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People wearing bright block colour outfits and matching facemasks pose as part of a dance
Photograph: Gregory Lorenzutti

What to see at the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival

Fringe returns with a packed digital, at-home and lockdown-proof program – here are the events you don't want to miss this year

Nicola Dowse
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Nicola Dowse
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In what has been a dark and dire time for the arts in Melbourne (not to mention Australia and the world) Melbourne Fringe has refused to be bowed by the pressure. After announcing its biggest festival ever earlier this year, Fringe has had to enact a last-minute contingency plan.

But what a contingency plan it is. Melbourne Fringe, the little festival that could, will still go ahead from September 30 to October 17, with a digital, at-home and lockdown-safe program of arts events.

Put your preconceptions to the side, because digital art is far from the stale Zoom meetings you might have experienced. Artists have responded to Melbourne's current situation with creative zeal, presenting everything from at-home dance parties to karaoke sessions, psychedelic audio explorations and even live events held (in adherence to all current restrictions) out in the wild.

With more than a hundred events taking place, it can be tough to know where to begin. So we've combed through the program to discover some of the boldest, funniest, most fascinating events that we think you'll love – here are the must-see events at Melbourne Fringe 2021. 

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