With events on hold due to The Pandemic, but a glimmer of hope of restrictions easing, a friend approached me with her idea to launch a Fringe Festival in Tunbridge Wells. The idea was to help venues and artists to get working again and bring live performance back to audiences.

We quickly formed a small committee and, all on Zoom, launched the Tunbridge Wells Festival – to start in the beginning of July. The Elms provided support in terms of helping to gain funding, a media partner and with the marketing, design and social media and between three of us, all volunteering, the Fringe was up and running within a week.

The first ever Tunbridge Wells Fringe Festival took place over two weeks in July 2021 with over 100 artists and 40 venues and with performances from the world of opera, music, cabaret, comedy, dance, theatre, film and visual arts at venues as diverse as pubs, restaurants, to theatres, shops and outdoor spaces. It was still restricted due to Covid, but it gave artists the chance to perform and make money and venues the chance to bring live entertainment to their customers again.

The whole Festival was set up and run by volunteers and received overwhelming positive responses from the whole community and gave the local economy a great injection coming out of lockdown. The 2022 Festival is launched and looking to build on the success of the first Festival – launched in lockdown.


Read more from Debbie King who’s idea to launch the festival came to fruition in a few weeks in lockdown – Brilliant Businesses Article