So you think you know Wollongong? All sand, beaches and stunning mountains right? Well hold on to your hats people because your minds are about to be officially blown by the inaugural Wollongong Fringe Festival!
Proudly presented by Yours & Owls and Destination Wollongong, the Wollongong Fringe Festival celebrates the hive of dynamic creative talents in the region and showcases to the Nation that Wollongong is where it’s at.
Over 9 sensational days (23 September to 2 October) the Wollongong Fringe Festival will cast a huge spot light on the Gong.
The Opening Night Party at the Arts Precinct will kick off the festival, followed by nightly cult classics at the Outdoor Cinema, a 90’s night complete with Cheese TV’s Ryan and Jade, a smorgasbord of live music performances, art and theatre plus a visit from your favourite hip scientist Dr Karl and so much more.
Festivities will end with a BANG at the biggest party Wollongong has ever seen, the Yours & Owls Festival or the Mini Festival if your under 18.
Sound big? Think HUGE Wollongong. There just isn’t enough room to mention all the great events taking place as part of the Wollongong Fringe Festival.
Pop on over to where you will find all of the  event info and ticket information.
In the meantime, check out below what Ben Tillman, promoter of Yours and Owls and The Wollongong Fringe Festival had to say.

Yours & Owls Festival
1-2 October

Let’s Give it a Crack

At Yours & Owls, we’ve always been the kind of people who can’t sit still and do the same thing.
We had been selling shows for a while and we were doing festival stuff under the record label that i’ve got.
That was smaller than what Yours and Owls is now for sure, but it gave us the confidence to think it’s possible to do, let’s give it a crack.

The Venue: Stuart Park 

This is one of the main big parks in the area and I thought it would be pretty special to have a decent sized festival right on the beach.
I don’t think anywhere else has kind of got that. They might, but it feels pretty unique and pretty interesting to be able to walk two minutes from the beach and you’re at a music festival.

Local Bands

Yours & Owls have always put a lot of local bands on the line-up.
Playing at Yours & Owls will eventually progress the good bands through the ranks and they’ll get some bigger touring band supports and then they move up in the size of venue.
Locally, the Yours & Owls Festival is the point for them to be striving towards. It’s definitely something good for them to do in terms of their national profile.
They can say they have played a solid festival and leverage that against other shows or festivals to them on those bills too.

International Acts

The festival is more established now so we are definitely on people’s radars. In first year we had no internationals and the second year we had one or maybe two and then this year there are a fair few more.
There are people already hitting us up for next year which is cool.  Bands are planning tours around Yours & Owls because they know it’s going to be good.

Yours & Owls Mini-Festival, an event for under 18’s. 

The Yours & Owls Mini-Festival is about us wanting people to love music.
It’s a good way to get young people involved and gets them inspired to start bands of their own or start writing about music and being involved.
I think it’s a positive thing for young people to be into. When we were young there wasn’t really that option for us to go and see live shows. Really it’s about providing something where kids can actually experience it.

What’s New at Yours & Owls

This year we have two main stages. The site’s also going to be bigger.
There are a whole bunch of new art projects. One that I’m really interested in is called Moon Beach. It’s like this geodesic dome.
A couple of visual artist put together a thirty minute video and that will be projected onto the inside of the dome from floor to ceiling.
Three different producers have written a piece of music to that video. The idea behind it is sort of seeing how the music changes the way that you feel.
The video’s just going to be looping, it’ll be the same thing for each musical performance, but the music definitely will change the way that you perceive that video.

The Wollongong Fringe Festival 2016
23 September – 3 October

Vision for Wollongong

Our vision for Wollongong, not just during this period but in general, is that we become a creative city.
Wollongong will be an internationally recognized city for its wealth of creativity, just in the fact that there is stuff going on here all the time. We are not a major capital city but we are the capital for that sort of thing.
The people that are here are creating stuff and then making it an established and viable, for want of a better word, market. For all those touring they know they can come here and there is an audience of people who are interested and wanting to see that kind of thing.
I think the Yours & Owls Festival and the Wollongong Fringe is already a celebration of what’s going on but I think in the years to come it will really be that kind of trademark event that showcases everything we’re about.
The festivals put a lot of energy into this one week. It will definitely light up Wollongong.

