Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Reception for Adelaide Fringe Donors

Rod and I warmly welcome you to Government House.

This evening we gather to celebrate Adelaide Fringe and, especially, to thank its supporters.

The success of Adelaide Fringe, and our festival season, rests heavily on the commitment and involvement of our state community.

This includes our citizens who attend its events, visitors to South Australia and – crucially – donors, who contribute to the festival’s longevity, growth and success.

Adelaide Fringe is Australia’s largest arts festival and an icon of our state.

Over the past 64 years, it has become a hub for emerging talent, as well as a destination for established artists from dozens of countries.

Among the audiences at Adelaide Fringe are hundreds of industry professionals from around the world, scouting shows to book for future touring.

This makes Adelaide Fringe a thriving marketplace for artists as well as a public facing festival.

The 2024 Fringe once again surpassed expectations, breaking previous records in ticket sales, and generating $149 million of gross economic activity for South Australia.

For the past two years Rod and I have thrown ourselves into all things Fringe, spending most nights and some days out at performances.

After attending about 80 performances over the past three festivals, I can say with confidence that two of Adelaide Fringe’s great strengths, as an open access festival, are inclusivity and the creation of a sense of possibility.

Each time Rod and I walk into a venue, we know we are about to make a discovery: a talented new artist who’s not yet well-known, a unique take on an established art form, a performance that was unexpectedly thought-provoking, or visually impressive or emotion stirring.

I am also heartened by the work of the foundation, Arts Unlimited, which provides grant opportunities for artists and venues as well as purchasing tickets for communities experiencing disadvantage to attend Adelaide Fringe – all with the aim of reducing the barriers for artists, venues and audiences to participate in Fringe.

It's great to see artists taking their shows to regional South Australia, such as Coober Pedy, which hosted its first event – a comedy show – this year.

I was also pleased to see a new initiative from the Mental Health Commissioner, awarding grants to Fringe shows addressing mental health themes, helping to create greater mental health awareness in our community.

The success of the 2024 Fringe is all the more impressive against the backdrop of rising costs – both cost of living pressures faced by the general public, as well as operating costs for artists and venues.

It’s largely impossible for artists and venues to operate on box office income alone so it’s fair to say the contributions of Fringe donors are vital.

I thank sincerely Donor Circle members and Giving Day Partners here tonight for their generosity, as well as the South Australian Government for its support.

I wish the Adelaide Fringe community the brightest of futures and

I hope you are all proud to be part of this world-renowned festival that brings to audiences every year the kind of joy that only the arts can offer.

Coming events