About the Fringe Festival

Not just your average fringe festival

Nelson Fringe Festival is an annual event celebrating performing arts. We present work across a range of styles, including theatre, comedy, dance, improvisation, music, burlesque, circus and whatever else artists can offer! We also run workshops throughout the festival dates, as well as development sessions throughout the year.

We work to give both performers and our audience a great experience. We're interested in work from both established and emerging artists. 

We're really committed to supporting local people across Te Tauihu/Top of the South, especially with supporting new talent. We love that our festival, based in a regional city, can showcase locals alongside folk from around Aotearoa and around the world!

Nelson Fringe Festival’s history stretches way back to 2015, and we're always working on our plans for the future, so that we can continue to bring experimental and alternative work to Whakatū/Nelson audiences.

Meet our team
Staff at Nelson Fringe Festival
drag queen
performers on stage at nelson Fringe Festival
Man playing guitar
chalkboard with a night of entertainment at Nelson Fringe Festival
musicians on stage at nelson Fringe festival
Woman on stage at Nelson Fringe Festival
woman in frame of string at nelson Fringe Festival

Welcome to the Festival

“Welcome to Whakatū/Nelson’s celebration of small scale and alternative performance.

We are now taking applications for the 2024 Festival, which will run from Thurs 14 – Sat 23 March in three venues across the city.

We really do welcome applications from everyone. Fringe is incredibly diverse and we want to support as wide a range of people as possible to perform, whether you have years of experience or this is your first time on stage. We aim to make it as easy as possible to perform, especially for inexperienced people, and our skilled team of producers and directors can give advise if you need help. Fringes around the world have been launching pads for new performers and new shows.

Why not give it a go?
So here’s the deal. There is no fee to apply to Nelson Fringe (although we ask for a small deposit that you get back if you perform).

We supply the venue and the technical gear you need.
You supply the show! 

We can help you with advice and support.
At the end of the day you get 60% of the ticket price (minus taxes and ticketing fees).

There are lots more details in our Artists section.

To apply, hit the 'Artist Submissions' button at the top of the page to take you to our Eventotron form.

If you have any questions you can email me at giles@nelsonfringe.co.nz

Thanks !
Giles Burton, Festival Director

Refinery ArtSpace

114 Hardy Street, Nelson

Studio One

114 Hardy Street, Nelson
(enter through Refinery ArtSpace)
Studio one outside, Nelson

Red Door Theatre

95 Atawhai Drive, The Wood, Nelson
Red Door theatres, Nelson

Venue map


We have two Festival Bars! One at Refinery ArtSpace, and the other at Red Door Theatre.

The Bars open one hour prior the first evening shows.

Please note that Studio One is alcohol free, though you can grab a drink beforehand at Refinery ArtSpace.


Tickets online

All tickets are $16 (+ booking fee). We encourage you to upscale your ticket price as a direct donation to our artists and to the Fringe. 

All tickets for Kids Shows are $10 (+ booking fee) – kids on the knee free.

Door sales

We have two Festival Box Offices. One at Refinery ArtSpace and the other at Red Door Theatre. The Box Offices open one hour prior the shows at their respective venues. Cash, eftpos and credit card are accepted.

Exchanges & refunds

Once you have purchased your tickets, we are not able to refund them.

All tickets are for general admission. There is no allocated seating. Please contact us if you require accessible access.