TW Fringe returns… | Local newspapers and magazines

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An event based on Edinburgh’s famous Fringe Festival returned to Tunbridge Wells on Sunday July 3 following its success last year.

TW Fringe, inspired by Scotland’s famous arts festival, will see hundreds of events take place across Tunbridge Wells until July 17.

The two-week extravaganza returns to many venues around the city, ranging from local pubs to community halls, churches, the Forum and the Pantiles.

There will be a mix of free and paid attractions.

Organizers say this year will see more performers, additional performances and new venues, a sign the carnival can move beyond its pandemic origins and become a permanent part of Tunbridge Wells’ cultural scene.

For 2022, there are some 170 events at 47 venues across the city, organizer Debbie King said.

“Last year a lot of creatives got together and started looking at all the amazing people we have in Tunbridge Wells. We also needed to bring people back to our businesses – a lot of them suffered too,” recalls Debbie, who also runs The Talentz performing arts school.

She works with Nell Price from Arty Farty, actress Aimee Cooper and Grace Simpson from chocolatier Goupie.

Highlighting how the multi-location festival brought the city together, Debbie added: “I encountered businesses I would never have entered before. But it was all about hope.

“The first year (2021), there were still restrictions, but two thousand five hundred people still ended up coming to see things.

And, she says, the appeal of the festival this year is its accessibility. “It’s affordable. You can go see an award-winning show. We help businesses. We help artists. Seeing shows offers a win-win on all counts.

Funding from RTW Together’s Business Improvement District means the festival now uses local suppliers and strengthens the festival’s investment in the community, Debbie said.

“We have more rooms – this year we are working in the meeting room (1,000 seats) with the ‘Scummy Mummies’,” noted Debbie.

Other new venues include Tangier Wood, a 10-acre private woodland near The Pantiles, the Pitcher & Piano on Church Road, Britten’s Music in Grove Hill Road and even hairdressers The Chapel, Chapel Place.

During the two-week extravaganza, performers and entertainers will appear across the city in venues ranging from local pubs to community halls, churches, the Forum and the Pantiles.

There will be a mix of free and paid attractions.

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