: Contains strong coarse language, some infrequent/low pressure audience interaction, potentially triggering content or themes, including Violence, Self Harm or Suicide,Sexual Assault or Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Misogyny, Sexual References, Mental Health



This is a multi-award winning new social experiment where the ‘TRUTHMACHINE’ (a polygraph) attempts to find facts or ‘alternative facts’  using real biometric sensors and live voting systems. Find out how much you and our political leaders are alike. You might just find out how much fake news is inside of you.

The polygraph machine used to be regarded as a legal instrument through which you can enforce legal action, but today people believe we can cheat it.

Are you willing to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and hook yourself up to the TRUTHMACHINE?

Venue: Fringe Hub: Trades Hall – TRUTHMACHINE


Produced by: Metro Arts

Warning: Contains moderate coarse language, high level of audience participation, potentially triggering content or themes, may contain adult themes, based on dialogue contributed by participatory audiences

Social Events

Club Fringe: 3 Minutes to Save the World

3 minutes. They’ve got 3 minutes to save the world with the best experimental performances they can come up with.

Watch as Melbournian talent delivers short, sweet and ‘weird as hell’ art pieces.

Venue: Fringe Hub: Trades Hall – ETU Ballroom

Presented by: Melbourne Fringe

NOTE: Fringe artists free entry – show your artist pass at the door (subject to capacity).

Warning: Contains strobe lighting, some nudity, moderate coarse language, both sudden and sustained loud noise

Words & Ideas


Writers with diverse backgrounds and lived-experiences of disability share their perspectives and perform their works through various mediums. Mediums include true crime and fan fiction to memoir and poetry.

Join these writers in the Lounge of the Kathleen Syme Centre for a nice and relaxing night of creative discussion.

Venue: Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre

Drinks and snacks will be served.

Warning: Contains mild coarse language, some infrequent/low pressure audience interaction

Visual Arts & Film

Obscene Gestures

Gonketa was born deaf and is a native AUSLAN (AUstralian Sign LANguage) user. The Melbourne-based visual artist is obsessed with art and hands and in this event, he wants to explore and discuss the origins of using hands as a form of communication.

With the rise of the digital world, cultures with traditions of gestural communication are losing younger generations to more modern forms of connecting. Through this exhibition, Gonketa aims to show everyone’s ability to communicate just through gestures – communicating without social and political agendas.

Venue: The Motley Bauhaus – Exhibition Space

Artist: Gonketa (Jaycob Campbell)

Warning: Contains mild coarse language

latest News VIEW ALL NEWS

The Most Colourful Mexican Fix In Melbourne!

Nachos, tacos, burritos, quesadillas and bowls… oh my! Among the bars and restaurants of Melbourne sits the hot spot for local foodies, and the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Smith St. If you’re craving a fix of Mexican cuisine, look no further than the heart of a beloved Austral


“Gringlish” Food Is Taking Melbourne By Storm… Only At This Venue!

The following is a public service announcement for all Melbourne foodies: You have to dive into the delectable menu of Bahari: The Helenic Palate right now. Like, immediately! Serving up unique “gringlish” dishes, this little pocket of casual elegance in the Richmond bar and restaurant scene is th


Oh My GIN! Here Is Your Gintastic Tasting Guide!

We are nearing the end of the year and we bet you are in desperate need of a night out with your friends! You need strong alcohol, tasty food and good vibes so you can finally let loose. Most bars can get repetitive, serving boring wine lists, the same tap beers and a generic list […]