Tunbridge Wells Fringe Festival returns for fourth year this weekend

The Tunbridge Wells Fringe Festival on The Pantiles
-Credit: (Image: Martin Briggs)

The creative heart of Tunbridge Wells will be celebrated as the town’s Fringe returns with a bang this week. Now in its fourth year, the eclectic festival promises 200 events at more than 40 venues, with everything from comedy to classical music, and Shakespeare to pottery on offer.

Entirely volunteer-led, it is a magical concoction of local, national and international talent, said Tunbridge Wells Fringe Festival founder Debbie King. “We are in such a creative area – Tunbridge Wells is absolutely jam-packed with people who are creative and who love the arts, and we have got a great mix,” she said.

“That’s where the Fringe is so lovely – it’s accessible for everyone, there’s stuff for every age, and it’s great to have a lot of local people performing too.” Sandwiched between the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe festivals gives it that extra edge too.

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“A lot of people try out their material here before heading up to Edinburgh,” said Debbie. “We have got some absolutely phenomenal, award-winning acts.

“Being close to London we also get acts coming down here from there – it’s a great platform for them. It’s amazing and there’s big excitement.”

The festival opens on Saturday (June 29) and then runs until July 14. New this year is the Rotunda Theatre, straight from the Brighton Fringe, with two pop-up theatres – one with 120 seats and one with 60 seats – in a bubble tent on the field opposite the Hare pub in Langton Green.

Debbie’s own theatre group The Talentz, along with organiser and comedian Aimee Cooper, are among the acts performing there this year. “The Tunbridge Wells Fringe Festival is a testament to the power of community as it’s entirely run by dedicated volunteers passionate about enriching the cultural fabric of the region,” added Debbie.

“By supporting the festival, attendees not only gain access to world-class entertainment but also contribute to the flourishing arts scene in Tunbridge Wells. We really do need people to come and see what it’s all about.”

For more information and the festival programme, click here.

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