Fez Fa'anana On Being An Ambassador For Adelaide Fringe In 2020

Written by Jesse Chaffey
Category: Arts Published: Tuesday, 22 October 2019 09:38

Drag artiste, cabaret performer and self-proclaimed 'idiot' Fez Fa'anana is stepping into the role of ambassador at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe.

Joined by none other than renowned performers Marcia Hines and Amanda Palmer as fellow ambassadors, Fez will do his part in representing the event's ambition to push boundaries and shine a light on all elements of the world of the arts.

Here, Fez breaks down all things Fringe, what the role of ambassador means to him, and his thoughts on the queer community's involvement in the event.

What does the role of ambassador mean to you when it comes to Adelaide Fringe?
My first Adelaide Fringe Festival was in 2008. It’s been an influential stomping ground for me as an artist who sits on and celebrates the fringe. To be in the shared role of Adelaide Fringe ambassador 12 years on from popping my fringe cherry is really lovely.

What are you looking forward to about the event?
Which event? I want to go to all of them. Do I get to go to all of them? Is there catering?

What can you tell us about the queer side of the Fringe?
Fringe is an open access festival, which means accessibility and visibility is important and can be powerful in ensuring representation. It also means the identity of the festival is boundless. The potential for epic diversity in the programming is momentous!

How do you think an event like Adelaide Fringe can aid in pushing for positive representation of the queer community?
We the queer community are fundamental in making this festival iconic and world-renowned. Adelaide Fringe has played a major role in showcasing, celebrating and elevating Australian artists including really strong productions, individuals, and ensembles from our queer community. This normalises our presence and just lets us get on with the job/dream.

Club Briefs Fez Faanana

What was the process when it came to having you selected as an ambassador?
I couldn’t get a gig and the Adelaide Fringe Festival felt sorry for me.

This is Adelaide Fringe's 60th anniversary. What do you think is the main reason it's maintained its success all these years?
This festival has the simple yet significant mission to amplify creativity that is experimental in style or subject matter as well facilitating extraordinary experiences for individuals on both sides of the box office.

You're joined with other ambassadors Marcia Hines and Amanda Palmer. What do you think they each bring to the table in this role?
It is such a bizarre mix of artists, which is makes sense and it is classically Fringe. Marcia Hines is legendary with an infamous career as a groundbreaker and Amanda Palmer is a next-level, unpredictable, one-of-a-kind creative being with next-level eyebrows.

And how will you work together to best represent Adelaide Fringe in 2020?
I’m just going do whatever Marcia tells me to and play nonchalant in the presence of Amanda. I think that is the smartest thing to do in the company of fierce women.

Do you have any goals that you've set for yourself regarding your role in the festival?
I just need go over my contractual obligations and deliver them. I also need to make sure I don’t wear the same thing as Marcia to the gala.

Adelaide Fringe takes place from 14 February-15 March, 2020.

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