Sydney Fringe launches artist support fund after cancelling 2021 festival

The ongoing impact of the pandemic has forced the Sydney Fringe Festival to cancel for the second year in a row.

Independent arts festival the Sydney Fringe has pulled the plug on its 2021 festival due to the ongoing COVID situation in NSW.

Citing the health risks to its artists, staff and audiences if the Fringe were to proceed, Sydney Fringe Festival Director and CEO Kerri Glasscock said the only responsible thing to do was pull the plug.

‘Obviously there’s the legal and financial risks, but the health and safety risk with the Delta variant is just so exponential for us, particularly considering that the vast majority of our artists are under the age of 40 and our [average] audience is under 48 – so the likelihood of them being fully vaccinated is very low,’ she told ArtsHub on Friday afternoon.

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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