By early April, seen through the prism of Fringe in Australia and the UK, the spreading global pandemic was redirecting the trajectory of history with ever multiplying implications.
It happened so quickly. Time itself, seems to have collapsed. The only logical way to comprehend the avalanche of change is in terms of dog years. Looking back just two months, what the inestimably esteemed Economist wrote at the time now reads as a retrieved artefact from Digging for Britain. They may as well have published it on a stone tablet.
It’s only a few short weeks since the world’s second-biggest Fringe festival closed in Adelaide. Since mid-March, the world has changed beyond conception. Who knew, even then, that Fringe would be the last great gathering in the nation for some time to come?
It would be impossible to achieve now, but the Festival season was a huge success. Festival goers bought a record 850,000+ tickets over the month-long season. That’s a huge number, generated mainly by the inhabitants of a modestly-sized city of 1.3 million people, nestling benignly on the edge of the desert, off Australia’s main trunk routes. Significantly, Fringe sells ten times the tickets as the esteemed Adelaide Festival—the concurrent cultural showcase under who’s shadow it originally evolved...
Amidst the worst fires in Australia's 231 years of European settlement, the City of Sydney controversially went ahead with its New Year’s Eve fireworks event.
Realistically, despite a total fire ban across the city, and most of the state, there was never any chance of the event causing additional fires over the harbour or central city.
So, the event, which the Sydney Morning Herald classified as “too big to fail”, went ahead. Yet many were left wondering, amid an unfolding crisis, just how appropriate it all was? For many, the decision just didn’t feel right.