1 August 2022

Melbourne’s Fringe Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary in October with a massive block party and the return of the historic Fringe Parade as part of a boost for creative events.

Black and White photo of people gathering

Latte juggling at the 1988 Waiters’ Race as part of the Brunswick Street Parade. Photographer Ponch Hawkes


The return of the iconic parade, funded through a $9.8 million package, will supercharge Melbourne’s CBD and surrounds with thousands of visitors.

The Melbourne Fringe Parade and Lygon Street Block Party will feature music, dance, and creative floats taking over the streets of Carlton – a reimagining of the original Brunswick Street parade which was an annual fixture of the festival from 1984 – 2001.

The parade also sees the return of the much-loved Waiters’ Race where local restauranteurs head out to the streets with a coffee in hand to race without spilling a drop (1988 race pictured).

Funded through the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a partnership with the City of Melbourne – this latest package includes an exciting line up of creative experiences that will roll out over the next 12 months.

A special collaboration between Fed Square, Koorie Heritage Trust, ACMI and the NGV will see the launch of AR.Trail, Melbourne’s largest, free augmented reality art trail. Running from 18 August to 30 September, the public can roam the venues to discover 22 digital artworks including a number of commissions by Australian artists.

Literary luminaries will headline Wheeler Centre events, while Sidney Myer Music Bowl will host live performances over summer. Melbourne Museum will sparkle with DJs, dinosaurs and after-dark exhibition experiences.

Melbourne’s iconic cultural venues will be alight with projections, immersive installations, screenings and audio-visual tours, while up-sized editions of Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Midsumma, Melbourne Writers Festival and more will fill the city with more laughs, tunes and fuel for the mind and soul. To be part of the Melbourne Fringe Parade, visit melbournefringe.com.au.