You read right. There are a lot of things Australia does exceedingly well – sports, beaches and wildlife just to name a few. However, most wouldn’t think festivals would make that list. Particularly one that celebrates the arts. Guess what? Australia is actually home to the 2nd largest arts festival globally, and it’s in a spot not many would expect.


Adelaide Fringe FestivalPhoto source:


The Adelaide Fringe Festival. It’s one of our nation’s most incredible treasures. Second only to the legendary Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, The Adelaide Fringe Festival is nothing short of massive, however surprisingly, few home-grown Australians are aware of it, and it’s an event that is right on our doorstep.


7,000 leading artists make it an international must-see. Held in South Australia’s capital, the festival is held between mid-February and mid-March annually. It draws leading artists from our shores and abroad, and has featured some of the very best. This year includes a line-up that features comedy, cabaret, theatre, circus and physical theatre, visual arts, design, music, dance, film, kids acts, interactive installations, talks, workshops and even magic. There are bagpipers, choirs, parodies of Shakespearean tragedies and everything in between. Out of all the events in our national calendar, the Fringe is like a cheese and kabana smorgasbord, with plenty of salad too. There’s a lot to like, enthral and admire for those that live locally, or decide to visit and soak it all in.


An event with rich history. Many wouldn’t realise that the Adelaide Fringe is actually older than the internet. It ran for the first time in 1961, and has incrementally grown its audience ever since. Since those early days, the festival has stayed 100% true to its original roots – to allow pretty much anyone to perform. The occasion is an open platform for artists, which means acts can be highly unpredictable, but deliriously funny. Of all the events in Australia, if not the world – the Adelaide Fringe Festival is a monument to freedom of expression.


From funny to downright weird. A bit of a ‘hint’ to first time visitors is in the name ‘Fringe’. Some ideas, performances and acts do come from the outer limits of imagination and many are there to challenge audiences. As a result, do be prepared to have a laugh, be inspired and occasionally shocked by what happens at these events, and choose your acts carefully if visiting with children or relatives! From big name acts like Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, Peter Hellier and other internationally renowned stand-ups, through to decidedly odd ball acts like seance – a creepy act set in a 40 ft long shipping container, you’re in for a treat.


Like to find out more? Head over to now and plan your own feast of Fringe. Or if you can’t make it and are from out of town, pencil it in for next year.