Mount Gambier was painted blue over the weekend as the Fringe opened with events across the city.

Key points:

  • The Mount Gambier community embraced the first Fringe events in two years on the weekend
  • Local artist Tripp Balency performed his first gig, which he said was “unreal”
  • Program manager Louise Adams said the Indigenous smoking ceremony was a highlight

Festivities kicked off on Friday night with a range of artistic acts at businesses across the city followings a street parade that commenced at Vansittart Park.

A traditional Indigenous smoking ceremony at the Jens Hotel later in the evening marked the official opening of the festival.

Artistic program manager Louise Adams said it was a highlight of the weekend.

“It was a really inspiring and uplifting welcoming to the festival,” Ms Adams said.

“It was a really exciting thing for me to see happen in the town, to see such a ceremony of that sort of nature involving some of our amazing First Nations artists and elders.”

Kate Hill’s photographic exhibition F*** COVID was launched at the Confession Coffee house on Friday evening.(

ABC South East SA: Selina Green


Back on the calendar

The 2021 Fringe Mount Gambier Festival was two years in the making — COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s event days out from the opening weekend.

Ms Adams said the community had embraced the return of the event.

“There were a few times over the weekend that I looked around and saw all the activity in the town and just artists looking so excited to be back where they belong, on the stage performing,” she said.

“It was amazing to hear how people were moving around supporting artists and supporting venues that have also had a tough time, and just showing everyone how much we want this event in our community.”

Local artists were a feature of the weekend with many capitalising on the chance to showcase their talents to large crowds.

“Whether it’s visual artists like Phillip Saunders or Kate Hill that have taken over little venues to put on exhibitions, or some of our amazing emerging musicians such as Chelsea Manor, Stokes and Matt James,” Ms Adams said.

“To see them on a huge stage in the theatre, which is a rare opportunity for musicians, and to be able to make that event free for people to come and see, that was a cool moment.

Jayden Green, known by the stage name Tripp Balency, performed his first gig at the Jens Hotel on Friday night.(

Supplied: Keana Soper/Paper Crane Customs


Jayden Green, a local hip-hop artist who goes by the stage name Tripp Balency, performed his first live gig as the opening act for Birdz at the Jens Hotel.

“It was a dream come true, as cliché as it sounds, it was unreal,” he said.

“Looking back at the crowd, there was so many people — I didn’t even think there was that many there, I was just so in the moment.”

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