Back in November 2021, a packed day of events featuring tech, theatre, music, film, dance, circus and poetry took place in a range of venues across Chelmsford in what was the pilot for a Chelmsford Fringe Festival (CFF). It was a great opportunity to test the city’s appetite for a Fringe Festival and support the case for a larger event in future. In addition, the intention from the start was that CFF would be based on collaboration and the pilot was the first stage in building the partnerships to form the foundations of a larger event this year.
We received great feedback and the enthusiasm from the community confirmed our intention to return with a multi day CFF this year. While we had hoped running the pilot in the Autumn would give us a long lead-in time for a summer Festival, with COVID still looming we were forced to hold back on significant planning until March 22 when we received the green light to ramp up to scheduling a full length, in-person programme.
Several months of furious work and relationship building ensued, including an Open Call for artists and acts to feature on the 2022 schedule. We’re now just a couple of days from CFF22, running from 7th to 17th July, and we’re really excited by the breadth and variety of events and performances that will take place in a range of central partner venues, and on the High Street.
We’re also taking this year’s Festival to the Metaverse! Partnering with Rhino XR Studios we’ll be piloting the use of immersive experiences using XR/ AR/ VR to support their journey to a launching virtual city, Mega Verus in October 2022. Working together, we can expand CFF’s reach and add a whole new dimension for our audiences.
Following hot on the heels of the Chelmsford Festival, CFF22 aims to further demonstrate how Chelmsford is making its mark on Essex’s Creative and Cultural landscape and contributing to the Summer of Culture.
We’re also treating CFF22 as part of an ongoing learning journey, fully intending it will become an annual event. With this in mind we’re already looking beyond July, aiming to evolve over time, ensuring a sustainable funding model, and building on our commitments to managing our environmental impact and to diversity and inclusion of both performers and audience.
You can see What’s On , book tickets and find out how you can volunteer through our website. We hope you’ll join us and keep giving us feedback so that we can continue creating the Fringe that Chelmsford wants and deserves!
If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Echo Studios is a performing arts and vocal school from Essex, training the youth of today to go on and further their careers in performing arts. Echo Studios will be performing scenes from all your favourite Disney movies and musicals for all the family to enjoy.