Wandsworth Festival back with a bang after pandemic

Wandsworth council’s flagship festival, the Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF), returns for 17 days of music, spoken word, theatre and comedy all over the borough.

This year, the emphasis will be on dance, in in a spectacularly diverse programme.

Two years ago, the WAF had to be an entirely online event dubbed In Your Living Room, because of the pandemic, and last year was a hybrid mix of online and some live events.

This year, it’s back to a full-on live arts bonanza which will be up and running from Friday, June 10 until Sunday, June 26.

With 150 events to choose from, get ready for an explosion of colour in the streets, intimate live performances in surprise locations and a huge celebration of dance, in Wandsworth’s pubs, theatres, galleries, studios and churches.

Launched in 2009, WAF now attracts close to 20,000 people every year to Wandsworth’s streets, parks, and venues with its bold and boundary-pushing line-ups.

Wander through parks and discover art among the trees and dancers popping up on the river path, peek inside the old Arches at St Mary’s Putney and see them transformed into a tiny theatre, or catch something inspirational at the iconic Bedford pub in Bedford Hill, Balham.

This year, WAF is shining a light on Wandsworth’s emerging dance quarter as the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) open their brand-new headquarters on York Road, a stone’s throw from London Children’s Ballet, and long-established Battersea dance organisations bbodance and Tavaziva Dance.

On Friday 10 June 10, WAF will launch with dancing in the streets and along the riverside around Battersea Reach, charting a course between bbodance and RAD’s new home and discovering hidden music, spoken word and dance gems along the way.

The WAF Dance Weekender is set to be a two-day extravaganza of dance styles from around the world, popping up in public spaces around Battersea on June 18-19.

For those seeking hands-on experiences, there are loads of opportunities to get involved and learn new skills, with workshops from fan-making to quilt-making, flower-arranging, dance and martial arts, calligraphy, creative writing and more throughout the festival.

Cath Mattos, producer of Wandsworth Arts Fringe, said: “We are delighted that WAF is back in its full capacity and we have the opportunity to platform all the incredible local artists and organisations working in Wandsworth – as well as showcase fantastic touring artists, all bringing their creative ideas to entertain and intrigue the residents and audiences in the borough.”

And as well as the many ticketed events, WAF 2022 will host free activities in parks, housing estates and public spaces across the borough.

To book tickets online, visit wandsworthfringe.com, or phone 08442 439 475. See www.wandsworthartsfringe.com for more details

Pictured top: The London Butoh Dance Company (Picture: Wandsworth Arts Fringe)


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