London Gets Edinburgh-style Fringe Fest in 2010
The London Festival Fringe runs from the 6 to 30 August 2010, with venues including the Hackney Empire, Almeida, Soho, Gate and Bush Theatres attending a meeting today to discuss the venture.
Speaking to Whatsonstage.com, festival director Greg Tallent said the idea is a development of the London Bridge Festival, which he ran in July this year. "August is a great month for London, with over a hundred thousand visitors and so many activities going on and venues to make use of" he said. "It makes sense to bring those activities together under one banner."
The London Festival Fringe, which has the stated aim of showcasing "a wide range of arts from all over the world; from music, theatre and film, to comedy, poetry and more", will be based on the same model as the Edinburgh Fringe, with centralised ticketing and promotion. However, unlike Edinburgh, artists will be free to apply right up to the beginning of the Festival (although there is a print deadline in May), and all applications will be made through a single online form.
Tallent said: "It's only because we've got the technology that we can do this now, in terms of the website and social networking. People say that London's too big for this, but we can pull it together because we've got the means to do it."
Tallent is also attempting to create a promotional area in Leicester Square for companies to plug their shows, as they do on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe. "We've asked Leicester Square management team to give us to space for people to put on five to ten minute excerpts from their shows, and we'll have a display board so that people can display posters and reviews … we very much want to create a fringe festival atmosphere in the heart of London."
He added: "London is the art capital of the world, in terms of practitioners and in terms of venues. We want this project to grow and for London to be recognised as a leading festival city each year. There's a tremendous demand and potential for this, because for 12 months of the year it's all happening in London and it's time for it to be recognised as the capital it is."
Other venues and organisations taking part in today's meeting include: Cock Tavern Theatre, Actors Church, Westminster Council Arts Officer, Cochrane Theatre, Canal Cafe, Jermyn Street Theatre, 20th Century Theatre , Amused Moose Comedy, New Players Theatre, Shaw Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Leicester Square Project Manager, Above The Stag Theatre and Madame JoJo's.
Further information about The London Festival Fringe can be found at www.londonfestivalfringe.com