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Chicks on Speed.

Whoever named the Perth Cultural Centre must have been envisaging the opening weekend of Fringe World because the area is set to become the epicentre of culture in Perth over theJanuary 25-28 Australia Day long weekend.

With more than 20 shows a night at various Fringe venues, loads of free programming and family-friendly activities, it is the perfect way to get a taste of the festival.

And to make it a no-brainer, $5 tickets to the shows will be released from the Fringe World box office every 15 minutes.

The four-day extravaganza will also be your first chance to see the new venues - from the majesty of _The West Australian _ Idolize Spiegeltent (yes, there are two spiegeltents this year) to the Parade Theatre tents shipped all the way from the Netherlands.

The public is encouraged to pick up an Access All Areas pass, which will allow unprecedented access to the backstage areas of these venues.

The opening weekend marks the debut appearance of the Spare Parts commissioned work Mechronos and other free entertainment includes scarecrow-making workshops, a kids' tea party in the De Parel Spiegeltent, a mermaid tank and roaming performances from the Hairball Theatre Group.

And there's no need to leave the family pet at home because _The West Australian _ Idolize Spiegeltent plays host to the most excellent Pet Photo Booth project.

There's even more fun to be had when the sun goes down with the Silent Disco in the Urban Orchard and free late-night parties in the spiegeltents until 2am - drop in before or after the Skyworks for a perfect night out.

On the topic of fireworks, don't miss the incendiary brilliance of art-music heroes Chicks on Speed at the opening weekend finale at Rooftop Movies on January 28 (free for all Fringe World ticketholders).

For information on all the opening weekend activities visit fringeworld.com.au.