The fabulous Fringe World Festival has taken over Perth and there’s plenty to see and do with the whole family from now until 25 February. Billed as the third largest fringe festival in the world, this year there are 750 events at 130 venues so there’s plenty of choice.
There's family friendly comedy shows, theatre and circus with ticket prices starting at $10. More than 40 of these events are classified as childrens events, plus there’s a wide range of community events, many of which are free!
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We visited Perth’s Fringe World Festival on the Buskers Weekender - a free celebration of street entertainment spread throughout the Perth City malls with over 100 performances.
Master B (4) and Little Miss Sunshine (2) were captivated by the two busking acts we saw. We started our day at the Forrest Place Stage where Tumble Circus were performing some crazy stunts mixed with laugh out loud comedy. This unique Irish circus double act use juggling, acrobatics and slapstick comedy to keep crowds captivated around the world.
In the Murray Street Mall, we caught up with Dream State, an action packed acrobatic act complete with fire juggling! Married performers Jacob and Sophie kept our little ones under their spell for over half an hour with their witty banter and stunning tricks.
The stunning Dream State buskers juggling with fire
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As we made our way towards the Fringe World Pleasure Garden area in Northbridge, we caught up with Pirate Captains Boots and Redbeard, who were leading a merry army of junior seafarers on a fun filled quest for treasure around the Perth Cultural Centre.
Pirates sword fighting in the Perth Cultural Centre!
Part of Pirates! On the Seven Seas, this free interactive roaming show encouraged Master B to let his imagination run wild, and of course he was delighted to receive a gold (chocolate) coin at the end of the frolics.
Our final stop of an action packed afternoon was to see the free Mermaid and Pirate Tales show at the mermaid tank in The Pleasure Garden, located on James Street.
Mermaid and Pirate Tales was performed inside a giant glass tank
It was the perfect way to end our day, relaxing on the grass and listening to talented storytellers, one of whom was floating around in a giant glass tank!
1. If you opt to plan your Fringe experience on arrival in Perth, the best place to start your Fringe World journey is at Fringe Central, located at the Perth Cultural Centre. The central box office here sells tickets to the huge range of shows and there are artists roaming around at peak times ready to tell you about their shows, many dressed in stunning costumes.
2. If you’ve ordered tickets online for a show, opt for the self collect option which allows you to simply print them off from a self service kiosk as long as you have your purchasing credit card with you. Beats box office queues which are no fun with impatient little ones!
3. Use public transport! Many of the core Fringe World venues are located within spitting distance of Perth Train Station and a trip on the train adds to the adventure for the kids.
4. There’s a range of casual, family friendly dining options at The Pleasure Garden with international food trucks, bars (for the mums and dads!) and ample seating areas.
5. Bring cash - buskers offer free street entertainment but will “hat” at the end of their performance. A gold coin donation is appreciated.