The number of comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, visual art, music and interactive events registered so far is a 5 per cent increase on the same time last year, with Fringe saying more than half the program is made up of South Australian shows. At the same time, there is a 23 per cent rise in international acts coming to the festival.
Launching the program, Adelaide Fringe director and CEO Heather Croall said the festival was “gearing up for another bumper year”.
“To say we are excited about the 2024 season is an understatement. In 2023 we sold a million tickets – a first for any arts festival in Australia. Next year’s program is looking spectacular and I hope we can reach this incredible milestone once again.”
Also announced today are the Fringe Ambassadors: TV chef Adam Liaw, who will present a live take on SBS’s The Cook Up over two nights at Woodville Town Hall during the festival, professional basketballer and cabaret singer Isaac Humphries, who will perform at Wonderland Spiegeltent, and R&B singer Prinnie Stevens, who is performing in shows in Gluttony.
Among the 2024 events and shows highlighted by Fringe are an “art gallery under the stars” in the Adelaide Botanic Garden featuring installations and projections by SA artists such as Alex Frayne, Katrina Penning, Liam Somerville and Michael Ellingford, and The Dome, which is described as an immersive, planetarium-style experience featuring music from Pink Floyd’s album The Dark Side of the Moon and will be presented in the Freemasons Hall by UK producers Electric Dreams.
There will also be some special music experiences in store next year at Gluttony, which for one night only is presenting The Beatles Dub Club, where UK DJ Chris Arnold will take revellers on a journey through covers and remixes of favourite tracks from the Fab Four traversing styles including reggae, ska, Latin, hip-hop, dub, funk, house, and drum and bass.
Another iconic band will be in the spotlight with Fleetmac Wood – a late-night “rave and AV show” at Gluttony’s outdoor venue The Fantail that will see a pair of US DJs mine Fleetwood Mac’s back catalogue for an assortment of electronic remixes. WA-based drum and bass act Pendulum will play a one-off late-night DJ set on the same stage the following night.
The Rymill Park hub will present more than 170 shows across 14 performance spaces at the 2024 Fringe, with co-director Daniel Michael saying two of the most exciting new offerings are Yoah, an Australian premiere performance by Japanese contemporary circus company Cirquework featuring Japanese drums and electro sounds alongside physical theatre and visual effects, and Afrique en Cirque, a hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe which is presented by Canada’s Cirque Kalabanté and is inspired by daily life in the West African country of Guinea.
Alongside returning favourites such as award-winning local circus show Rouge, History of House, 27 Club and Hans’ Disco Spektakulär, Gluttony will also present The Grilling Season with Annabel Crabb, in which the host of ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet will dish up “a tantalising buffet of tales from the political kitchen”, and a new show called Ten Thousand Hours by Adelaide physical theatre company Gravity & Other Myths.
After the challenges posed by the pandemic, Garden of Unearthly Delights co-director Michelle Buxton says it will be back to a full-scale program of international and Australian artists in 2024.
Buxton also promised “the greatest foodie offering ever” with The Garden Feast, a new series of dining and performance events promoted as “a rollercoaster ride through uncharted gastronomic territories – a fusion of the bizarre and the exquisite”.
Leading the Rundle Park hub’s performance line-up is Limbo, the Strut and Fret circus hit which originally debuted in 2013. Limbo – The Return will be a blend of acrobatics and music with a new cast of performers from six different countries and more than 50 instruments played live on stage.
GOUD’s cabaret season includes two highlights from this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival: Sarah-Louise Young’s entertaining Kate Bush tribute An Evening Without Kate Bush and Michael Griffiths’ coming-of-age/coming-out show It’s a Sin. Perennial favourite Reuben Kaye will be back with new show APOCALIPSTICK – “part eulogy, part elegy, part Eastern Bloc Dog Day Afternoon” – and his risqué late-night performance The Kaye Hole.
Comedy big guns including Sam Simmons, Felicity Ward, Nurse Georgie Carroll, Tom Gleeson, Geraldine Hickey, Dave Hughes, Josh Thomas and Joel Creasey will be bringing the laughs to the Garden, along with UK-based ensemble Sh!tfaced Shakespeare, which this time round will offer a drunken twist on Macbeth.
Another treat will be Myf Warhurst and Zan Rowe’s live take on their ABC podcast Bang On, which will see the pair talk all things music, art, life and pop culture over two nights in the Spiegeltent.
Beyond the East End outdoor hubs, returning venues in 2024 include Holden Street Theatres, Wonderland in Hindmarsh Square, Rhino Room, The Lab, The Yurt in the Migration Museum Courtyard, Fool’s Paradise in Victoria Square and AC Arts in Light Square.
Fringe says there will be extended activity in the west of the CBD, with more than 200 shows and new venues such as the Pink Flamingo in Festival Plaza and The Inflatable Church on Light Square – “where you can get married or renew your vows with some Fringe fun”. Melbourne-based company Enter Closer will present a series of cabaret and comedy acts across multiple venues on Frome and Angas streets including the Dom Polski Centre, The Majestic Hotel Rooftop and WEA.
Adelaide-based music festival Sidebyside Festival will be presented as part of the Fringe program in 2024, with a line-up of disco, house and techno artists in the Western Parklands, and the team behind LGBTQIA+ venue Mary’s Poppin is putting on a one-day music festival, “Poppin Out”, at the old Adelaide Gaol (read more about that on CityMag).
The 2024 Adelaide Fringe will run from February 16 until March 17. The program is online now.
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