The small festival that could rival the biggest in the country

Jackson is famous as a milliner for the Melbourne Cup and the daughter of well-known architect Daryl Jackson. She studied design and opera singing.

“It brings a lot of stuff to Flinders that we wouldn’t get otherwise,” she says, citing Melbourne Opera and a literary brunch with poet Lisa Gorton at the Flinders Hotel. Other events feature local luminaries, including a lunch with ABC Melbourne vegetarian chef and presenter Alice Zaslavsky, and a singalong in an English pub with formers sale of the century Host Tony Barber.

Jackson hopes the festival can be an annual complement to existing arts events on the peninsula, including Corrie Perkin’s Sorrento Writers Festival in April.

But she admits to having teething problems. “As a start-up, we have all these costs to make things happen.”

An initial application for funding to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council was rejected, but a more targeted submission was successful, with the good news that a $32,000 grant arrived on Christmas Eve.

“We’re brand new, how can we prove we can deliver?” asks Jackson.

It helps that one of the locals is Spotlight multi-billionaire Morry Fraid, who donated fabric and sponsorship of the seagrass meadow.

Adelaide Fringe Festival Director Heather Croall with cast members at the launch of the programme.

Adelaide Fringe Festival Director Heather Croall with cast members at the launch of the programme. Credit:Jack Fenby

Adelaide Fringe, meanwhile, is expected to bring more than 30,000 people to South Australia, adding $90 million to the state economy and sending artists around the world through its industry market. shows included Be silent!, a five-hour percussion festival, comedy by Ross Noble and a one-woman show by ABC TV host Annabel Crabb.

“Adelaide Fringe is Australia’s largest arts festival and is a major launch pad and incubator for new and developing works and artists,” said festival director and executive director Heather Croall.

“For many artists, the Adelaide Fringe is the biggest season on an annual tour and as such, the Adelaide Fringe attracts some of the biggest names in the performing arts worldwide. Many Fringe artists in Adelaide are picked up and booked for future tours. It’s one of the reasons Adelaide Fringe is so important in the Australian arts calendar.”

A global network of fringe festivals called the World Fringe includes hundreds of members including Adelaide and the world’s largest, Edinburgh.

“Smaller festivals like the Flinders Fringe on the Mornington Peninsula are such an important part of the national festival circuit,” says Croall.

“They offer a different perspective and a different artist and audience experience that is extremely valuable for performers and artists. Adelaide Fringe is just one part of the Australian festival ecosystem and we can learn a lot from each other.” The small festival that could rival the biggest in the country

Jaclyn Diaz

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