Culturally diverse artists take centre stage at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival

Melbourne Fringe Festival amplifies the voices of established and emerging artists of all cultural backgrounds, in a celebration of diversity and independent art. The 2019 program includes performances from 164 international artists, set to take to the stage from 12–29 September.

Be prepared. Be afraid. Be Brave! Neon Corroboree uses dance and song to tell ghost stories of the Kulin Nations (pictured right). Learn about Douligas, Bunyips, and hidden secrets to keep the spirits happy and safely traverse Kulin Country. 21 and 28 September, Kings Domain.  

After a sold-out season at MICF 2019, Japan’s comedy export Takashi Wakasugi returns to Melbourne with his new show FARM BACKPACKER (Subclass 417). Takashi came to Australia on a working holiday visa, worked on a country farm and stayed at a (very) dirty backpacker hostel. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. 11–16 September, Crowded in the Vaults – Vault 10.

Like a Persian is a charming blend of spoken word and stand-up comedy. Iranian Australian performer Sammaneh Poursh explores what it means to be a queer Muslim refugee in 2019. 23–29 September, Crowded in the Vaults – Vault 10.

Assimilate (pictured left) explores themes of colonisation, identity, belonging, migration, detachment and community through the voices of four fierce women. This is storytelling at its rawest, using movement, song, soundscapes and visuals to help navigate a society that erases your existence and suppresses cultural significance. 25–27 September, Northcote Town Hall – Studio 2.

After starring in Vietnamese-Australian web series Phi and Me, Chi Nguyen returns funnier and bolder than ever. Her debut solo cabaret LOTUS recounts her outrageous life as a Vietnamese immigrant in Australia. Packed with audacious anecdotes, unapologetic confidence and satire drier than Chardonnay. 12–20 September, Fringe Hub: Trades Hall – Meeting Room.

Words and dance collide as the Cultural Renegades blur boundaries between artist and audience at Club Fringe. Hip hop and dancehall combine with rap, killer dance moves and good vibes to challenge everything you think you know about dance. 21 September, Fringe Hub: Trades Hall – Old Ballroom.

Kuami Eugene’s passion for music has led him to become a rising star of new school Ghanaian Highlife/Afrobeat music. After writing and producing for a number of artists, collaborating on hit songs and winning several awards, lovers of Afobeat should look out for this versatile performer at this years’ Fringe. 25–27 September, Red Betty.

The Lizard is Present: Gala in honour of Marina Abramolizardvic pays cheeky tribute to a contemporary art icon. Satirising infamous durational performance art and once-in-a-lifetime happenings, this historical piece will be marked by the appearance of the lizard herself, as she explores being present and not being present. 27 September, Fringe Hub: Trades Hall – Old Ballroom.

Melbourne Fringe was established in 1982 as an annual open access festival that champions cultural democracy and supports anyone to participate in the arts. From 12 – 29 September, the festival will take voices from the margins and amplify them across the city in a range of programs including the annual design exhibition Fringe Furniture, participatory public art commissions, children’s programs as well as its First Nations program Deadly Fringe, disability and Deaf arts programs, mentorships, workshops, residencies, forums, awards and touring support.

Melbourne Fringe Festival 
12 – 29 September 2019 
Tickets on sale now at