Well, it's finally over. Can you believe it? As always, the 2018 Festival season has sped by and we are ready to head into a temporary hibernation. As we start getting out our PJs, the Garden of Unearthly Delights is having a particularly well deserved rest after their biggest year yet.
Starting from humble beginnings as a single tent and bar way back when, this year the Garden boasted 2788 performances from more than 100 shows in 16 venues. Over 700,000 tickets were sold over the period, offering its punters some of the best in programming. Garden co-director Michelle Buxton puts this down to their careful curation, "We mindfully curate a space that has the capacity to host larger shows with high production values so we are also able to support new artists and smaller shows, which is where most artists start out. Supporting the little guys is a much a part of keeping the arts alive as it is making sure the big guys have somewhere to play".
And that they have! The Garden has claimed five of the Adelaide Fringe Awards, with Carla Lippis winning the Fringe World Tour Ready Award, Djuki Mala winning Excellence in Aboriginal Creative Arts, Glittery Clittery winning Best Cabaret, Different Party winning Best Comedy, and Kevin Quantum winning Best Magic. Phew!
What's more, this year The Garden have worked with a few different local partners. Over $30,000 was raised to support local-based charities, including the Hutt Street Centre, Sammy D Foundation, Salvation Army, Oxfam, Little Heroes Foundation, and Muscular Dystrophy SA. On the other side of the spectrum is their collaboration with Amongst It SA, creating artificial intelligence software linked to one of the oldest trees in the Garden, Dora the lemon-scented gum. Over the five weeks, over 25,000 people have been able to text Dora.
What a big Fringe season for the busy people over at the Garden! Now it's time to rest up and gird your loins for the Garden's 2019 season, kicking off on the 14th of February and running through to the 17th of March.