Country Arts SA 25

On the Fringes

MOMENT 20 • 2008

Whilst we’re justifiably proud of the range and quality of work we bring to regional theatres and halls, some works are just not made for an auditorium or even for indoors. Often the wildest rides happen in the strangest of places, at the margins and on the fringes.

We’d been working with the Adelaide Fringe to take the odd stage act from Adelaide into the regions for some years, and a few centres had staged their own Fringes independently, but it took until 2008 for us to jointly pull out all the stops and produce a major three-day event for Port Augusta Re-Imagines* – Adelaide Fringe @ the Crossroads.

It was ground-breaking in several respects. Not only was it the Fringe’s first foray into fully curating and staging a regional event, it provided a platform for the work local artists were producing through the Regional Centre of Culture and the Performance Development program, Local Stages. It brought local First Nations artists into the spotlight and was the catalyst for Fringes popping up all over the state in subsequent years.

10 years later Desert Fringe is loved and embraced by the Port Augusta community, it’s still managed by the Adelaide Fringe, still happens in and around Yarta Purtli, has won a Ruby Award for community impact, and continues to showcase local talent alongside artists from all over the world. Its progeny now number four, and counting, with Kangaroo Island the latest for 2018. Whyalla UneARTth won the People’s Choice in the Ruby Awards in 2017 and in Mount Gambier we added three of our own productions to the Fringe’s month long festival, further galvanising our belief that making work that takes inspiration from regional South Australia is the way to go.

The impact really is rippling right out to the edges.

Written and researched by Jo Pike for Country Arts SA


Respect, Recognition and Healing

For First Nations people, making art is part of telling your story – art is not separate from culture, but part of the same thing. Traditional or contemporary, its holistic nature makes it the natural instrument for Aboriginal people to pass on knowledge and wisdom, revitalise language, reconnect young people with their culture and find the pathways to build resilience.

Read more
Read more