Thursday night saw Adelaide punters roll up to their favourite seasonal fun park for the first visit of the Fringe. No doubt it will be the first of many. As it has for years now, Strut and Fret’s carnival dusted wonderland opened it’s doors to the general public, offering a glittering program of circus, cabaret, music, comedy and theatre, underway from now and continuing till late March.
A veritable who’s who of local and international arts led the way for a champagne-fuelled VIP performance to kick the night off. Headliners such as the Wau Wau Sisters and Le Gateau Chocolat treated us to teasers from their shows, before Scott Maidment, the frontman behind the Garden, gave a speech backed by fireworks and a lot of other loud pyrotechnics. It all went off with a bang, illustrating we get plenty of bang for our buck… etc (you get the idea). Most VIPs were more focused on the free champagne than the speeches but the Garden of Unearthly Delights then opened its doors and the general public gleefully funnelled in.
The Garden has certainly established itself as a beast of epic proportions within the Adelaide Fringe. It has surpassed the scope of any other ‘venue’ and no doubt has surpassed the profits too. Yet you can’t go past the Garden for a rollicking all-in-one entertainment precinct. Beyond the fireworks and glitz there are still many weird and wonderful artists carving out their career in a shipping container draped in velvet behind a popcorn stand. May we enjoy them one and all; the party has officially begun.