The entertainment juggernaut which is the Wynnum Fringe Festival is best summed up by the words of Paul Kelly’s iconic hit ‘From little things big things grow’.
Now in its third year and running up until December 4 the performing arts hub, which has cemented its place on the national entertainment calendar, was the brainchild of actor and singer Tom Oliver.
Back in the dark days of the pandemic when the entertainment industry was brought to its knees due to quarantine and other health measures, local man Oliver set about creating an event to supply a lifeline to those without an income.
“A lot of my friends and others were without work so I thought I would try and generate some work for us through this.”
“That was the first year. By the second year, the dream had started to turn this into a festival for the whole of Brisbane.”
During the first year Oliver said they attracted 10,000 people to the three day event which gave them the confidence to do it again – but this time bigger.
“The residents really got behind it and the entertainers did as well.”
“The second year we had 25,000 people and now it runs for three weeks and this year we’re hoping to get 40,000.”
Oliver said due to its size the festival now had 500 workers which was a great contributor to the local economy and community.
“Local businesses have been really supportive and it makes sense because the festival is bringing thousands of people to the area.”
Oliver said the Wynnum Fringe Festival even had Olympic ambitions.
“We see the Olympics as a great opportunity seeing that the sailing will be held here at Manly Harbour. What a beautiful part of the world,” the local man said.
“That’s something we are very excited about and want to build toward.”
“The sky is the limit. Look at the beautiful place we have here.”
In fact there is so much going on at the Fringe Festival that the entertainment has spilled into additional venues across the Bayside to include Bay Terrace Precinct with Cedar & Pine, Frenchies up late, The Shed (behind Cultivate Design) along with Bayside Music Hall.
And while the three week entertainment phenomenon has the likes of Marcia Hines, Dave Hughes and other high-profile entertainers Oliver said organisers were determined to include plenty of free family-friendly entertainment.
“We want the festival to be accessible to all. To suit all budgets and the community is really getting behind it,” he said.
Performance genres abound with music, dance, comedy, theatre, cabaret, burlesque, circus as well as weekend family programming.
Food trucks cater for all tastes and there is always something to entertain during the Fringe with heaps of live music and roving performers around.
Wynnum Fringe festival runs until December 4 at George Clayton Park but with such a packed itinerary entertainment has been added to other sites including Bay Terrace Precinct with Cedar & Pine, Frenchies up late, The Shed (behind Cultivate Design) and the Bayside Music Hall.
For more details on the Wynnum Fringe Festival visit https://wynnumfringe.com/venues/