Melbourne Fringe will present a digital festival from its Fringe Common Rooms venue at Trades Hall at the end of the month, in addition to the annual Melbourne Fringe Festival in November. The inaugural VCR Fest (Virtual Common Rooms Festival) will take over screens this 31 July – 2 August, bringing Fringe Common Rooms to life online while the venue is closed to the public. This three-day event will showcase the provoking, inspiring and entertaining work being made by the likes of Zoë Coombs Marr, Cry Club, Joel Bray, Marie’s Crisis and more. Presented on a newly created digital platform, VCR Fest will feature an interactive digital foyer and a choose your price format payable at the end of the performance to create a unique online experience.

Programmed and presented by Melbourne Fringe, VCR Fest promises inclusive, ground-breaking performances; exciting and inspiring conversations; fresh and fun live music; and some seriously sweaty dance parties where everyone is welcome. VCR Fest is designed to recreate the live experience of attending a show, including audiences debriefing with their fellow attendees (via a lively chat room function) and live event recommendations from other artists. A portion of the program will be live-streamed direct from Fringe Common Rooms at Trades Hall, with extensive hygiene and distancing measures in place on site for artists and staff. Other events will beam in from greater Melbourne, interstate and as far away as New York.

The full program is available at melbournefringe.com.au and will also include a range of workshops, including Art x Access: is digital art here to stay?, hosted by Carly Findlay (writer, appearance activist and Melbourne Fringe Access & Inclusion Coordinator), with special guests including YouTube star (and king of iso cooking) Nat from ‘Nats What I Reckon’, disabled, queer performer and podcast producer Erin Kyan and more talking about access in arts in the context of COVID-19.

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