Yesterday, Sydney Fringe Festival became one of the latest victims of the COVID-19 lockdowns, announcing that its September 2020 run would be cancelled.
Festival CEO Kerri Glasscock said:
“We are devastated not to be presenting our annual festival but the uncertainty and risk no longer make it viable for us proceed this year. Instead of this year’s festival, Fringe will undertake a number of new, innovative projects designed to lead the independent sector through the vital recovery process following the pandemic.”
But all is not lost for fringe fans, as the team also announced a partnership with several other international fringe festivals. Teaming up with Stockholm Fringe, Brighton Fringe, New Zealand Fringe, San Diego Fringe and Hollywood Fringe, Sydney Fringe will work to bring arts lovers a digital fringe festival, scheduled to fill the void left by the physical fest in September.
Of the partnership, Glasscock said:
“As COVID-19 forces us to re-examine the very foundations of live performance business models, Sydney Fringe have been working to explore meaningful ways to bring our artists and our audiences together digitally. We are excited to partner with some of the world’s most respected Fringe Festivals to present this new digital model of Fringe for the unique circumstances we find ourselves in this year.”
As lockdown restrictions lift across the country, the possibility for a few in-person performances still remains, and organisers will explore their options, in line with government and health guidelines.
But, in the meantime, the focus remains firmly on the digital. Glasscock said:
“Whether you’re aching to get out of the house as soon as possible, or embracing life in two and a half rooms, Sydney Fringe will safely bring you the best on offer from five leading Fringe Festivals, from opposite sides of the world, this September,”
For more information, see the Sydney Fringe Festival website.
Header image courtesy of Sydney Fringe Festival.