Top emerging fringe festivals in Australia

Top emerging fringe festivals in Australia

Fringe festivals are popular all over the globe, but nowhere supports them as enthusiastically as Australia. The alternative arts festivals, which often champion experimental performances and exhibitions, are deeply creative and inclusive affairs. A visit to one of Australia's biggest fringe festivals will introduce you to art from all over the nation - and from international performers - who flock to be a part of Australia's open minded and celebratory events.

Sydney Fringe Festival (in photo)

A newer edition to Australia's fringe festival scene, Sydney Fringe was first held in 2010, and since then has taken place every September in New South Wales. It's the largest visual and performing arts event held in the state and is filled with a myriad of acts from stand up to burlesque and has even hosted leftfield events like podcast recordings and indie video game events. For comedy fans, head over to venue The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, where you can spot Sydney's best regular comedians as well as newcomers who might become your next favourite. Or if you're keen to check out new works of experimental live art, venue PACT is your best bet - you can find everything from dance to theatre performed in this creative space. All in all, if you're ready to celebrate the strange and the beautiful, head over to Sydney Fringe.

Adelaide Fringe Festival

Adelaide Fringe Festival takes the crown of the world's second largest annual arts festival, and the biggest in Australia, and for 31 days in late February and early March features more than 5, 000 artists both from Australia and from all over the world. Come to Adelaide for the sheer variety of art on offer, and for experiencing an array of quirky pop up venues, from parks to warehouses and disused buildings, the city is transformed during the course of the festival. From cabaret to comedy, visual art to magic, you'll be sure to come away with an expanded sense of contemporary art today.

Melbourne Fringe Festival

This unique space for self-expression in arty city Melbourne plays host to thousands of artists each year with more than 400 events in over 160 venues. 350, 000 people flood into the city to be part of this amazing event, which prides itself on supporting art for everyone and aims to spread cultural democracy around the city. The event opened in 1982 and is Melbourne's longest running arts festival. From theatre to music, art installations to comedy nights, you'll be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of creativity each September. They also often have innovative children's programming, like their Prehistoric VR experience which was adapted from visual theatre company Erth's incredible live show - kids will experience swimming through the strange and colourful prehistoric ocean.

Darwin Fringe

This July, more than 300 artists and 80 shows will be taking over the city of Darwin. Defining itself as a community arts festival, it showcases work from every genre imaginable. Come to the sunny city to experience experimental music, theatre, comedy and spoken word, and see the city's spaces comes to life with countless art installations. Recent acts at Darwin Fringe have included Train Lines, a moving piece of theatre about a life changing connection made while waiting for a train, and Howl, a spoken word event which invites the audience to explore human vulnerability through poetry.

Fringe World, Perth

In late January and early February every year, Perth lights up with its renowned Fringe festival. The summertime festival is the third largest fringe in the world, with more than 368, 000 attendees in 2018. Acts range from circus to comedy, cabaret and dance, and take place in more than 138 different venues around the city. Don't miss the weekly busking event, Fringe Fridays, where international buskers perform at the atmospheric Twilight Hawkers Market. The festival often hosts some incredible circus performances, like Yummy, a show stopping event which blends drag, circus, burlesque and music. Theatre fans will enjoy plays like Orpheus, a modern-day musical version of the ancient Greek myth.

Skincare brands that celebrities swear by

Skincare brands that celebrities swear by

Aussie skincare has been garnering attention for years. From Miranda Kerr's bestselling Kora Organics which uses local Australian ingredients, to A'kin's specialist products for sensitive skin, it's easy to find an Australian skincare line to suit you. Try unique native ingredients like noni extract and juniper berry extract, and let your skin be soothed by these one-of-a-kind products.

Kora Organics

This award-winning skincare brand with a focus on organic ingredients was created by famous Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr. All products are 100% Australian made and nothing is tested on animals. Products are based on quirky homegrown Australian ingredients like noni extract (Miranda has been a fan of this since it was introduced to her at age 12 by her grandmother,) Pacific ocean salt and rosehip seed oil. One of their best-selling products is the Noni Glow Body Oil, perfect for getting a summery skin vibe.

Go-To

Beloved by many a beauty blogger, Go-To is an effective, cruelty free brand with beautifully designed products that look great on your bathroom shelf. Created by beauty editor Zoe Foster Blake, their best-selling products include body oil, silk pillowcases and exfoliating facial pads. All of Go-To's products are completely natural and pride themselves on their down to earth presentation. Try their Exfoliating Swipers for a naturally derived AHA lactic acid exfoliator, and their Face Hero oil, a multi-purpose, well-reviewed face oil which combines over 10 different nourishing plant and nut oils.

