FRINGE WORLD 2019 ends with Awards celebration

Published: Sun, Feb 17 2019
Posted in Media Releases, Fringe News

Perth’s favourite annual event has had a final 2019 celebration with the FRINGE WORLD Awards ceremony held tonight at The Edith Spiegeltent.

FRINGE WORLD’s huge program of more than 700 events from international and local artists performing at more than 130 venues across the city has been embraced by the biggest and broadest cross-section of the Western Australian community.

The 2019 Festival recorded more than 400,000 ticketed attendance and generated box office sales of more than $11.5 million, over 10% increase from last year’s Fringe and a ten-fold increase from the first FRINGE WORLD Festival eight years ago. FRINGE WORLD is recognised as the largest performance platform in WA and since 2012 more than $45 million has been paid to participating artists and arts companies with the 2019 Festival recording total ticketed and non-ticketed attendance of more than 800,000.

Amber Hasler, FRINGE WORLD Festival Director said that the Festival saw growth in a number of programs including extended seasons of the popular Sunset Veranda Fringe offering in Scarborough.

“Audiences have been loving the new Festival offerings this year including a packed program at The Woodside Pleasure Garden, a new hub at Yagan Square and new programs popping up in Subiaco and Bassendean,” Ms Hasler said.

“This year more than ever before it felt like every suburb and local community embraced all that the Fringe has to offer with shows performing in Fringe venues appearing in 39 residential suburbs and Fringe customers coming from all over our city and beyond.”

Regionally the Funtavia program extended for an additional weekend in Geraldton and the Festival entertained smaller regional towns with the Outer Fringe Tour reaching to Merredin, Kattaning, Ravensthorpe and Northam.

The FRINGE WORLD Awards Ceremony was a bittersweet moment for Fringe CEO Marcus Canning who is retiring from Artrage, the company behind the FRINGE WORLD Festival, after 17 years leading the organisation.

Under Mr Canning’s leadership, the Festival has been rapidly grown to become the third largest in the world in terms of tickets sold and is recognised as having transformed the cultural life of Perth and its vibrant summer festival season.  

“I have loved being part of growing something that’s been a game changer. FRINGE WORLD is a festival that will continue to grow successfully into the future because the people of Perth love it and take great pride in it being a part of who we are. It will continue to attract the most colourful talent from around the world and be a fertile ground from which our local artists can be launched onto the world stage. It’s a great time to welcome the next organisational head to continue FRINGE WORLD’s journey.”

Mr Canning leaves the organisation in a strong position with healthy reserves, long term funding and sponsorship partnerships secure and a fantastic team in place excited to work with a new CEO, with the results of an international recruitment process being announced in coming weeks.

Although the Festival season is over, there’s one final chance for some Fringe entertainment with popular shows La Soiree 2019, A Midnight Visit and BLANC de BLANC having extended seasons with shows running til March.

The Festival Awards rounded out what has been an incredible program of events. Fringe proudly presents the most generous Awards of any Fringe festival in the world.

FRINGE WORLD Awards are given to the best shows in each genre category, plus there are a bunch of special awards, with winners receiving cash, development support and direct touring opportunities.

The Martin Sims Award is the top prize of the Festival, recognising the best new Western Australian work that is destined to succeed on the world’s stage.

The 2019 Martin Sims Award was announced by retiring CEO Marcus Canning. “I was thrilled to announce two winners this year that embody everything great about our state and its creative future and everything that is good about this powerhouse of a festival. YUCK Circus are a group of powerful and talented young women originating from the Kimberley and Freo who are destined to do great things internationally and Rest by WA Youth Theatre Company is one of the most profound works we’ve seen at Fringe World over the last eight years. We can’t wait to see these shining WA talents shoot for the stars.”

The 2019 Martin Sims Award Winners each recieve $10,000 and touring opportunities to other Fringe Festivals through the World Fringe Alliance.

The full list of award winners for 2019 is as follows:

Martin Sims Award 
Presented by FRINGE WORLD 
Presented to the best new Western Australian work that is destined to succeed on the world’s stage. The Award is named in honour of Martin Sims, former Chairperson of Artrage (the presenter of FRINGE WORLD) and a life-long advocate for the arts in WA. 

Winner (joint): 
YUCK Circus

The Big City 
Kohesia Presents: A Night of Persian Jazz 
Split Lip

The Blaz Award
Presented to the best writing for performance by a WA writer. The Award is named in honour of Perth playwright George Blazevich.

Winner: Poorly Drawn Shark

Cabaret Award
Presented by Kleenheat

WA Winner: Golden Age Girls

Children's Event Award
Presented by City of Perth Parking

Winner: Mr Gorski
WA Winner (joint): 
Magnus’ Explosion Laboratory

Circus Award
Presented by MadFish Wines

WA Winner: Critical

Comedy Award
Presented by Gage Roads Brewing Co.

Winner: Tom Gleeson - Joy
WA Winner: Umar Azad | Halal? .. is it meat you're looking for??

Dance & Physical Theatre Award
Presented by K&L Gates

Winner: Icarus
WA Winner: Watering

Film & Multimedia Award
Presented by Channel 7

Winner (joint): 
Twelve Films Heart
The Divine Feminine

Free & Community Event Award
Presented by Lotterywest

Winner: Wonderland at WonderRealm

Street Performance / Buskers Award
Presented by City of Perth

Winner: 1950’s Hoop Troupe

Music & Musicals Award
Presented by Nova 93.7

Winner: The Great American Songbook - Adam Hall and Adrian Galante

Theatre Award 
Presented by Perth Theatre Trust

Winner: REST

Visual Arts Award
Presented by ABC Radio Perth

Winner: A Tail of Taxidermy

Spirit of the Fringe Award
Presented by FRINGE WORLD

Winner: Brigitte (Bridge) Bernard

The West Australian Arts Editor Award
Presented by The West Australian

Winner: REST

ECU Performing Arts Award
Presented by Edith Cowan University

Winner: Charlotte Otton for FEMINAH

WA Emerging Artist Award
Presented by Woodside

Winner: Cast of The Book of Everything

Independent Program Award
Presented by oOh! Media

Winner: Peaks 2019: Making Up

Independent Venue Award
Presented by oOh! Media

Winner: The Ellington Jazz Club

Tour Ready Awards

Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready Award Winner: Feminah
Sydney Fringe Tour Ready Award Winner: Feminah
Adelaide Fringe Tour Ready Award Winner: YUCK Circus

For the full list of nominees and more information on the shows visit the FRINGE WORLD website at

FRINGE WORLD gratefully recognises the support of its partners including Principal Supporter Lotterywest; Government Partners The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the City of Perth; and Principal Partners Woodside, Gage Roads Brewing Co and oOh! Media.


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For all FRINGE WORLD Festival media enquiries, please contact:

Lucy Gibson
+61 8 9227 0588 / 0402 549421