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“Fringe family” needed to keep festival in swing


Organisers of the annual Newcastle Fringe Festival are urging the community to join their family.

‘The Fringe’, as it is affectionately known, was thrown a lifeline in May when it was announced as a recipient of the Australian Council Resilience Fund, ensuring the viability of the festival in 2021.

Newcastle Fringe was one of the earliest victims of COVID-19 when it was forced to close the festival within two days of the scheduled opening.

Many of the artists from this year’s scheduled festival chose to take credits on their entry fees so that they can return next year.

Newcastle Fringe 2021 will be the sixth annual festival and is set to go from 17 to 21 March 2021.

It is run entirely by a volunteer board of directors and a handful of volunteers and is now seeking additional assistance in several key areas.

Organisers say volunteers will be required to work a minimum of two to four volunteer hours per week.

The roles available include administration, digital marketing, finance, technology, sponsorship, and IT.

Festival board member Liane Morris said festival volunteering was very rewarding.

Liane Morris and Erin Cullen worked tirelessly distributing the 2020 Newcastle Fringe Festival program just a few months ago.

“All our volunteers become part of our Fringe Family,” she said.

“For younger volunteers it’s a chance to gain vital experience in the arts sector. For more experienced volunteers it’s an opportunity to give back to a sector that has been hard hit by Covid-19.

“For everyone, it’s just plain good, frenetic fun that culminates in 5 days of Fringe – edgy, diverse, creative, exciting and unique.”

Those interested in volunteering can email [email protected] before Wednesday 17 June.

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