Fringe World 2022 will go ahead no matter what is thrown at it

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Stephanie McKennaThe West Australian
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Fringe World 2022 kicks off on Friday night and will see more than 500 events across more than 100 venues stretching from Scarborough to Kalamunda and Wanneroo to Canning Vale paint the town pink until February 13.
Camera IconFringe World 2022 kicks off on Friday night and will see more than 500 events across more than 100 venues stretching from Scarborough to Kalamunda and Wanneroo to Canning Vale paint the town pink until February 13. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The uncertainty of the February 5 border reopening may be looming over the collective consciousness of West Aussies but Fringe World will go ahead no matter what is thrown at it.

Fringe World 2022 kicks off on Friday night and will see more than 500 events across more than 100 venues stretching from Scarborough to Kalamunda and Wanneroo to Canning Vale paint the town pink until February 13.

Artrage chief executive Sharon Burgess is among the revellers eager to flock to the all ages playground that Fringe aficionados have dubbed the most wonderful time of the year.

“The wonderful thing about February 5 when we open up is artists who were unable to come to the earlier part of the season are coming in. So we’re excited we have a range of fresh acts getting on planes to come and perform,” Burgess said.

The uncertainty of the February 5 border reopening may be looming over the collective consciousness of West Aussies but Fringe World will go ahead no matter what is thrown at it.
Camera IconThe uncertainty of the February 5 border reopening may be looming over the collective consciousness of West Aussies but Fringe World will go ahead no matter what is thrown at it. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

But Burgess is no stranger to delivering a festival within the constraints of a COVID-19 climate.

Whilst she admitted last year was “incredibly tough” she assured ticket holders “we are prepared” for every eventuality.

“The message is buy with confidence,” she said.

“If there was a significant change (to restrictions) we can respond very quickly.”

The Fringe World Hubs, The Pleasure Garden at Russell Square in Northbridge and Girls School in East Perth, already have safety protocols in place. Both require proof of COVID-19 double vaccination to enter as they have a capacity of over 500, trade after midnight and hold an occasional liquor license.

Fringe Sunday Funday, the giant, free, family-friendly event taking over Northbirdge’s William Street, will also require proof of COVID-19 double vaccination.

Now in its 12th year, the massive summer arts event has come a long way from a small pilot program in 2011 featuring just 23 events.

Perth-raised comedian Rove McManus, who is just one of the highlights on this year’s bill, said there’s no doubt Perth Fringe rivals that of Edinburgh and Adelaide – some of the biggest in the world.

“It used to be something that when it started out, most people didn’t know what was really happening and now it feels like it’s an event that is circled in everybody’s calendar,” McManus said.

“I can tell you from the arts community, from the comedy side of things in particular, it is a much beloved part of the year. Everybody is very much is looking forward to be part of this incredible festival because the entire city and state comes out.”

After relocating back to the west last year with his wife Tasma Walton, the former talk show host is eager to get back on the Fringe stage with his “world premiere” Loosey Goosey at the Regal Theatre.

“I get a bit sentimental about the idea of launching a tour here. So it gets to have the world premiere title slapped on it while I’m here in WA,” he said.

Other favourites include gravity deifying and sexy circus act Club D’Amour and P!NK: The Circus from multiple Fringe World award-winning team BarbieQ & Kinetica.

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