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14° & CLOUDY ON THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER IN MELBOURNE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Melbourne Fringe Festival Is Launching a Permanent Bar and Live Music Venue in Carlton

Opening in Trades Hall this November, the licensed venue will play host to nightly cabaret, comedy shows, dance parties and live music.
By Libby Curran
March 14, 2019
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Melbourne Fringe Festival Is Launching a Permanent Bar and Live Music Venue in Carlton

Opening in Trades Hall this November, the licensed venue will play host to nightly cabaret, comedy shows, dance parties and live music.
By Libby Curran
March 14, 2019
  shares

Melbourne Fringe Festival is set to enjoy a bit of a shake-up before it returns for its 37th edition this September, with a new home and a few surprises up its sleeve.

The city's long-running multi-arts festival will unveil a new central hub for its broad-ranging program of events, settling into Carlton's soon-to-be renovated Trades Hall building. And, in an effort to extend those Fringe vibes well outside its typical two-and-a-half weeks in spring, the festival's also launching a year-round bar and gig venue, taking over the Trades Hall space once home to Bella Union. Called the Festival Hub and Club, it'll be a place where you can catch a gig, enjoy a drink and soak up some of the best of Melbourne's arts scene.

Ultimately, it'll get a workout up to six or seven nights a week, playing host to a diverse lineup of comedy, cabaret, dance parties, spoken word and live, independent music — programming Melbourne Fringe Creative Director and CEO Simon Abrahams says will reflect the spirit of Fringe, year round. We'll get a sneak peek of this new venue during Fringe's 2019 run, before it launches properly in November, with a little help from Andrew McClelland's beloved fortnightly dance party, Finishing School.

Melbourne Fringe by Theresa Harrison.

The move to Trades Hall is key to Fringe's continued focus on access, diversity and inclusion. It's giving the building a makeover and installing internal lifts to create a dynamic and accessible space, which will show off its new look when it plays host to a good chunk of the festival's 450-plus events this September. Previous North Melbourne hub sites including the Town Hall and Lithuanian Club will still get a look-in, hosting an abbreviated program of Fringe events.

Melbourne Fringe Festival returns from September 12–29, 2019. The Festival Hub and Club will launch in November.

Published on March 14, 2019 by Libby Curran

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