It’s no doubt that Melbourne is the cultural, music and arts capital of Australia. All year round you will find Night Markets, Festivals, Exhibitions and Events so it’s not surprising to find something as cool and arty as the Fringe Festival here.
The annual Melbourne Fringe Festival combines hundreds of arty events in and around Melbourne’s CBD. What does that mean? There’s a little something for every visitor! You will find Film Festivals, Live Music, Art Exhibitions, Light Projection Projects, Comedy, Live Art and more.
The Melbourne Fringe Festival has now been going for over 30 years – the first one was held way back in 1983 a year after the Fringe Art Network was first created.
Melbourne Fringe is the longest-running multi-arts Festival in Victoria. Through creative programs and partnerships, Melbourne Fringe has consistently provided new and relevant ways of supporting artists and activating audiences.
There are numerous events going on during the festival, some you need to book tickets for in advance because they’re popular, others you might be able to get a ticket at the door. As well as these events which are fairly reasonably priced (between $15 – $20 seems common) there’s normally a whole array of free events on offer.
A Guide to the best Melbourne Fringe Festival FREE Events
The program is so extensive, it would be hard to include everything on offer, so we’ve provided a list of our TOP FREE PICKS so that you can experience the very best of the Melbourne Fringe Festival even on a backpacker budget!
Melbourne Fringe Festival
When? EarlySeptember to Late October
Where? Various locations throughout Melbourne
Uncommon Places: Free Tours of Melbourne City
A free guided tour of Melbourne’s graffiti lined laneways, art exhibitions and gallery. The tour runs every Sunday at 2:30pm. No bookings required, just turn up at 225 Bourke St, Melbourne CBD.
Acland Street Light Projection Festival
The popular beach side suburb of St Kilda is hosting its very first Light Projection Festival. Expect to see St Kilda’s famous buildings provide a backdrop for spectacular light shows. Don’t miss: Luna Park, Palais Theatre and Acland Street. Entry is free and runs from dusk to Midnight.
The Side Project
A collection of art and music from up and coming artists which is likely to turn into an all out dance party! The Fringe Club, Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall.
Fringe Film at Federation Square
A showcase of the best films on offer at the Fringe Festival in short. Head on down to Federation Square for an hour of short films.
Enter the graffiti underworlds of Melbourne’s famous laneways. Two artists from different walks of life – New Zealand and Palestine, have joined forces to create a spectacular display of graffiti art. Sessions begin at 12:00pm from the 21st to 26th September in Union Lane, Melbourne CBD. No bookings required.
6 entertainers will join the stage with nothing but their life stories in an artistic attempt to make friends and influence people. 9:30pm until late at Fringe Club, Arts House in North Melbourne.
Shut Up And Dance
An interactive dance party, a world record attempt and mass group dance lessons. Shut Up and Dance runs from 10pm until late on the 25th of September at the Fringe Club, Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. It’s just a short 1km walk from Melbourne CBD at 521 Queensberry St. North Melbourne.
More info about Melbourne Fringe Festival and all the events on offer can be found here.