Lessons from Brisbane Fringe 2013
Ash Hauenschild | On 21, Oct 2013
Brisbane Fringe Festival 2013 finished last month, but for organisers the dust is just beginning to settle.
A small volunteer team brought together 105 acts from the worlds of cabaret and poetry to fine art and comedy hypnotism. Performances and exhibitions were held in bars, markets, libraries and even (my personal favourite) underneath a bridge.
Without a curator, the festival is open to anyone able and willing to contribute the $50 registration fee. This covers printing, marketing and administration costs, leaving artists with complete creative licence and the (dubious) opportunity to profit from their ticket sales.
Now, the management team have crunched the numbers and spoken with the artists involved, trying to discover what worked and what can be improved for Brisbane Fringe Festival 2014.
I got in contact with festival co-director Kylie Southwell to find out more.
CD: How did the Brisbane Fringe Festival begin?
Kylie: Over coffee, in July 2012. It was to celebrate the vast and diverse quantity of amazing local art being created and performed each week in Brisbane.
CD: What kind of feedback have you received?
Kylie: The majority of participants were proud to be Fringe artists or venues, with audience reception and attendance above expectation in many cases.
Participants enjoyed being able to contact Fringe directors and staff directly for help and support.
CD: What was most popular in the program?
Kylie: Street events like West End (Micro) Block Party, Ryan Street Affair and the Colville Street Spring Soiree. Other popular community events were the 4101 Arts Collective, Junk in the Trunk, and Words and Other Mediums.
Events like the Big Bambusa Program, Yarn, Schitzen Giggles, Poet’s Breakfast and Duck Sessions were most popular in public opinion.
CD: And the quirkiest, most talked-about events?
Kylie: Words in the Water and Riverwords (poetry from a canoe on the Brisbane River); Bukowski Actors vs. Stanislavski Poets; House Re-Wired Disconnect.
CD: What constructive criticism did you receive?
Kylie: We need increased marketing and hype â€“ broaden and extend the marketing campaign, a more comprehensive (colour) program with more artist and venue information.
More support for the artists in terms of fact sheets, access to information, extra staff to field questions and more mentorship opportunities.
CD: What are your plans for next year?
Kylie: Mentorship programs and work experience or internship opportunities.
We’re also looking at more showcase opportunities with small (15 minute) stages.
How can people get involved with Brisbane Fringe Festival 2014?