In 35 degrees and with thunderstorms looming, the inaugural MultiFringe arrived in City Walk South on Saturday, drawing passers-by on their way to the main Festival into a variety of performance spaces.
Creative Producers PJ Williams and Nick Byrne are delighted with the response to their take on a multicultural fringe festival. During the day a team of visual artists and technicians transformed the site with street art, a huge portrait drawn on cling wrap stretched between trees, a 5m crochet free form sculpture, hand drawn mandalas and pasted works. 2 kilometres of ribbon fringed and fluttered across the site misting fans cooled pedestrians and punters.
“We believe we had a mix of art-forms and age groups that allowed every-one to find something of interest and it was fabulous to see kids and adults in The Gene Pools”
These consisted of two 3m wading pools in leafy shade with life guards from Dickson pool.
Williams said “It was also really moving to see people with tears in their eyes during the final moments of Dance Beyond Barriers’ piece The Hidden Sorrows and the delight on kids faces as they joined in chalk art and paste ups around the site”
After a thunderstorm held up proceeding for about 40 mins the audiences built steadily through the afternoon with festival highlights the Slam Poets and Poncho Circus attracting large audiences. Lycra clad blue and green characters called Roving Chromosomes and a piece called Burq-lesque explored the search for identity and the layers of culture.
Producer Nick Byrne says “Our aim was to explore the diversity of culture by presenting acts and artists that came from a range of backgrounds and sub-cultures who were influenced by the mashing together of genes, ideas and instruments.” Byrne said: “We didn’t want a narrow focus as to what constituted culture, that’s why we called it MultiFringe – mixed, mashed and sub. I think we achieved that.”
Fusion group Orbis Tertius played to a packed house at The Sour Cherry stage and with large projections and sculptural lighting bringing the area to life DrumAssault closed out the evening with a mix of high energy rhythms and dance beats from West Africa.
Williams says: “So far the feedback has been positive and we look forward to applying to do it again next year”