Victoria Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher
Coalition Government Funding Provides Fringe Benefits To Melbourne Arts Festival
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government announced today $22,500 in funding to attract more interstate visitors to one of the country’s leading events for independent artists, the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher said the funding through Tourism Victoria’s Events Program would build on the Festival’s reputation as a prominent arts festival, as well as enhancing Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s cultural capital.
The $22,500 in funding is in addition to Arts Victoria’s contribution of more than $343,000 to this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.
“Freedom of expression, arts and culture are an integral part of Melbourne’s culture and are strongly supported by the Victorian Coalition Government.” Ms. Asher said.
Ms. Asher said Melbourne’s vibrant and internationally renowned cultural calendar of events was one of the reasons it was the world’s most liveable city.
“The Melbourne Fringe Festival is a successful showcase of Melbourne’s broad cultural tourism appeal. It also aligns with the Government’s highly successful Play Melbourne tourism campaign which is enticing more interstate and New Zealand visitors to experience our exciting and dynamic city.” Ms. Asher said.
In 2011 the Festival attracted more than 4,000 artists, performers and designers, with research showing the total audience grew by about 25 % on 2010 attendance figures.
Of the total number of visitors from outside Melbourne, nearly 60 % said attending the Melbourne Fringe Festival was the main purpose of their visit and the majority intended to stay between three and five nights.
Ms. Asher said funding would enable festival organisers to develop tourism marketing campaigns that focused on key interstate markets Adelaide and Brisbane.
Member for Prahran Clem Newton-Brown said the core of the Festival would be an Independent Artists Program to showcase new performing and visual art throughout 120 venues across Melbourne.
“The much-loved Melbourne Fringe Festival provides opportunities to promote and develop creative talent emerging from Victoria’s diverse and complex independent arts scene.” Mr. Newton-Brown said.
“Over 19 days the Festival will showcase more than 300 new shows covering every conceivable art form, from circus to cabaret, dance to design.”
The Melbourne Fringe Festival will run from 26 September to 14 October 2012.