Opening Night Party

The Opening Night Party is a taster of everything to come. It touches on all the different elements that the Fringe and the Yours & Owls festivals will have.
There’ll be lots of people and lots of different stuff going on. You will see Surf and Skate film premiers and we’ve got a half-pipe plus some bands and DJ’s playing.
It’s definitely pretty cool and it’ll be a good night.

Excited About

Scientist Dr Karl will be at the Arts Precinct on 30 September. His a local guy as well so it’s cool to have him here.
Dr Karl went to high school here and then Wollongong Uni so it’s really nice to have him on board.

Changing the Face of Wollongong

I feel like we’re in this transition period. Maybe a few years ago there was this really negative perception around Wollongong where it’s just this weird bogan sort of city where nothing really happens.
Then over the last four or five years, I think that’s slowly been changing. It’s at this point now where a few people in the know, are saying “Wollongong’s actually pretty cool”.
It’s about broadening the scope of people who actually recognize that and have tapped into that understanding.
Wollongong is a good place, it’s all here, we all know it. It’s just that perception is not fully out there in the mainstream yet.
I hope the Yours & Owls Festival and the Wollongong Fringe Festival will just be another step towards changing a few more peoples’ attitudes.

Wollongong Community Support

Everyone’s been really supportive and wanting to get behind the festival.
It’s great as it all come about pretty quickly. People have wanted to be a part of it by putting on their own events or just by supporting the festival.

After the Festivals

The best feeling is a couple of hours after everything is done. The events have gone well and you’re on a high really.
You have this couple of hours of reflection with people that have been involved with building the whole thing. You talk about it.
When you start hearing good feedback from punters, I think that’s probably the most enjoyable part of it.

Festival Details

The Wollongong Fringe Festival will run from 23 September – 3 October 2016.
The Yours & Owls Festival is on 1 -2 October 2016.

Dates for Your Diary

The Opening Night Party

Fri Sep 23 – ‘Opening Night Party’

Outdoor Cinema

Fri Sep 23 – Big Boys Club
Sat Sep 24 – Ex Machina
Sun Sep 25 – The Royal Tenembaums & The Life Aquatic
Mon Sep 26 – The Great Gatsby
Tue Sep 27 – Ghostbusters 1 & 2
Wed Sep 28 – Kill Bill 1 & 2


Sat Sep 24 – Verb Syndicate Block Party
Sat Sep 24 – Joseph Tawadros
Sat Sep 24 Moonbase Commander
Mon Sep 26 – Guantanamo Baywatch
Tue Sep 27 – Into it. Over it
Thu Sep 29 – Cheese TV
Fri Sep 30 – Sons of the East
Sat Oct 1 – Yours & Owls Mini Fest (under 18’s)
Sat/Sun Oct 1 – 2  Yours and Owls Festival
Art / Theatre
Fri Sep 23 – Polygon Door Installation
Fri Sep 23 – Polygon Door Workshop
Sat Sep 24 – Hand and Heart Shall Never Part
Sat Sep 24 – Die Roten Punkte – Super Musician By Otto & Astrid OOOO
Thu Sep 29 – Enough Said
Thu Sep 29 – 30 – Carnival of the Animals
Thu Sep 29 – Book Reading – Blue
Sat Oct 1 – Hand and Heart Shall
Sat Oct 1 – While Locality Falls Country Endures

+ The Un-Label-able

Sep 23 – Oct 2 – Virtual Reality Installation
Sep 23 – Oct 3 – Le Glanuer’ @ Arts Precinct
Fri Sep 23 – Kingpin, Super Harry Fun Crew & Mondo Deluxe Skate Demo’
Fri Sep 23 – Eat Street
Sat Sep 24 – Creative Coding
Sun Sep 25 – Bush Tucker Tour + Cooking Demonstration with Clarence Slockee & Fred
Mon Sep 26 – Moon Beach
Wed Sep 28 – Walk, Beer Eat Tour
Fri Sep 30 – Dr Karl
Sun Oct 2 – NRL Grand Final Streaming
For more event info and tickets visit