Covid plea for artists falls flat

FRINGE WORLD looks set to score almost $100,000 in additional funding from the City of Perth for next January’s festival, but Perth Festival’s hopes for a top-up have gone unrewarded.

Funding recommendations were included in this week’s agenda briefing session for Perth councillors, and also included $100,000 to help Perth host the 2023 World Transplant Games.

It’s the third time Australia has hosted the games, which were held in Sydney in 1997 and the Gold Coast in 2009.

The organisers had sought $200,000 cash and $50,000 in-kind support from the council, but a four-person panel from its economic and community development departments gave it a trim on the basis much of the sporting activity was outside the city’s boundaries and unlikely to attract huge crowds.

But it did score points for the international exposure it would generate, with competitors coming from 60 countries. 

Destination

It would also highlight Perth as a destination for similar scale events.

Perth Festival had hoped to get its $263,750 cash contribution from the city lifted to $350,000 to help artists in their recovery from Covid, but the lack of further detail on how it would do that didn’t impress the panel.

There was also concerns that the 2022 festival wouldn’t including a significant signature free event such as The Giants in 2015 and Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak in 2017.

However Fringe World got its funding bump after putting forward a “culturally and linguistically diverse” program and clear performance outcomes that could be measured.

It had also promised to drop venue fees so more income could flow back to artists and included a Fringe Artist Bursary to support first nations and emerging artists.

A report from the 2021 Fringe found that loads of punters headed out for a meal or a drink before and after shows, giving a significant boost to local busineses.

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