The Day It All Began


man posing in the studio on a dark background

Friday 10th February. We are finally here. The New Zealand Fringe Festival has begun! Brace yourself folks, we are in for one heck of a ride!

So with that being said…. I’ve made a list.


My Top 5 Survival Techniques To Survive Any Festival & How Here At The NZ Fringe Festival We Can Help Make This All Happen For You




But seriously, there’s nothing worse than being a hangry artist or audience goer. Actually I take that back. Sometimes eating the same old shitty foods for 3 meals a day can be worse than not eating at all. We can laugh about it but I had a good friend who only ate the same thing while touring a show around Melbourne once. I was there. I saw it all happen. It was rough. Let your taste buds nourish and keep your fluids up people! If you have an artist card remember you can get some sweet, sweet deals on food at Plum Cafe on Cuba St, as well as $3 coffees at Plum, The Fringe Bar and Fidel’s, plus discounts at the bar from our friends at BATS, Fringe Bar and S&M’s. There’s no excuse to not eat well and stay hydrated this festival. When I’m feeling exhausted, Fringe-d out and words no longer make sense, a big bowl of fries, a pint and a Whittakers chocolate bar always perks me right up.





I find that getting a good walk in to every day helps me survive the crazy festival stress. Maybe you could walk to your rehearsal each morning? Or ask around for a bike to get to and from shows during the festival? Now could also be a great time to check out a local yoga or pilates studio. If it’s daunting going by yourself then why not suggest your whole Fringe crew goes to a class? Great Fringe team bonding I say. We are even teaming up with our friends Jemma and Paul from Yoga Rhapsody to offer all fringe artists concession prices ($10) for their yoga with live music classes. Jemma teaches the yoga and Paul sings the songs. It’s absolute BLISS. These classes are Monday’s 5.30PM at Thistle Hall on Cuba St and on the roof top of The Aborist Bar (weather dependent) 10.30AM Saturdays and Sundays. Exercising releases endorphins and when endorphins get released you feel a lot more positive. You can’t really disagree with science now, can you?





Look, I know I keep harping on about this, but massages really are awesome. And when we are as lucky as we are here at NZ Fringe to have George Fenn from Back Stage Massage on site Monday to Friday you would really be silly to not get at least one!





Those that will know me will laugh at me for preaching this - because they know that I’m always out and about mingling until the wee small hours of the morning rather than sleeping. I’m in that fortunate position where I do usually get to sleep in every morning during festival time though, and I take frequent naps! Getting enough sleep will keep you tolerable through those long festival days. And I know that sometimes the hustle is more important than sleep. Sometimes the artist bar is more important than sleep. Sometimes the promo is more important than sleep. Sometimes the Fringe-oke Thursdays at The Fringe Bar, Footloose Fridays at S&M’s or BATS SATS are more important than sleep. You just need to be strategic about when you sleep. Maybe we could set up a nap tent for artists this fringe? Ok. Brb.





I honestly can’t stress the importance of this enough. I know it may seem like you’re drowning in work and admin with your own show/shows (I see you sneaky multiple offenders! You tried to hide but I see you...) or your brain is so overworked you put your phone in the fridge last night and tried to put the marmite on charge. But I can promise you, 9.99 times out of 10 seeing another fringe artist’s work will inspire, motivate and put your head in a better place. We can only keep creating and presenting if we feel like we have a support family around us, and to me THAT is the true meaning of Fringe. It’s the community, it’s the support, it’s the aroha. We are all out here doing our thang and on that same mad hustle. So check out a show you wouldn’t normally see and go and support your fellow artists, especially those visiting from out of town/another country. You have an artist card with free standby tickets baby... Use it!



I can’t wait to see you all out and about experiencing all that NZ Fringe has to offer this year. Make sure you introduce yourselves to me and never lose sight of why you’re doing this!

Ngā mihi

Jess x


Jess Brien is a clown, performer, writer and yoga teacher.  In her spare time she drinks cider and eats breakfast foods. She loves connecting with people so find her on all the social medias at @jessssbrien or send an email to