The 18th Macao City Fringe Festival, organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, was concluded successfully on 27 January. This rich art feast featuring a total of 18 wonderful programmes and 10 extended activities during 17 consecutive days earned an enthusiastic support from the public. This edition of the Macao City Fringe Festival, themed “Extra．Ordinary”, featured artists from all over the world who led the audience to break through the restrictions and framework to rediscover the exceptional in everyday life.
In conjunction with the theme of this edition of the Festival and the concept of “All around the city, our stages, our patrons, our artists”, the Fringe Festival featured a variety of creative programmes, some of which were presented at unexpected venue, bringing surprises to the audience. The play A Short Time Escape told stories of life between the aisles in a supermarket; the unprecedented underwater concert Wet Sounds was held in a swimming pool; the gallery became a performance venue for the show Tranquillity Transmission; the show Be My Old Friend presented by a group of elderly, reminisced the old days of Macao, taking the audience to the time tunnel of memories by shaking hands, offering a touching and warm performance. This edition of the Fringe Festival earned an enthusiastic support from the public and all performances reached a satisfactory result. Tickets for some of the programmes were sold out soon after it went on sales.
In addition, many programmes and artistic activities were held in the community, encouraging the public participation. In 100 Hours, the artists of Comuna de Pedra Arts and Cultural Association interacted with the neighborhood in the district of Rotunda de Carlos da Maia; Flash Mob – Phubber Drama made the audience engage in an interactive activity filled with fun and reflection by catching phubbers at bus stops located at Rua de Kun Iam Tong and Edifício Administração Pública, respectively; Interactive Urban Music Ensemble in Jorge Álvares Square invited the audience to play music by touching an installation with drawings of different musical instruments, bringing joy to the participants.
Extended activities of this edition of the Macao City Fringe Festival were also highly popular. In “Edi’s Mime Workshop”, French mime and shadowgrapher Edi Rudo taught participating families how to manipulate imaginary things, such as touching walls, climbing ladders and pushing heavy objects, offering pleasant time for families. In the “Life Cycle Drawing Workshop”, American artist Morgan O’Hara guided the participants to explore “disappearance” and “incompletion” in life. In order to strengthen the artistic exchange between regions, this edition of the Fringe Festival continued to host the sharing session “Fringe Exchange: Connect with Festivals”. Art festival and theatre organisers from Adelaide, Seoul and Chongqing were invited to share their festival experience and cultural environment, providing useful information for art groups and artists who are interested in holding overseas performances.
The success of the Macao City Fringe Festival relies on the support of arts practitioners, residents, institutions and commercial venues. In the future, the Cultural Affairs Bureau will continue to offer innovative and breakthrough performances, building platforms for local artistic practitioners and groups, expanding the development space and presenting a diversified cultural programmes for the public.