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Art on the Fringe: Forty Years of Melbourne Fringe


Event Status

Celebrate the iconic festival that has emboldened the Melbourne arts scene since 1982.


Enjoy a roaring evening of art, performance and conversation, celebrating 40 years of Melbourne Fringe.   

Begin your evening by exploring State Library Victoria’s major exhibition The Rest is Up to You, a collection of memories, thoughts and ideas about the future of Melbourne Fringe Festival, contributed by artists, producers, directors and audiences.  

Then, grab a glass of wine and experience a captivating experimental performance by Vidya Rajan, whose work spans screenwriting, theatre, comedy, and digital spaces, before she joins a panel including beloved comedian Sammy J, director and performer Moira Finucane, and host Richard Watts to discuss the evolution of the Melbourne Fringe community as a barometer of the city’s social, cultural and political change, and what the future may hold for art making on the fringe. 

This special event will end with a performance by Moira Finucane: volcanic live artist, magic realist and creator, internationally renowned for her arresting mix of provocation and entertainment. 

Revel in the past, present and future of one of our city’s best loved and most culturally democratic independent art festivals.  

Presented by the Wheeler Centre, State Library Victoria and Melbourne Fringe


General Admission $25
Concession $20
State Library of Victoria Members $20
Free tickets are available for First Nations audiences

Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

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Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or


Moira Finucane

Moira Finucane is a writer, director, performer and creator of volcanic and magic realist worlds … legendary salons, literary variety and intimate theatrical spectacles, internationally renowned for her arresting mix of provocation and entertainment. Finucane has defined and redefined cabaret arou... Read more

Sammy J

Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer and musician. A proud nerd, he abandoned his law degree to travel the world and sing funny songs for a living. You may have seen him on TV, at a festival, or as one half of the man/puppet duo Sammy J & Randy. He is the host of ABC Radio Melbourne Brea... Read more

Vidya Rajan

Vidya Rajan is a writer and performer currently based in Australia working across screenwriting, theatre, comedy, and digital space. A former writer-in-residence at the Malthouse Theatre, graduate of the VCA, and a recipient of Screen Australia’s Developer Program, her work has often been describe... Read more

Richard Watts

Richard Watts is the National Performing Arts Editor of industry website ArtsHub; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre’s volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a... Read more


Hansen Hall and Conversation Quarter, State Library Victoria

328 Swanston Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.