School Tour – Adelaide Fringe: A History


How the popular festival developed into what it is today

$15 per student
1 Hour

Our festival city history

How did Adelaide Fringe start? What is with the festival’s crazy posters? This is a one-hour walk through the city centre that reveals how it came to be the juggernaut it is today. Students will gain chronological understanding of how the festival has grown, along with appreciating Adelaide’s reputation as a festival city and our place in the festival world. Guide Katina has previously volunteered and worked for Adelaide Fringe.

Students are encouraged to engage through taking photos, asking and answering questions, and taking part in a quiz along the route. They will also get take-home quote handouts from key festival decision-makers across the tour.

After the tour, teachers will receive a link to Adelaide’s Street Art Explosion map via email. This can be shared with students to encourage art exploration in their own time.

Start and end points

We start at the gates outside Government House on North Terrace. We end at Rundle Park/Kadlitpina (The Garden of Unearthly Delights).


*Bookings are essential, with numbers and payment confirmed at least one week prior to the event.

*This tour is best taken during Fringe season (mid-February to mid-March) at any mutually convenient time. Other times of year can be done on request if needed.

*This tour has a fully accessible route.

*A group photo is taken on every tour, so please ensure students are in desired uniform and have photo permissions where necessary.

*Students will be asked for feedback at the end of the tour by filling out a quick form asking what they liked/didn’t like about the experience.

*This tour is recommended for a range of students: visual arts/drama/music students in years 8-11, and tourism students in years 11-12. It is also suitable for general excursions into Adelaide during the festival season.

The links

How this tour assists Australian Curriculum outcomes

Outdoor Learning
Students are engaged in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and settings. In these environments, students develop the skills and understanding to move safely and competently while valuing a positive relationship with the outside world.
The Arts - Rationale
Students use arts knowledge and understanding to make sense of their world. The Arts entertain, challenge, provoke responses and enrich our knowledge of self, communities, world cultures and histories. The Arts contribute to the development of confident and creative individuals.
SACE Visual Arts (Art) (Stage 1)
Area of Study #1 – Visual Thinking, and Area of Study #3 – Visual Arts in Context.
SACE Drama (Stage 1)
Students analyse and evaluate dramatic ideas and products.
SACE Tourism (Stage 1-2)
Topics: Exploring Tourism in the Local Area, Examining Local Impacts of Tourism and Appreciating Tourism in Australia.

How Adelaide Fringe: A History helped shape our assignment: Heathfield High students

It was great to learn the history behind the event, for example the rivalry between Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Fringe, and the origins of the name ‘Fringe Festival’.

I was interested to see how the mural on Frome Street changed and developed over time, and how the art connected to the fringe. I particularly liked that the artist wanted to keep the culture of original alive, then adapted it.

The quotes have provided direct primary resources I can include in my assignment, strengthening the authority of my writing.

The hotel that they all stayed in when performing links back into the eight sectors of tourism. This demonstrates how other sectors are impacted directly by the Fringe Festival.

The development of The Fringe as a whole links with Butler’s Sequence, providing a great example of an expanding business/enterprise.

Learning about new management strategies (such as charging an admission fee to ‘The Garden of Unearthly Delights’ rather than counting people in) helped develop my understanding of how dynamic the Tourism Industry is.

I enjoyed learning about the relationship between ‘Adelaide Festival’ and ‘Adelaide Fringe’. I was able to include information about the competitive nature and the ‘take the piss’ culture of those performing and organising ‘Fringe Festival’. This helped demonstrate depth and understanding of the complex relationships within the industry.

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