Where did the idea of the Fringe come from?
For Archimedes it was a bathtub, but Festival Director Tim Richardson’s eureka moment came while he was lying in bed very early one morning during Chelsea Flower Show week of 2010. The concept of a Fringe for Chelsea, similar to the Fringe in Edinburgh, seemed a natural one to Tim, who as a theatre critic and garden writer, with an actor/comedian past, knew the Fringe model well. The Chelsea Fringe was indeed an idea whose time had come and in 2012 Tim’s bedtime brainwave became a reality, with over 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 three weeks, 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 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 2013 satellites in Bristol, Brighton, Kent and Vienna will all be hosting Chelsea Fringe events.