Historic ballroom becomes pop-up performance space supporting local artists

Sydney, Australia: the Sydney Fringe is pleased to announce today a new partnership with 5 Eliza Ltd to allow the launch of their ephemeral place FRINGE HQ Newtown. Taking over the historic ballroom at 5 Eliza Street, the venue will be active from April-December 2021and will play a vital role in the Covid recovery for the independent arts sector.

The Sydney Fringe has long been an advocate for the need for a more affordable, accessible and above all unorganized performance space in Sydney. The Fringe HQ project was established in 2018 as a way for the organisation, best known as the presenter of NSW’s largest independent arts festival, the Sydney Fringe Festival, to work with its government and provide partners from the sector to enable underutilized space for performance.

Having popped up in Potts Point in 2019 with support from Greencliff and the NSW Government, Fringe HQ will now activate the historic Newtown School of Arts building at 5 Eliza Street for 2021. A building they know well from having used it in partnership with the outgoing tenants of the Old 505 theatre, as the festival’s touring hub each year since 2016.

Sydney Fringe Chair Lesley Watson said, “The Fringe Board of Directors is proud to ensure that the theater remains accessible from Old 505, so artists and producers can stage their works in what will be the only unorganized theater in the city. , Fringe HQ. Sydney has lost many theaters in the past, and the board is united in advocating for the area to be built through Fringe HQ. We hope the Old 505 team will continue to be a vibrant presence on the Sydney theater and music scene.

The venue opens at a time when the sector fears losing many of its dedicated independent venues due to the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic. This new venue and new partnership provides the Sydney Fringe with the opportunity to deepen its research into viable business models for managing places for the independent sector, building on the valuable work published in 2018 An Anthology of Space: Activating unused and underutilized space for the creative industries and performing arts sectors by NSW.

Sydney Fringe CEO Kerri Glasscock said: “The Sydney Fringe is committed to not only being there for our sector during the recovery, but to being a key driver of the lasting change we will need, to ensure a viable future and a vibrant and vibrant nightlife. To make sure we can all enjoy the art we love, we’ll need to preserve space and provide new, affordable options for artists. This is something we are passionately committed to at the Sydney Fringe.

The public Fringe HQ Newtown program will be announced in the coming weeks. More details can be found at www.sydneyfringe.com