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Fringe advocacy should not be taken for granted

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Kerri Glasscock

A recent ArtsHub feature called Fringe Festivals 'the arts world's version of a pyramid marketing scheme'. Here, a Fringe Festival Director responds to that criticism.

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About the author

Kerri Glasscock is the CEO of Sydney Fringe, and the founding co-director of artist run company 505 which rose to fame operating an underground performance space in Surry Hills. Thirteen years on, 505 now own and operate the legendary live music club Venue 505 in Surry Hills, and award-winning Old 505 Theatre in Newtown. Remaining entirely artist run and self-funded, they present over 350 performances/events a year. 

Beyond the walls of 505, Kerri Glasscock has worked in various roles in the Sydney arts scene as performer, director and theatre practitioner. In 2013, she was appointed as festival director/CEO of the Sydney Fringe Festival with a tenure till 2019. A vocal advocate for the independent sector, she has contributed to a number of key action plans and resulting policy reforms including the Lord Mayor of Sydney’s Live Music and Performance Task Force, a joint live music task force that is part of Marrickville and Leichhardt Councils. In her role at Sydney Fringe Festival she works extensively leading the way in temporary readaptive use of space for performance. 

In 2016 she directed the conception and launch of the Off Broadway Precinct for the Inner West Council and in 2015 managed a joint pilot between Sydney Fringe and the City of Sydney, examining the processes for pop-up performance spaces in empty retail shops. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the City Recital Hall Sydney and was included in the Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential and Inspiring People List in 2011.