Aesop

With an emphasis on botanical ingredients whirled into creative and therapeutic combinations, Aesop creates earthy, effective products. Try their Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser or Fabulous Face Oil, which blends juniper berry and jasmine petal extracts to create a nourishing facial treatment. The Aussie brand encourages fans to adopt a balanced lifestyle and aims to complement each user's natural beauty instead of focusing on ideas like anti-aging. Get your hands on one of their iconic glass bottles to make your bathroom a little more Insta-worthy too.

A'kin

For sensitive skin types, make sure you try A'kin's gentle line of skincare products. Everything they create is 100% vegan and created from natural ingredients, and you won't find sulphates, parabens or silicones in any of their creations. A'kin was founded in 1987, when a botanical chemist, Will Evans, noticed a lack of high quality botanically-derived beauty products on the market. Specialising in both hair and skincare, don't miss their bestselling Brightening Rosehip Oil with Vitamin C which will gently soothe and moisturise your skin, while giving you a healthy glow. Their Hydrating Micellar Water is also a fan favourite, which gently removes make up and dirt from the skin. Its pH balanced formula is infused with anti-inflammatory green tea and coconut water to cleanse without drying out your skin.

Frank Body

Melbourne brand Frank Body make a unique cult product that once you try, you'll be hooked on. They produce an award-winning coffee ground body scrub, that was conceived of when five friends working in a coffee shop had a brainwave. Coffee is great as an exfoliator as the caffeine naturally stimulates collagen, and is packed full of antioxidants to nourish your skin and make it glow. Their Insta-worthy pink packaging will also look great in your bathroom. Their non-toxic products are strictly made with zero animal testing and all items are produced in Australia.

Lanolips

Another Aussie brand with a down to earth approach, Lanolips was created by Kirsten Carriol, who grew up on a sheep farm and was inspired by her father, a DNA scientist. Growing up, Carriol was introduced to the incredible skincare properties of lanolin, contained in sheep's wool. She started her product line with The Original 101 Ointment, a multipurpose balm packed with medical grade lanolin and revered for its skin soothing abilities.

Jurlique

Beloved by celebrities and beauty editors the world over, Jurlique's cult products hail from Australia. The brand has created hundreds of treatments, and best rated are its Rose Moisture Plus Cleanser, which uses gentle rose extract to cleanse the skin without stripping away moisture, and the Calendula Redness Rescue Soothing Moisturising Cream is a godsend for those prone to rosacea or sensitivity of any kind. The rich chamomile and calendula-based lotion soothes and nourishes skin. 

The best art galleries in Australia

The best art galleries in Australia

The history of art in Australia is deeply inspiring; from Indigenous artistic traditions and contemporary works, to photography, portraiture and sculpture through the ages, it's celebrated in countless art galleries located all over the country. From Melbourne to Canberra, and Perth to Hobart - there are ample opportunities to explore the artistic culture of Australia.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (in photo)

Starting life as a humble artists cottage in 1984, this arts hub in central Melbourne is now one of the most iconic buildings in the city, with its striking architecture of rusted steel in a futuristic geometric design. Focused on contemporary art, in the past exhibitions by Pat Brassington and Barbara Kruger have been held here - and don't miss the famous Sapphire Vault by Ron Robertson-Swann, which is located in the forecourt.

Centre for Contemporary Photography

One of the leading photo-based art spaces in Australia, the Centre for Contemporary Photography is based in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and provides six different exhibition spaces to view the latest works of emerging and established photographers. Possibly its most fascinating gallery is the Night Projection Window, which you can view from George and Kerr Streets after dark to see artist's work on display. Since it opened in 1986, the gallery has grown into one of the country's most enjoyable spaces to view contemporary photography.

Art Gallery of Western Australia

If you're interested in Indigenous art, the Art Gallery of Western Australia is the best place to start. Since it opened in 1979, the Perth based gallery has grown to house over 17,000 works of art, including more than 3,000 Indigenous pieces. The gallery particularly emphasises Western Australian Indigenous art, with a collection that dates back from the 1820s to the 1960s. Don't miss Desert River Sea, a major new project housed here which explores Indigenous art.

National Portrait Gallery

Capital city Canberra is the home of the National Portrait Gallery, which houses a wide collection of portraiture of prominent Australians, as well as contemporary portraits from all over the world. Established in 1998, don't miss the collections highlights like Howard Arkley's portrait of Nick Cave and Ned Kelly's death mask; morbid but fascinating.

Mailbox Art Space

For fans of public art, Mailbox Art Space in central Melbourne is located in the Flinders Lane art precinct. The quirky space lends itself to experimental art and provides an unusual canvas for artists to create their work - using a series of restored mailboxes and the area surrounding the nearby Pawson House heritage building. There are no guidelines or themes suggested to the artists working on the space - and it's a fascinating example of contemporary art in action.

