There was an increase in the many unofficial local exhibitions, events and performances that formed an unofficial Fringe by the second Festival of Arts, held from March 17 - 31, 1962.

The lead up to the 1962 Festival saw the Adelaide Festival rejecting the premiere of Patrick White's play The Ham Funeral for inclusion in the 1962 Festival Program. The Adelaide University Theatre Guild had presented this play to the Festival Governors and when it was rejected they, in association with the Australian Elizabeth Trust, presented it amid much controversy in 1961. It has since been reported that "this was the most memorable and significant event of that second Adelaide Festival."

Martin Christmas in his thesis reports: "1962 appears to have been the Festival where it was recognised that 'ancillary' (fringe activities), were as important as the core cultural activities."

There were also several 1962 newspaper articles that referred to 'fringe activities':

  • "On The Fringe" activities (relates to amateur theatre in the 1962 Festival of Arts), The Advertiser, 10 March 1962.
    In particular, the Flinders Street Revue's On The Fringe which was well received. The name of this show certainly put the word 'fringe' from 1962 onwards in the limelight.
  • Adelaide’s Two Festivals by Max Harris, In the Nation, 24 March 1962. Harris alludes to the three sites of activities: the official music and drama events (official culture), the Festival Fair (popular culture) and the fringe activities (popular, but unofficial cultural events).


There was a large increase in the many unofficial local exhibitions, events and performances that formed an unofficial Fringe and a growing awareness and local support of 'fringe activities'.

Some of the exhibitions, productions and events that were held at the same time as the 1962 Festival of Arts included Theatre, Drama, Revue, Art Exhibitions and Collections, Music, And Many Other Events – the full listing can be seen under 'unofficial fringe activities' for this year.

There was also mention of 'fringe activities' in the Souvenir Programme, 1962 Adelaide Festival of Arts - "This time our range has been broadened.  There will be 121 productions and performances Instead of 66. Nor does this include the 'fringe' activities."

Some of the approved 'fringe' activities listed in the Souvenir Programme as Festival Attractions, other Events and other Exhibitions are included Art Exhibitions and Collections,  Ballet, Opera, Drama and Revue, Music and Church Services.


  • The Second Adelaide Festival of Arts, 17th - 31st March 1962 - Souvenir Programme.
  • Free programme handed out at the Festival Fair, Elder Park
  • The Advertiser, March 1962
  • The Nation Newspaper 24.3.62
  • "The Open Platform" – From Fringe to Focus in Pursuit of the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Martin Christmas, Adelaide, 1999.
  • Festival! The Story of the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Derek Whitelock, 1980.
  • "Our Fringe began with a Funeral", The Advertiser, Tim Lloyd, 18 February 2006.

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