The Darwin Fringe is an open-access festival that supports the development of the arts community, providing opportunities for all artists to emerge, experiment, and showcase new and diverse works in Darwin to local and national audiences.
A supportive, diverse, and exciting local arts sector with multiple opportunities for artistic growth, attracting local and national interest.
The Darwin Fringe Festival supports the development of our arts community, providing opportunities for independent artists to emerge, experiment and showcase new and diverse works in Darwin to local and national audiences.
July Friday 14th – July Sunday 23rd
Director: Hannah Illingworth
Producer: Jo Shearn
Production Manager: Marnie McDonald
Volunteer Manager: TBA
Box Office Coordinator: TBA
Program Designer: TBA
Logo Designer: TBA
Sound Techs, Stage Managers and Project Producers in the lead up to the festival.
The Darwin Fringe has been a part of the Darwin creative eco system since the 80’s when it was a club space within the Bougainvillea Festival. Over the years it twisted to the needs of the community around it even having a life as the Fridge Festival in the early 2000’s. After speaking with the community in 2014, a group of emerging artists lead by CJ Fraser-Bell decided to reinvigorate the platform. They noticed a dire need for open access professional opportunities for creatives developing works and their career. The Territory climate, whilst rich in culture, had very little space available to minimise the leap between the first and final stages of an artistic career.
Enter Darwin Fringe, stage right. By 2014, they had a program, a crocodile, a team and just over 20 events. Things just kept getting better and better as the community came on board. 2016 saw 80 individual performances from 50+ shows, which by 2019 had grown to 180 performances from 100 shows. After 5 strong years of giving sweat, blood and glitter, Cj Fraser-Bell moved onto their next career journey leaving Hannah Illingworth and Tamara Howie to steer the ship. It was then, at the end of 2019 that Tamara moved onto greener more German pastures (she moved to Berlin) leaving Hannah to carry on.
In 2020 the program was cancelled only weeks after offers were sent out (due to the Pandemic). Despite this the team still managed to present 10 days of workshops in July as the city came out of our first round of restrictions in early June. In 2021 the Fringe team presented ‘From the Fringes’ in February, an artist development program. Unfortunately the regular July program for this year was cancelled after the local community went into lockdown due to COVID19. Only 4 days before opening night. After this devastating cancellation, thanks to community support, the Fringe team was then able to present a smaller more intimate festival called Fringe 2.0 over 3 days in late October.
Nowadays, the Darwin Fringe has become the biggest independent arts platform in the Top End offering audiences 10 days of unique low-cost experiences in July.