Where did the idea of the Fringe come from?
The concept of a Fringe for Chelsea, similar to the Fringe in Edinburgh, seemed a natural one to Festival Director Tim Richardson. As a theatre critic and garden writer, with an actor/comedian past, Tim knew the Fringe model well. The Chelsea Fringe Festival was indeed an idea whose time had come and, in 2012, Tim’s bedtime brainwave became a reality, with more than 100 events taking place as part of the inaugural Chelsea Fringe.
What kind of gardens/events can we expect to see?
A whole range of things across nine days, from fun events at community gardens and public veg patches, to street installations and guerilla gardening, to artistic interventions and performance art. The idea is that anything goes, as long as it’s interesting and connected with gardening, gardens, plants or landscape. Come and see!
Is the Fringe supported by the RHS?
Yes. The Chelsea Fringe is entirely independent of the main show organisers but we’ve been careful to keep them informed and involved every step of the way. Our vision is for a mutually beneficial relationship, as there is between the Fringe and Festival in Edinburgh.
How is it run?
The Fringe is a is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC).
Is it a regular event?
Absolutely. The idea has always been for this to be an annual event and it’s not just limited to London either. We already have satellite events occurring outside London and artists and designers coming from all over the world to participate. In 2019 there were not only UK satellites in Aberdeen, Brighton, Cambridge and Kent but also further afield where Argentina, Australia, Canada, Italy and Japan hosted Chelsea Fringe events.