Circus Festival delivers best of fringe talent

Karnidale 2020 - The Western Australian Circus Festival - is taking another step forward with the addition of its very own Fringe venue.

Now in its 13th year, Karnidale is Australia's longest continuously running circus festival.

Festival Director Matt Yates said the addition of a fringe venue added an extra element of excitement.

"Karnidale Fringe is an accessible avenue for artists to perform their more unusual work," he said.

"Sometimes performers come up with an idea and they're not sure if it's really great or really weird. They need to perform it in front of a live audience to see how it will go. The shows will probably be bold, raw and uncensored. They may or may not be mainstream. Enter at your own risk!"

Described by one circus performer as "a Shangri-La in the middle of nowhere", Karnidale 2020 runs on a purpose built property nestled amongst farmland in Karridale.

The festival gates open on Friday January 17 at 5pm, with the popular opening night cabaret kicking off at 7pm in the custom built 'Lunar Sensation', a giant red tent with raised audience seating .

The fun continues on Friday night and through the weekend with award-winning circus shows, live music and DJ's.

Triple J Unearthed stars Tijuana Cartel will play a set at 11pm on Friday, while Yuck Circus will perform on both Saturday and Sunday nights.


Winners of the 2019 Fringe World award for 'best new WA work that is destined to succeed on the world's stage', YuckCircus has spent the last twelve months touring the globe collecting awards and five-star reviews.

Other shows include Casting Off, three generations of gutsy women with a collection of awards from Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe; Phat Cat Club, winner of Best Circus award at Fringe World 2019; and UK drag queen Velma Celli.

As always at the festival, there will be market stalls, plenty of food options, bars serving local beers and wines, workshops for kids and free camping on site.

Regular festival-goer Scott Elston said the festival was excellent value.

"$130 for two and a half days of performances from international stars, plus the camping is free, and it's in the Margaret River region... that's insane," he said.

Mr Yates agreed the festival represented extraordinary value for money for locals, with many of the acts heading north after Karnidale to perform at Perth's Fringe World Festival in February.

"You get to see about ten Fringe World acts here for the price of one or two in Perth, and you don't need to travel to the city."

Tickets are available at www.lunarcircus.com