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Fringe Club moves out of parklands

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The Adelaide Fringe Festival’s exclusive artist’s bar, the Fringe Club, will move out of Rymill Park next year, into a venue run by a former director of the Royal Croquet Club, InDaily can reveal.

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Roxie’s and Chateau Apollo, connected to the Crown and Anchor on Grenfell Street, will host the Fringe Club for the first time next year.

Tom Skipper, former director of the Royal Croquet Club Fringe event, runs the venues.

Responding to an inquiry from InDaily, Fringe CEO and Director Heather Croall confirmed the Fringe Club would move to the new venue, which was necessary because the O-Bahn tunnel had reduced the space in Rymill Park.

Moreover, she said the parklands venue had been vulnerable to harsh weather, which had made the Fringe Club a difficult place for artists to base themselves in the daytime.

“With the O-Bahn tunnel taking up areas of Rymill Park, we needed to look for a new home,” she said.

“Our selection criteria for the new venue included proximity to a busy Fringe precinct, good multiple use indoor area as well and a big outdoor garden area.

“The Fringe Club has become more of an office by day for Fringe artists, and the outdoor parklands setting of previous years meant they were vulnerable to harsh weather and this made doing business by day difficult for them. The Fringe Club by day is used by artists to meet and rehearse and attend panel discussions and share knowledge.”

Croall said the venue was chosen on the basis of selection criteria, but did not respond when asked whether there had been a tender process.

She argued the new home for Fringe Club “ticked all the boxes” for the festival.

“We looked at a number of venues and chose Chateau Apollo and Roxie’s as it ticked all the boxes for what we needed in a Fringe Club.”

The Fringe Club is an exclusive venue for artists performing during Fringe and the only venue managed by the not-for-profit Adelaide Fringe Festival  during the open-access festival, which will run from February 15 to March 17 next year.

The Fringe Club has been held at several venues over the past decade, including Limbo nightclub, the Lion Arts Centre and the Adelaide Uni Bar.

InDaily contacted Skipper for comment.

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