The 16th Macao City Fringe Festival, organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau and co-organized by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, has been concluded successfully on 22 January. This edition of the Macao City Fringe Festival, taking “A Feast of Creativity! Bon Appétit!” as a slogan and adopting the concept of “All around the city, our stages, our patrons, our artists” again, offering the public 23 excellent shows, in a total of 70 performances. The rich feast of art in ten consecutive days earned an enthusiastic response from the audience. The overall percentage of ticket sales nearly reached 90%.
Programmes of this edition of the Macao City Fringe Festival were highly varied and included experimental, entertaining and challenging shows, allowing the audience to see the multifaceted sides of arts and promoting the cultural sophistication. Tickets were highly sought after from the first day of sales, which tickets were sold out for half of all shows, namely the shows “Antiwords”, “Mobile Kitchen”, “Zuò Zuò Tea House”, “In Good Hands”, “5 Women”, “Funeral for the Living”, “The Smooth Life”, Give It a Shot Series – “I Met Cats” and “The Day Can’t See the Dark Night”, “Bubble”, “Seven’s Up” and “The Other Side of the Sacred”. A number of shows in this edition of the Festival included interactive segments that counted on the active participation of the public, in order to conclude the shows successfully, allowing both artists and audience to benefit a lot in the process.
In addition to the shows that had high acclaim, the outreach activities of this edition of the Macao City Fringe Festival were also highly popular and received numerous applications. Among these activities, the “Workshop for Specific Social Arts Workers” was one of the most sought after, with places being completely filled as soon as applications opened. Through puppet handling techniques, teachers allowed participants to explore puppets as communication tools and explore the possibilities of using them in education and counselling, further injecting arts into daily life. The very first “Sharing Session on Asian Arts Festivals – Arts Festivals in the Cities” gave local arts professionals and groups a chance to learn about different fringe festivals and artist-in-residence schemes as well as become more aware of different regions’ large-scale arts festivals. In addition, this year a “Fringe Station” was set up at the Old Court Building in order to offer arts groups a cosy exchange space.
The success of the Macao City Fringe Festival relies on the support of arts practitioners, residents, institutions and businesses, etc. In the future, the organizers will continue to offer pioneering and interesting performances to residents and tourists, creating more opportunities for local arts groups, expanding the development space of local arts professionals and raising Macao’s cultural and artistic level.