March 18, 2020


Editor    posted 18 Mar 2020, 07:18 AM / edited 18 Mar 2020, 08:23 AM

Statement on the Covid 19 outbreak and the 2020 Dunedin Fringe Festival from Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust Director Gareth McMillan.

(Updated 17 March, 9.00pm.)

Gareth McMillan, Festival Director, announces the cancellation of the 2020 Dunedin Fringe Festival.

‘The Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust board and I met tonight and made the decision to cancel this year’s festival. With the arrival of the outbreak within Dunedin we feel this is the best option. We have recommended that all independently produced events under the Fringe umbrella also cancel their scheduled performances and exhibitions.

‘We’re devastated for our community. The Dunedin Fringe is one of the largest arts festival in the country and represents thousands of hours of work from more than 750 creative practitioners. As contractors, they will be severely impacted now and in coming months; as will the wider sector including technicians, venues, suppliers and everyone who relies on a vibrant entertainment industry.

‘As an organisation we will do whatever possible to support arts practitioners through these challenging times, including offering the limited financial resources we have available. During this temporary time of (physical) social distancing we believe connectedness is more important than ever. Therefore we are investigating ways of hosting a digital fringe festival to enable a ‘virtual gathering’ and create an opportunity to raise money for affected artists. Additional information will be released as plans develop.

‘We wish to thank all ticket purchasers for supporting the Fringe Festival. For cancelled events, the ticket provider will contact purchasers and offer them the opportunity to be refunded. Alternatively, people may choose to donate this back to the artist and we encourage this option if at all possible. In the event that an independent event chooses to proceed or reschedule it might be possible to transfer existing tickets to this event with further details to be made available.

‘We’d also like to take the opportunity to thank all of our funders and supporters. This is not the 20th birthday party we had planned but the Dunedin Fringe will be back next year and it will be better than ever.

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