The Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival is back with a bang

The Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival (WAF) returns today, with a vast array of live and digital events running until the 11th July.

The annual festival has been running for 11 years and offers a range of free and ticketed events in parks and other spaces across the borough, as well as online in a hybrid approach.

After running entirely digitally, labelling itself ‘WAF in your Living Room’ and featuring 250 artists and 130 digital events in 2020, the council-run event is back with in-person events this year.

Wandsworth councillor Steffi Sutters said: “I am delighted that WAF will be returning in 2021 with Wandsworth’s first ever hybrid digital and live festival, following a year of uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“After transforming the festival into WAF In Your Living Room in 2020, we are thrilled to be returning with both live events and activities and online projects to continue to celebrate the rich mix of places, artists and communities in our borough with an inclusive, open access programme that anyone can be part of.” 

WAF PERFORMERS: The Lost in Translation Circus at Battersea Park. Credit: Luke MacGregor via flickr

Tonight’s opening events will feature a cabaret night ahead of the 130 events and 43 locations the fringe will cover.

The fringe is a cultural heaven with events ranging from: dance, workshops, film, music, circus, comedy, art and theatre, with 100% of ticketing sales going to the companies involved.

One particularly exciting event running throughout will be the presence of S.U.S.A.N.N the socially distanced robot.

The robot was designed to bring some enjoyment to those waiting in queues or isolating, allowing those who have lost social contact this year to reconnect in a safe and fun way.

Speaking about S.U.S.A.N.N, the council said: ” It can reach out to a pensioner in a bungalow complex and be close to children who have lost their playmates.

“It can answer any question, engage in conversations, or play a favourite tune at the request of a stranger.

“It is the Robot we imagined in the 80’s, clunky but very clever.”

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY: Children get involved with the festival. Credit: Robert Piwko via Flickr

You can see this year’s timetable for what’s on where and when here and you can read SWL’s conversation with some of the acts involved here.

Feature image credit: Luke MacGregor via Flickr

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