Nelson Fringe Festival has a different look for 2021 with a new director and new opportunities for performers!

Nelson Fringe Festival is using 2021 as a year to re-group, re-energise and create some building blocks for the future, by thinking a bit laterally, a bit sideways, and a bit backwards (by showcasing some recent top-performing shows). It’s part of the constant challenge of figuring what being a Fringe is all about.


Local theatre director Giles Burton has taken over the reins as Director. He brings with him vast experience from numerous fringes and festivals around the world, including Edinburgh, Prague, Tbilisi, Wexford and Wellington. He also founded Hong Kong Microfest and was a co-founder of Prague Fringe. For Nelsonians, he is best known as the director of Nelson Summer Shakespeare, and director of the plays Maungatapu (Nelson Arts Festival 2017) and The Man Who Was Thursday (Nelson Fringe Festival 2018). Giles will be filling the large shoes of Laura Irish, who after five years of phenomenal dedication and drive on the Fringe team, including the last three years as Artistic Director, is stepping down from the role. 


The Nelson Fringe Festival sprouted in 2015 under the tender care of Dan and Lisa Allan and a dedicated team. The Fringe was born with the intention of bringing people together to share, connect, uplift and grow. It is intimate and community-centric.

The Nelson Fringe Festival runs annually in the first week of May. It is a ten day celebration of fringey theatre awesomeness - with workshops during the day and performances by night. In 2020, despite COVID-19 trying to deter us (twice!), we persevered with an edgy programme of shows from around the country with our VIRTUAL FRINGE in August! 


Usually, Nelson Fringe Festival has a stack of Awards awarded to award-deserving shows. This year though, we’re giving the Awards a little break, mainly because we’re presenting existing shows (many of which already have a heap of awards). Never fear, we’ll be bringing the Awards back in 2022.

Fringe, Fringe, Fringe... - Fringe Festivals in Australasia!!!

The Nelson Fringe Festival is part of the growing network of amazing Fringe festivals all over the world. And we have some of the VERY best Fringes right here in Australasia. We fully support the work that these festivals do and the creative risk-taking that they actively encourage. Check out some of the other Fringe Festivals in our neck of the woods. 

Let us know if there are other Fringe Festivals in Australasia and we would love to support them and all other Fringe Festivals!

Nelson Fringe is part of the global network World Fringe. Please like and share their Facebook page to find out about touring and Fringe opportunities -


Also the World Fringe website, holds a wealth of information about Fringe Festivals and resources -

World Fringe twitter - @worldfringenet