Press – Key Facts

  • There were more than 100 events in 2012, the inaugural year of the Chelsea Fringe – there are already more than 150 already registered for 2014 – registration continues up to the opening on 17 May
  • An estimated 45,000 people attended Fringe events over the three-week period
  • “Achieved 41% awareness of the Chelsea Fringe among Londoners in one year alone”. Source: Fly Research, June 2012.
  • Projects ranged from community-garden events to avant-garde art installations, from walks, talk and performances, to workshops, dinners, demonstrations and on-street ‘happenings’. Nearly all the events were free
  • The Fringe, a community interest company (CIC), and almost entirely volunteer-run.
  • Around 400 individuals created the events, while the Chelsea Fringe itself was run by a team of approximately 50 volunteers
  • The biggest single installation in Chelsea Fringe 2012 was ‘Floating Forest’, an abstract installation involving 600 sawn logs floating in the canal at Portobello Dock, by Montreal designers Nip Paysage
  • The Chelsea Fringe attracted national and international media coverage, including BBC and ITV television news, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio London, as well as articles/listings in all the major broadsheet newspapers. The Fringe was particularly well supported by The Daily Telegraph, the Independent on Sunday and The Guardian
  • The event which gained most media attention in 2012 was the ‘Bicycling Beer Garden’, which involved a bicycle contraption festooned with planted-up beer gardens, which was cycled to various Fringe venues
  • HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visited four Fringe venues/events in Hackney and Shoreditch across an entire morning in the middle of the Fringe
  • The Chelsea Fringe is a true Fringe festival in that it operates on the Fringe of an established event or festival [in this case, Chelsea Flower Show], and ii) it works on an ‘open-access principle’, in that if it’s interesting, legal and on the topic of plants, gardens or landscape, it’s in
  • Anyone can enter a project in the Chelsea Fringe; registration starts at £10 for a one-day event, while most projects pay £25 (volunteer/community rate)
  • There is an increasing national and international component to the Fringe. In its first year a number of international artists participated, and the intention has always been to spread the Fringe ideal more widely. For 2014, ‘satellite’ Fringes are taking place in Brighton, Bristol, Kent, Ljubljana,  Norwich, Turin and Vienna
  • The Chelsea Fringe operates with the blessing of the Royal Horticultural Society, organisers of Chelsea Flower Show– The Fringe does not last for just three weeks. We continue to encourage the spread of ‘fringe gardening’ (as we like to call it) all year round
  • The Fringe was an original idea by founder-director Tim Richardson, a garden writer and historian
  • Preparations for Chelsea Fringe 2014 are well under way, with the Fringe’s project co-ordinators working to make ideas come to life

For more information contact founder-director Tim Richardson direct at: or on 07930 420609
Press enquiries: Rosie Harkness or on 07958 704266