Hi, hello, welcome, good morning.
Wherever you are right now, take a short break and feel the air. Here we are on the first day of Spring, the crisp chill already lifting, and perhaps there’s the little promise of something exciting on its way.
This is Day One of the 2017 Sydney Fringe Festival.
If you haven’t already done so, grab a physical copy of the Festival guide – hello beautiful Benjamin Law – and flick through to the white pages, the ones with more coloured rectangles than a kindergarten wall. Get your nose in close and sneak a whiff. That there is the smell of your next month.
Once you’re done sniffing paper, have a closer read of the guide and you’ll see that this year the Sydney Fringe is presenting a program of events that slip in and out of traditional genres. Comedy is mixing with music is mixing with theatre is mixing with art is mixing with circus is mixing with film, and you and your friends will be wading knee-deep through this glorious hot mess over the next few weeks. Use this to your advantage – find a show that’s half of what you know and half of something you’ve never been quite sure of. Even better, find a person who is all for that other half and bring them along. Chat about it afterwards. Have an arm wrestle. Be proud of your choices.
For the next thirty days, take this opportunity to re-imagine how you move around Sydney. You’ll notice in the guide that there are a number of multi-show venues and festival hubs. This means that on any given night you could stumble around from one event to the next, starting with something familiar and letting the venue usher you suggestively into the arms of artists you’d never thought of seeing before. Those really eager amongst you may find a particular hub – like the HPG Festival Hub in Alexandria, or the Kensington Street Festival Village in Chippendale – become your temporary stomping grounds, drawing you back night after night to a corner of Sydney normally beyond your radar.
The Sydney Fringe Festival has a particularly generous spread this year, extending from Penrith Panthers to the Bondi Pavilion, so this also happens to be a great time to draw shapes on Google Maps as you swerve back and forth across the city. Be as inventive and non-phallic as you can. For the full duration of this Fringe, you’ll find various writers sharing accounts of our own squiggles between the many offerings of this genre-fluid festival. Our goal is to shove you (safely) into the many wonders of the city, offer suggestions for events and give reflections on the shows we’ve seen. You may find yourself following our lead or, better yet, picking your own path through the many winding ways of the guide.
Actually, do that, we’ll cover more ground that way.
Join us here tomorrow for an introduction to the Fringe writing team and read about some of the events we’re keen to catch. Until then, enjoy the spring weather and huff yourself some blooming jasmine!
Written by James Dalton