The pleasure principle is alive and well in Northbridge's Russell Square, which will be teeming with the offbeat wildlife of Fringe World for four weeks after Colin Barnett launched the festival last night.
Renamed the Pleasure Garden, Russell Square is the latest addition to the Fringe World empire, which includes venues in the Perth Cultural Centre and more than 50 around the city.
English cabaret performer Nai Bowen, aka Hope in comedy duo Titty Bar Har Har, said the Pleasure Garden reminded her of Edinburgh's fringe gardens and Adelaide's Garden of Unearthly Delights. "Every festival seems to have this outdoor pleasure dome," she said.
Since Perth joined the international fringe circuit in 2012, word had spread among artists it was a great place to start the circuit ahead of the world's second biggest festival in Adelaide, she said.
Fringe World director Amber Hasler said proportionately much higher early ticket sales than last year vindicated the decision to grow the fringe by 50 per cent to 450 shows this year.
"It is not our mission to become the world's largest fringe festival," Ms Hasler said. "The artists and the fringe industry around the world are seeing this as an opportunity to put their work in front of a hungry, passionate supportive local audience."
Many events were free and ticket prices were affordable at an average $23, she said.
The Pleasure Garden hosts _The West Australian _Spiegeltent, pop-up venues, bars and the HotmamaHot long-table outdoor barbecue restaurant from Holland. Fringe World runs until February 23.