The 1984 Fringe was held from 24 February - 18 March. In 1984 there were more than 966 performances by 114 groups in over 50 venues.

1984 saw the Fringe move towards a new and challenging era, expanding its scope by providing a range of artistic and entertainment facilities and launching a new stage of development for the Arts in Adelaide.

There were many exciting developments for the Fringe during 1982/83. In particular, the development of the Fringe Centre project in the Old Fowlers Lion Building on the corner of North Terrace and Morphett Street. 

So the Fringe moved from its first home at Adelaide University to their new home in the Old Fowlers Lion Building. This move provided a strong focus for activity and drew increasing numbers of artists and performers to the Fringe Festival.

During the transition to the Fowlers site, the Fringe was given the opportunity to demonstrate how a Living Arts Centre could be used. They developed a Fringe Club, had plans for an independent cabaret venue, a base for the Fringe School, an adventure playground, a wine bar, visual arts space and a small theatre.

The Fringe commissined the three-time Archibald prize winner, Clifton Pugh to design the 1984 Festival Fringe Poster. The Fringe received two official complaints from the SA Visual Arts Committee and the Crafts Council of SA who were protesting that Pugh was not an SA Artist and was already an established artist. The Fringe then decided that the Advertiser cartoonist Michael Atchison would design the 1984 Poster.

Key 1984 Fringe highlights include:

The 1984 Fringe was funded by the Dept. of Labour – Job Creation Scheme (CEP) and this lead to many new projects and staff.

The Fringe Opening Night Hindley Street Party took the form of a Mardi Gras street party (see A Party in the Streets).

The second Fringe Versus Media event was a success, after the inaugural event in 1982.

For the first time, the Fringe held a Festival of Independently Made Australian Films as a feature its festival activity. This was a huge success and paved the way of future Australian Film Festivals There were 112 screenings and nearly as many films.

A higher profile for visual arts and craft was achieved. Fringe exhibitions were mounted specifically for this festival and
an Artist Week public forum for arts and cultural issues, involving prominent artists, critics and guest panelists was held.

The Fringe School of Performing Arts operated again after the success of the 1982 school. This year there were 75 positions made available for participants.

Fringe Forums, a new project, was established. This was a series of discussions open to the public and was led by arts luminaries in town for the festival.

The Fringe Community Day was held in Elder Park on March 10 and was held in conjunction with the Crafts Fair. The Community Day had an emphasis on children and families and was a joint project of the Festival Fringe and the Association of Community Theatre – It was a huge success!

The Fringe held an inaugural Fun Run as a way of jumping onto the 'Healthy State' Bandwagon. The run was around the terraces of the city – approx. 10kms and there was a shorter sprint run also.

Another 'A Lark in the Park' event was held and was also expanded to outlying suburbs.

A Fringe Hindley Street Family Fun Day was planned for  the last day of the Festival and the Fringe – March 18 but this was cancelled.

The Fringe again produced an Education Programme – In 1984, 66,000 children from Primary and Secondary schools, saw Fringe shows both in Schools and in Theatres.

For the first time the Fringe produced a Community Activities Programme along similar lines to the Education Programme. These were held in shopping centre, community centre, universities, Colleges of Advanced Education, hospitals and nursing homes, goals, local council and libraries.

Adelaide Businessman and City Councillor Mr Michael Harrison gave $30,000 to the 1984 Fringe and in doing so he became the Fringe's first individual major sponsor.

Fringe Guide 1984
1984 Fringe Newsletter
1984 - Adelaide Festival Fringe Research Study - Audience and Participants. Conducted by Jude Huygens, February 1985
1984 Participant Information Booklet
1984 News Release – Interstate Promotions

Please submit your report