Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Perth Fringe performers suffer abuse, threats and sexual harassment

Perth Fringe performers suffer abuse, threats and sexual harassment
February 3, 2016

Performers at Perth's Fringe festival have taken to social media to share troubling experiences of a growing tide of antisocial behaviour towards them.

One drag performer in the festival, which this year features more than 700 events, was told he should have his head cut off, while another artist in costume was told it was no wonder women get raped.

Other social media posts detailed how performers had been both verbally and physically harassed as they moved around Northbridge, mostly by young, drunk men.

According to a report by the ABC, some said they had been harassed while returning to their cars after shows, while others were walking between gigs at the main venues at the Perth Cultural Centre and the Pleasure Garden at Russell Square.

Aside from serious safety concerns, performers were worried that the vibrant atmosphere of the festival, embraced by young and old in recent years, was being tainted by the ugly behaviour.

Comedian Sami Shah said he wanted to highlight the problem before it escalated into something more dangerous told the ABC “a lot of people are getting more angry.”

His sentiments were shared by fellow performer Tiffany Barton, who said she was upset to have witnessed a young man attacked near the Shambles Theatre at the cultural centre.

Barton stated "I was in there on Australia Day and I saw a kid getting bashed on the ground with seven boys laying into him.

"It feels very different this year from previous years. It's always felt very safe, community-oriented, friendly. This year it feels very dangerous and scary."

A campaigner for better pay and conditions for Fringe World performers, Barton has raised the issue in an email to Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett, Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and City of Perth councillors, as well as organisers of the festival.

The email stated “many reports are surfacing on social media about antisocial behaviour at Fringe World, and violence and harassment towards artists over the last few days.

"Artists and the general public are very upset.

"You ask artists to help you promote the Elizabeth Quay by performing for peanuts, you've created an event that has become too big to manage, put pop-up bars everywhere, not provided adequate security and now we are being assaulted and harassed as well as underpaid."

In response to the concerns, a Fringe World spokesperson said in a written statement they had spoken to some of the affected artists and tried to find ways to improve their experience.

This included negotiating a discount with ride-sharing service Uber, giving safety tips and talking to police.

The statement explained “we stand by the fact that Fringe is a time where more activity in busy inner-city entertainment precincts means safety throughout the precinct is increased, especially with the diverse crowds and varied demographics that make up the Fringe crowd.

"We encourage every person enjoying themselves late at night throughout Northbridge to be respectful to themselves and each other and need to reiterate that anti-social and disrespectful behaviour within any area controlled by Fringe will not be tolerated."

WA Police said they had received no reports of assault, harassment or intimidation by Fringe festival performers and there were always increased police numbers on Northbridge streets at this time of year.

The 2016 Fringe World Festival runs until 21st February.

Lower image: Dark Matter with Sam Williams. Courtesy of Jason Matz/Facebook.

31st January 2016 - PUBLIC SPACE AT PERTH’S ELIZABETH QUAY FORESHORE PROJECT GETS OFFICIAL OPENING

19th July 2015 - PERTH’S FRINGE WORLD DELIVERS OVER $70 MILLION IN ECONOMIC IMPACT

1st January 2015 - PERTH THEATRE TRUST SET FOR NEW ERA 

23rd June 2011 - WESTERN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT REVITALISES PERTH CULTURAL CENTRE


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

BH Fitness

BH Fitness, part of the long-standing and iconic bike manufacturer BH Group, is a global leader in fitness equipment for both Commercial and Home markets. The company, with the headquarters based in…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Facility Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces

 
 

IEDM

iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design

 
 

Smart Connection Consultancy

Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/hydrilla-pty-ltd

read more

Aquatics

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business