The 1974 Adelaide Festival of Arts was held from 9 - 30 March 1974.

1974 was a year of change for both the official and unofficial Fringe. Even though there was more formal recognition of Fringe exhibitions, performances and cultural activities it was felt by the vibrant local arts community that the official Festival Fringe programme still did not reflect or represent them. In 1974 there was still a number of unofficial Fringe Events and activity being held.

A 72 page, Official Fringe Souvenir Programme (see Guide download) was produced. This had a high advertising and local visual arts content. It had a glossy art deco black, orange and white cover. The stock ran out and this reflects that the Fringe time "had indeed arrived."

Artists had to contribute towards the promotion of the Official Fringe Souvenir Programme, paying $50 towards the cost of the Fringe Souvenir Guide Programme (see Premier - Fringe had help). However, this was not well received by the Artists themselves and the University of Adelaide Footlighters Club and Theatre Guild complained of a 'raw deal'.

The Official Festival of Arts Fringe programme included 41 Fringe Exhibitions listed and 20 Performance events. Unofficially there were 50 visual arts and associated exhibitions, 10 theatre productions and a wide range of other events.

Fringe activities received consistent coverage in The Advertiser, and in some interstate press. Read Bubbles on the Fringe, where a Fringe performer is on the front page of The Advertiser, 15 March 1974.

Fringe Events advertised in What's On in Adelaide 1974 included: Adelaide Highland Games, The ‘Marriage-Go-Round’, Audio Visual Concepts – The Way Of The Cross, One For The Pot, Hamlet On Ice, The Night Of The Ding Dong, Bierdermann and The Firebugs, Dimboola - bawdy Australian comedy and Fiddler On the Roof.

Finally, there was formal recognition of Fringe Events and activities. 1974 saw the push for change that eventually led to the formation of Focus INC in 1975. This would lead to  the first independently organised Focus/ Fringe Festival in 1976.


  • What’s on in Adelaide 1974 - A guide to events in and around Adelaide during the Festival produced by the South Australian Government Tourist Bureau – Issued 3 March 1974
  • Media Highlights 1974
  • Martin Christmas, Briefing paper 'fringe activities' to Focus 76, 2009
  • "The Open Platform – From Fringe to Focus in Pursuit of the Adelaide Fringe Festival", Martin Christmas, Adelaide, 1999.
  • Martin Christmas, Attachment 2, 2009: Press Clippings 1960 -78


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