Adelaide FringeVIEW: a new digital initiative by Australia’s largest open-access festival

In its unforgettable diamond year, Adelaide Fringe has broken its all time box office record with 853,419 tickets sold to the value of $21 million, with a three per cent increase on number of tickets sold and an eight per cent increase on dollar value of total Box Office compared to 2019. A substantial $19 million in box office settlements was paid out to Fringe artists and venues as a result.

Adelaide FringeVIEW | image supplied

As it turns out the end of March 2020 was not so eventful for Australia’s live performance sector. In an innovative response to the restriction on mass gatherings, the good people at the Adelaide Fringe have created Adelaide FringeVIEW. This is a free initiative for artists, in the spirit of the Adelaide Fringe manifesto, created by Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall, and her team.

Artists from all genres are invited to register video content as a Fringe event in a new online pilot platform called Adelaide FringeVIEW. The technology aims to provide a virtual stage for artists to perform on during the COVID-19 crisis, and to present local and international talent to online audiences for a new artistic experience, to be enjoyed from the comfort of your couch.

“We want to help the artists who are unable to perform live or have had their shows cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. There is a need for the arts industry to band together and come up with new ideas, and with people at home and more time than ever to experience new shows, we want to provide an opportunity for people to access entertainment while supporting artists who have been impacted.”

– Heather Croall, Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO

Croall lamented on the enormous and heart-breaking impact that COVID-19 has had on the arts industry, and the many livelihoods that have been negatively-affected. She said that the digital platform has the potential to create income and job opportunities to those in the creative industries. Croall hopes that it will challenge the way that we experience performance and artists are encouraged to think outside their usual approach to Fringe, and adapt their shows to a digital context.

In its first year, Adelaide FringeVIEW will be an experiment in new revenue streams for artists still looking to perform while restrictions are in place. It is open access, with no registration and artist ticketing fees, and audiences will be asked to purchase a ticket to support the arts industry. This pilot will run until the end of May.

“The COVID-19 crisis is forcing many industries to adapt in order to stay connected and the arts industry is no different. We have to keep thinking of new ways to present performances and engage audiences and by offering this digital stage, we are demonstrating how flexible our industry can be. We are truly heartbroken to see so many livelihoods impacted but together we can continue to support and connect artists and audiences from around the world during a time where isolation is the new norm.”

Heather Croall, Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO

Artist registrations for the new platform will open on Wednesday 15 April. Adelaide FringeVIEW is strictly a pilot program and will be reviewed upon completion at the end of May. Registrations are free and all proceeds from ticket sales are given back to the artist. Fringe Members have exclusive access to tickets for Adelaide FringeVIEW from 29 April 2020 with the platform officially live to the general public on Friday 1 May 2020.

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