Roll up, roll up! Something fantastic this way comes! The state’s largest independent arts festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, has announced the program highlights for 2023. Presented across the city throughout September 2023, the dynamic program spans theatre, music, comedy, visual art, film, musical theatre, dance, circus, street festivals, literature and poetry.
This year, Sydney Fringe Festival presents a new playground of fun with Spiegeltent Festival Garden, bringing all the splendour and razzle-dazzle of the Big Top to the EQ Showring in Moore Park. The iconic Sydney Spiegeltent will pop up as home to Australia’s hottest new musical comedy The Marvellous Elephant Man the Musical. Directed by West End and Broadway legend Guy Masterson, this hilarious show described as “Beauty and the Beast meets The Book of Mormon” will make its Sydney debut after sell out seasons in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Also landing at EQ for Sydney Fringe, is the glorious 300-seater circus dome, the Vault. Comedy-acrobats Headfirst Acrobatics will bring the biggest party to hit Mount Olympus since 500 BCE, in their multi-five-star-reviewed show Godz.
Sydney Fringe returns to the Rocks kicking off the program with opening night party Fringe Ignite on Saturday, September 2. Showcasing tasters from the Fringe program in cobblestone laneways and sandstone buildings, audiences will experience some of Sydney’s best voices on the mainstage in the Argyle in this massive free party. Plus, the popular Sydney Fringe Sideshow returns. Running Thursday to Sunday throughout the festival, it offers a huge line-up of immersive and experiential shows performed in pop-up spaces throughout the precinct. Sydney's ultimate pop-up musical theatre club and hottest ticket in town, Lola’s Piano Bar is also back.
The Festival extends to Parramatta, with a pop-up cabaret club at Riverside Theatre presenting Big Thick Energy as headliner plus a full program of cabaret, comedy and a pop-up piano bar. Rounding out the Western Sydney season, Young Henrys will be bringing their iconic Best Served Loud live music series to Parramatta for the first time as part of Sydney Fringe. Get ready for a free show of live music, cheap beer and good times.
A number of Sydney Fringe Festival pop-up activations will take place around the city centre, including the return of the annual favourite Acoustic Ritual at George Place, featuring a series of free morning concerts by leading local singer-songwriters, and new for 2023, Circular Quay's newest dining and lifestyle precinct, Sydney Place, will be transformed into a visually mind-bending art block party.
Fringe Kids is back and better than ever before, featuring a new 200 seat family friendly circus tent installed on the green in Darling Quarter that will be headlined by internationally award-winning, sell-out sensation, Circus - The Show. Supported by the New Sydney Waterfront Company and Darling Quarter, Fringe Kids will see jam-packed days of fun from September 18-30 with a full school holiday program also taking place in the ARA Theatre.
On September 30, the final night of the festival, audiences can immerse themselves in an explosion of Caribbean culture, as picó collective El Gran Mono takes over the city’s most eclectic eat street, Kensington Street, for the official closing party. Expect DJs, live music and dancing all night long.
This year’s festival is a big one, marking Kerri Glasscock’s 10th year as festival director and CEO. The Festival has also released a new impact report, which found that the 2022 festival generated an extremely positive economic impact of over $36 million for Sydney, and produced more than 400 full time jobs. These remarkable statistics confirm the huge importance of the festival and the value independent art and creativity brings to the city.
The full program for the 2023 Sydney Fringe Festival will be announced in the coming months. We’re practically wetting ourselves with excitement.