05/02/2021 - 14:30

Fringe restarts, Perth Festival postponed

05/02/2021 - 14:30


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Fringe World Festival shows will begin from 7pm tonight while Perth Festival has been postponed another week, until February 15, under advice from the state government.

Fringe restarts, Perth Festival postponed
Lotterywest Films will return on February 15. Photo: Jessica Wyld

Fringe World Festival shows will begin from 7pm tonight while Perth Festival has been postponed another week, until February 15, under advice from the state government.

Fringe World Festival was put on hold last Sunday, when Western Australia was plunged into a snap five-day lockdown.

All shows were cancelled this week but will restart at 7pm tonight. Venue capacity will be reduced by 50 per cent to comply with new state government COVID-19 restrictions. 

According to a statement from Fringe World, 26,000 tickets have been sold for shows this weekend.

Given the new capacity restrictions, some shows have been oversold.

Fringe World said people with tickets to oversold shows would get to see it on a first-come, first-served basis and recommended people arrive 30 minutes before the performance was due to begin.

Refunds will be offered to people who arrive at the venue after it reaches capacity or for people who don’t show up.

“We acknowledge this is an imperfect solution, but this is the best we can achieve given the short notice and the high volume of tickets that we have in our system,” the Fringe World statement said.

Because of the large number of people who bought tickets for shows over the weekend, Fringe World did not have the means to issue refunds for shows impacted by the new capacity restrictions, it said.

Fringe World said the new capacity restrictions did not affect all shows and there were plenty of shows with tickets available.

“If you see a show with tickets available on our website, we encourage you to get them and support our artists,” it said.

“The festival is a precious opportunity for our community, and we thank you for making the most of it."

Entry to the Woodside Pleasure Garden and Girls School is limited to ticket holders only.

The festival’s Fringe Fund has now raised $57,000, up from $32,000 on Monday, for artists who have been impacted by this week’s lockdown.

This afternoon, Perth Festival announced it would postpone its program until February 15, when WA is expected to return to pre-lockdown conditions, after advice from the chief health officer and the state government.

The festival was originally due to start tonight.

Lotterywest Films will reopen on Monday February 15 with Assassins and the festival’s hub the City of Lights in the Perth Cultural Centre will run from Tuesday February 16 until Sunday March 14.

Perth Festival said all tickets for the festival remain valid and ticket holders would be contacted about rescheduled dates.

Perth Festival executive director Nathan Bennett thanked the government for its leadership and the festival’s sponsors for their help during uncertain times.

“We are grateful that their support has given us the confidence and capacity to pursue the dreams of our artists and celebrate our community together,” Mr Bennett said.

Artistic director Iain Grandage said the festival appreciated the opportunity to celebrate and welcome audiences during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic and the recent bushfires in the Perth Hills.

“Our enthusiasm is tempered by our thoughts for those who have lost so much in the bushfires of this week and we can’t begin to comprehend their sorrow,” he said.

“Festivals exist to bring people together and with our friends at Fringe World we are seeking to shine a little joy in these unsettling times.

“We’ll do everything we can to succeed.”


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