It's fair to say not only Fringe, but the royal croquet club had it's best season yet in just it's second year.
Words by Lewis Brideson // Photo by Shannon Gunn
Sunday night marked the end to another round of March madness, with the closing of both the Fringe and the Adelaide Festival. It is fair to say Adelaide’s busy period went out with a bang, regardless in which corner of the CBD you resided for the final festivities. The Fringe saw a 20% increase in ticket sales from last year, and the Adelaide Festival its highest attendance in five years. However, it was the Royal Croquet Club in the heart of Adelaide that really had people in party spirit, with a little help from Oisima, Troy J Been, and of course Bonobo.
The Royal Croquet Club returned this year to Victoria Square, growing immensely due to the area’s recent developments. It embraced the Fringe’s ‘experience something new’ theme, with over 50 shows and 175 artists performing in its seven venues. Not to mention you could have a hit of croquet, treat yourself to tropical foods and beverages, get lost in the Dot Maze, or rest up on a washing machine. Closing night at RCC saw a mix of comedy, dance, striptease, acrobatics and music across the multiple tents, with shows such as Soap, Hot Brown Honey, Keith Preene and Fringe Award 2015 Winner Fake It ‘Til You Make It, just to name a few.
On the main stage, local beatsmith Oisima (Anth Wendt) warmed up the crowd for Bonobo, spinning his luscious blend of jazz and hip-hop. Hailed as a producer to watch, Oisima has been making waves with festival and tour support spots in anticipation of his debut LP Nicaragua Nights, which is likely to drop towards the middle of this year.
Then, as part of his current Australian and New Zealand tour, British electronic DJ and producer Bonobo (Simon Green) graced us with his presence. Switching between thumping DJ sets and full 12-piece performances, Bonobo has been a pioneering force in electronic music over the past 10 years, playing to massive crowds at Glastonbury, Coachella and Sonar, amongst other things. For RCC he put on a truly cinematic spectacle from behind the decks that lasted over two hours. He had the Adelaide audience in a trance to his complex bass lines, eclectic samples and atmospheric grooves. Bonobo wove through favourites and hidden gems off his five albums, the audience bopping to every mallet hit in Cirrus and every guitar pluck in Flashlight, before finishing the night with Emkay – there was even an unexpected explosion of streamers in We Could Forever.
While this did mean the end of the Fringe and Adelaide Festival for 2015, we could not have asked for a better means of dancing away our closing night woes. Bring on 2016.