Where to for Fringe after 70 years?

Commemorating 70 years of Fringe Festivals, World Fringe Day takes place on 11 July. But is the Fringe model still working?

Publicity image for the Darwin Fringe production, Los Elementos del Alma, presented by Jazmine Productions.

The world’s first ever Fringe Festival took place in Edinburgh in 1947, when eight companies – six Scottish and two English – effectively gate-crashed the inaugural Edinburgh Festival, itself established to ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’ following the recent ravages of the Second World War.  

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts