EP68 – Simon Abrahams – CEO of the Melbourne Fringe

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EP68 – Simon Abrahams – CEO of the Melbourne Fringe

Melbourne Fringe


Total run time: 1 hour 28 mins 57 secs.

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About Simon Abrahams…

Simon Abrahams (@simonjabrahams) is the Creative Director & CEO at the Melbourne Fringe. Having worked with performers his whole professional career he now runs a large comedy festival in Australia which is used for a lot of different types of performers to try out more experimental and work-in-progress shows.

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Here’s a list of questions we covered…

Melbourne Fringe…

  • Who is Simon and what is the Fringe and what is his role in the festival? [0 mins 0 secs]
  • What kind of audiences do you get at the Fringe? [5 mins]
  • Do they prefer finished shows, WIP, selection bills etc? [7 mins]
  • What’s the relationship between the Melbourne Fringe and the other Australian festivals? [8 mins 06 secs]
  • Is there a reason why the festival is in September? Better weather? Fitting around the other Oz festivals? Etc [9 mins]
  • Where does your festival fit into the Australian festival scene? [10 mins]
  • What’s there relationship with UK festivals like the Brighton Fringe? [12 mins 26secs]
  • Do you have a Free Fringe model? [13 mins 02 secs]
  • I saw an article that said you saw a 39% increase in ticket sales this year, does that mean you’re encouraging more shows, more audience or more people from other places to visit? [14 mins 24 secs]
  • How do people discover new shows?[17 mins 07 secs]
  • How do you help performers to find venues? [18 mins 50 secs]
  • How does pricing work? [21 mins 13 secs]
  • How does their sponsorship work with Bank of Australia? [26 mins 56 secs]
  • What are their relationships like with TV /radio in the local area? [33 mins 37 secs]
  • What is their stance on stunts? [42 mins 40 secs]


  • What made you pick the Bank of Australia as a sponsor?
  • What does the sponsor deal mean for performers?


  • How many awards are there? How are they judged? [30 mins 05 secs]

Outside of the Fringe…

  • What’s the comedy scene like outside of the Fringe time? [32 mins 15 secs]
  • What are the most underused features / functions you use provide for acts? [46 mins 08 secs]

Other questions…

  • Best show you’ve ever see? [50 mins 53 secs]
  1. Smile off your face
  2. Doc Brown Clown
  • Who do you think is the most underrated person in the industry? [51 mins 56 secs]
  1. Sammy J and Randi  musical comedy
  • Biggest mistake you’ve ever made and how did you overcome it?? [53 mins 01 secs]
  • Most interesting thing you do nobody gets to see?  [55 min 38 secs]
  • Best bit of advice you’ve been given? [57 mins 05 secs]
  • If you could give 1 bit of advice to someone wanting to take part in the Melbourne Fringe for the first time? [58 mins 11 secs]










Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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