Fringe calls for volunteers

The call has gone out for arts lovers to step up and take an active role as volunteers in this year’s Fringe Festival.

Dunedin Fringe Festival 2022 volunteer co-ordinator Bailey Gardner was on the lookout for "dedicated, eager volunteers, who love the arts".

Up to 60 volunteers were needed to fill a variety of roles in the festival, which was scheduled to run from March 17 to 27, and would feature about 70 events.

"Being a fringe volunteer is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the festival is run.

"There’s a huge buzz around the festival, so it’s very exciting to be part of it," Ms Gardner said.

"And it’s a good way to get to know people in the local arts community."

The opportunities for festival volunteers were wide-ranging, and could include involvement in distribution, publicity, technical tasks such as setting up stages, sound, front-of-house, hospitality and more.

"Having such a variety of opportunities means we can play to people’s strengths, and give them the kind of tasks they enjoy."

The Dunedin Fringe Festival volunteer programme is renowned as one of the best on offer in the city, and was the winner of the Arts and Culture category at last year’s inaugural Dunedin Volunteer Awards.

Some volunteers returned year after year, but there was still plenty of room for more, Ms Gardner said.

"We have everything in place to train people in their roles, and to support them throughout — it is important that volunteering with the Fringe is a really good experience."

The Dunedin Fringe Festival is one of the largest events on the city’s calendar, bringing hundreds of performers and their audiences together across 10 days, from March 17 to 27.

This year’s programme, which would be launched in hard copy and online on February 9, was packed with premieres for innovative and experimental new work.

Festival director Gareth McMillan said this year’s festival would be true to its core aim of bringing experimental contemporary art to a wider audience, and to support the work of emerging artists.

As always, the festival would offer the full gamut of artistic experience, including comedy, theatre, dance, music, and visual arts.

Ms Gardner said the first volunteer opportunities would be coming up soon, as help was needed at the programme launch on February 9.

Volunteers would also visit the Otago Farmers Market in mid-February to distribute programmes and publicise the festival.

For more information about becoming a volunteer, visit the festival website www.dunedinfringe.nz and click on the "volunteers" link.

Alternatively, volunteers can access the festival via Volunteer South.

All volunteers must adhere to Covid-19 rules and have a vaccine pass.

brenda.harwood@thestar.co.nz

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