National Gallery of Australia

Another must see if you're visiting Canberra, the National Gallery of Australia houses one of the finest collections of art in the country. Since it was established in 1967, the gallery has grown to house over 160, 000 works. Visit here to see work by Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet and David Hockney, but also don't miss the fantastic collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

Wentworth Galleries

This Sydney based art gallery is innovative in its approach to Indigenous art. While many contemporary galleries in Australia divide their collections up into Indigenous and Western art traditions, Wentworth Galleries display them side by side - led more by the art itself and its genre then letting the category define how people view it. There are two branches of the gallery, one in the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel and the other at 1 Martin Place.

MONA

MONA, which stands for the Museum of Old and New, is the largest privately-owned art gallery in Australia. The incredible collection is home to 1,900 different works of art and is one of the most popular attractions in the town of Hobart, Tasmania. Since it opened in 2011, the collection has amassed an extremely diverse collection, with everything from Egyptian antiquities to art by David Walsh, the owner of the gallery, who describes the gallery as a subversive adult Disneyland. The Tasmanian gallery organizes its collection around the central, taboo themes of sex and death. When you've finished exploring the gallery, its location in the Moorilla Winery means a visit to this art museum can be finished off with a glass of local wine.

Australian indie bands and artists for 2019

Australian indie bands and artists for 2019

Australia's music scene has always been innovative, with many new and established artists possessing a real uniqueness and contemporary edge. From Melbourne and Sydney, to all over the country, the slew of exciting new artists shows no sign of slowing down. Sampha The Great's creative hip hop and Courtney Barnett's fuzzy indie tunes are sure to keep on sweeping Australia - and the rest of the world - off its feet.

Vallis Alps

Electronic duo Vallis Alps are Sydney-based producer David Ansari and vocalist Parissa Tosif, and have been garnering attention since they released their first single, Young in 2015. Since then, they've been creating soulful, soothing electronic beats while bringing attention to political issues around the world; their single Oceans, released in 2017, was written about 19th century feminist icon Tahirih, an Iranian women's rights activist. With their beguiling mixture of synth pop, hip hop and chilled electronic beats, Vallis Alps are ones to watch.

Jade Imagine

Melbourne four-piece Jade Imagine are led by singer-songwriter Jade McInally and together create guitar-based music with witty and insightful lyrics. With memorable lo fi, fuzzy sounds, their first shimmery EP was released through Courtney Barnett's Milk! Records label in 2017, and to critical acclaim. 2019 is due to bring even more touring around the country, so keep your eye out for a chance to see them live.

Oh Pep!

Duo Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmachs have been creating music together since they met in secondary school in Melbourne, and already have three EPs and two albums to their name. They've toured at music festivals around the world, from SXSW to Primavera and Glastonbury, and the international fanbase for their soulful, synth pop is steadily growing as they go. 2019 is set to be another great year for them, as they continue to showcase their experimental music to an international stage.

Hatchie

Hailing from Brisbane, Hatchie is the musical project of Harriette Pilbeam, a 25-year-old Brisbane native. Her unique style of dream pop, reminiscent of 80 bands like the Cocteau Twins and the Cranberries, has been earning her attention since 2017. In 2018, she released her debut EP Sugar and Spice, and is based in Brooklyn after her work gained a huge amount of attention in the United States.

Sampha The Great

Sampha The Great is the musical project of Sampha Tembo, an Australian poet and rapper from Sydney. Originally born in Zambia and raised in Botswana, Sampha creates hip hop music with politically conscious lyrics, often raising the visibility of black and Indigenous artists in Australia, to a background of addictive abstract hip hop beats.

Courtney Barnett

While an indie music heavyweight more than a newcomer, Courtney Barnett's career is due to grow from strength to strength in 2019. Her deadpan, witty singing style and rambling lyrics - often telling stories - has been acclaimed since 2013. Now with her own record label and two full albums under her belt, the Melbourne born artist continues to produce and champion great Australian music. 2019 will see Courtney touring at festivals all over the world - from Tokyo to Buenos Aires.

Amy Shark

Another Aussie musician with a huge fan base and multiple ARIA awards under her belt, Amy Shark continues to make joyful electronic indie pop with a streetwise attitude. Born and raised in the Gold Coast, her debut album Love Monster was released in 2018, and reached number 1 in the Australian charts. Her success is bound to spread with music fans around the world pricking their ears up, and a string of worldwide shows planned for the year ahead.

DyspOra

Hailing from Adelaide, DyspOra (also known as Gabriel Akon) is an Australian South Sudanese-born rapper who is taking the Australian hip hop world by storm. As well as producing innovative tracks with politically charged lyrics, DyspOra is focused on growing the hip hop scene in Australia. The artist started writing his own poetry at the age of 12 and was writing lyrics by the time he reached high school. Still a fan of poetry and spoken word, you can often find him at readings around Adelaide. He's even created his own record label, Playback 808, which is growing from strength to strength and which DyspOra releases his own music on.