Melbourne Fringe cancels 90% of events

Artists will be refunded for all registration and advertising costs says organisers, as the program goes digital.

Hopes that the 2021 Melbourne Fringe might be able to proceed with a mix of live and digital events have been dashed following the continuation of COVID restrictions in Victoria.

The decision to cancel all live shows at the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival means that approximately 90% of its program – ranging from comedy and dance to an immersive walking tour of Brunswick – will no longer proceed, with the exception of digital and some outdoor events.

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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