Each year, our month-long festival provides a presentation platform for over 2500 artists to present, create, develop and perform new work. Around 75% of participating artists are from NSW and 37% of productions within the festival are world premieres, making Sydney Fringe one of the largest developers of new and NSW-made work. As an open-access festival, the program is created by artists resulting in a rich and diverse schedule of works by a wide cross-section of the sector.
Sydney artists find Fringe’s annual festival to be the only time they can perform, as Sydney has a severe lack of performing arts venues. This situation reflects a decade of systemic and structural issues, particularly a dropping supply of increasingly exclusive, curated, and pricey venues, in addition to a historically restrictive environment for activating space. It is anticipated that artists will face this problem for many years to come.
We have addressed these challenges by activating unused and under-utilised space to create new, vibrant creative precincts and art spaces, centred around festival hubs and non-ticketed satellite activities. We also subsidise artists’ work through absorbing production costs where possible and returning box office sales. This inherently imposes a significant financial strain on Sydney Fringe and we need all the support we can gather to make it a sustainable year-on-year event.