Grab a cup of coffee and your best highlighter pen because the program for Melbourne Fringe has just been revealed — and boy is it a doozy. From circus and dance to mind-popping installations and everything in-between, this year's festival consists of more than 450 events, brought to life by literally thousands of passionate artists. For punters, it's both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there's certainly no shortage of things to see. On the other, it's basically impossible to get to them all.
Inspired by the theme 'step into the light', this year's program is bookended by a pair of significant works from acclaimed audio-visual artist Robin Fox. Lighting up the city from September 15 to 18, Sky Light is a city-scale artwork that will connect iconic Melbourne skyscrapers with powerful lasers, invisible from some angles and breathtaking from others. Similarly, from September 29 until October 2, White Beam will pierce the sky above Prahran's Grattan Gardens with a focused beam of shimmering white light.
But that's just the tip of a very impressive iceberg. As one of the biggest and most eclectic events on the city's cultural calendar, the Fringe lineup caters to every conceivable taste. There'll be eye-popping cabaret shows from the likes of James Welsby and Yana Alana, alongside a music lineup that covers everything from jazz to orchestral to disco.
Comedy is, as per usual, a major focus of the festival, with Sammy J, Bev Kilick and rising star Laura Davis among those slated to perform. The latter, in particular, comes highly recommended.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Fringe Furniture exhibition. Showcasing the work of exceptional Melbourne designers, find it at the historic Abbotsford Convent throughout the duration of the fest.
And, of course, you'll want to spend plenty of time at the Festival Club in North Melbourne, where you can mingle with like-minded patrons and catch a different show every night.
The Melbourne Fringe Festival runs from September 15 until October 2. For the full program visit melbournefringe.com.au.