Kicking off on September 22nd, the Wollongong Fringe Festival will be running until October 1st,  showcasing the city’s thriving cultural scene. Featuring exhibitions, films, interactive workshops and comedy gigs, the Wollongong Fringe Festival has a variety of creative works to experience. To help make your show selection process for the nine day event a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the events we’re most excited to check out.

I’m With The Band: Music Photography Masterclass with Chris Frape

In the emergence of the new digital age, Chris Frape is running a masterclass on September 21st at UOW Uni Bar. A legendary local photographer, Chris Frape has been known to photograph a bunch of local and international artists like Sampa the Great, Violent Soho and Client Liaison. Through the workshop he will be instilling his knowledge of live photography, and how to capture music, sound and energy. BYO camera and get ready for some enlightenment. Not only will Chris Frape teach some awesome photography skills, but admission to the class also includes entry to Meg Mac’s show at Uni Bar that evening. Grab your tickets here!

Dead Hands Dig Deep

The 2016 documentary Dead Hands Dig Deep will be playing at the Wollongong Fringe Festival this year. The film follows a story of thirty-eight year old Edwin Borsheim, who is known for his bizarre stage antics and harrowing self-mutilation. Part of the band Kettle Cadaver, the doco explores Edwin Borsheim’s solitude on his acre of land – where he is surrounded by many of the horrible things he has created. Following his journey of drug abuse and self-destruction, the film helps unpack Edwin Borsheim‘s mental complexes while he reflects on his dark past. Labeled by The Hollywood Reporter as “a haunting study of depravity,” the film has screened at Slamdance Film Festival, Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, and Sydney Underground Film Festival. Check it out on Friday 22 September at the ITAMS Theatre, tickets are available here.

Far North Starring Ben Player

Far North, created by Ben Player, is a 40 minute film that took five years in the making. Three times bodyboarding champion, Ben Player filmed in 4k to create a truly immserive cinematic experience. Far North also features an original score by Mickey Smith, while exhibiting the beauty of winter. The serene landscape is juxtaposed against the challenges Ben Player faces with regards to his body and skill. More than just a body boarding film, Far North explores a journey while striving for ultimate success. Playing at the Innovations Campus UOW on Saturday 23 September, grab your tickets via Moshtix.

Caveau Native & Wild Ingredient Dinner

Perhaps one of the most interesting events at Wollongong Fringe Festival, Yours & Owls Fringe Festival’s Aboriginal Culture Day and Bush Tucker Tour have teamed up for an epic collab’. Running on Tuesday 26 September at Caveau, the Caveau Native and Wild Ingredient Dinner will feature weaving workshops using locally sourced materials. As for the cooking classes, techniques carried down for generations will be utilised through a five-course dinner which showcases native and wild ingredients. Caveau is an award winning fine dining restaurant, and has been hatted by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide annually since 2005. More details here.

Kingspray VR Art Battle

There’s nothing quite as fascinating as VR. And when VR and art are combined, an epic event is guaranteed. The Kingspray VR battle will feature a bunch of artists collaborating to create an epic art mural in the digital age of VR. The exhibit will be projected on large-scale screens, and the audience will delve into the creative space of the artists to see what they are working on. Kingspray is a battle-tested VR Graffiti Stimulator which creates realistic spray, colours, drips and metallics. Graffiti away without the hefty fines or jail times!

‘Music and the Mind’: Exploring the Relationships Between Music and Mental Health

In conjunction with the Wollongong Fringe Festival, the Wollongong City Council, APRA-AMCOS, Music NSW and Neami National have teamed up with Yours and Owls to host a series of awesome events. The free events will explore the interconnected Relationship Between Music and Mental Health. Kicking off on Thursday 28 September at the Wollongong Arts Precinct at 2pm, an interactive workshop will be run by Neami National. Through the workshop, music as a mental health recovery tool will be explored. Later in the day, a ‘Music and the Mind’ panel will be hosted to bring together musicians who have lived through mental health experiences, along with people working in the music industry and mental health professionals to discuss the links between the music industry and mental health. The panel will be held at the Wollongong Art Gallery at 6pm, and local musicians will take to the stage to play some live music after the conclusion of the panel.

UOW Big Ideas Festival

The UOW Big Ideas Festival is a showcase of the university’s ground-breaking research from their researchers and professors. The event will see 12 of UOW’s newest professors present 8-10 minute talks on their unique research ideas. The event will also feature guest speaker, Professor Tim Flannery, as well as interactive research stalls from key University research areas, music and entertainment. More info here.

Yours and Owls Festival

Held at Stuart Park in North Wollongong, the Yours and Owls Festival will run from September 30 to October 1. Tickets to the event are already on final release sale, with this year’s lineup including At the Drive In, The Presets, Illy, Dune Rats, Northlane, and a bunch of others. The Yours and Owls Festival is sure to bring the ultimate musical experience to the Wollongong Fringe Festival, while featuring some of Australia’s most talented musicians. Grab your tickets and info here!