Forest Fringe 2010 marks return to original aesthetic

This article is from 2010

Forest Fringe 2010 marks return to original aesthetic

Edinburgh events and arts space gives artists free reign

Located no more than a small stone’s throw from a lot of the Fringe activity lies The Forest - known throughout the rest of the year as a free events and arts space supplemented with a volunteer-run cafe and the home base of the Forest Fringe during the month of August for the past three years. This free festival caters to artists who want to display their work in an unrestricted, friendly, and open environment, bringing them together through an event that allows audiences to explore their thoughts, ideas, experiences, and adventures.

And that’s exactly how the festival’s schedule is set up. Every day is divided into segments - each with a different mindset fueling the activities taking place during them. From noon to 5pm A Festival of Thoughts focuses on conversation and communication of ideas with events like The Ideas Cabinet (anyone is allowed to sell or buy ideas with price tags ranging between 1p and 1£) and SLOTORAMA (the artist that will perform for that the following hour is chosen completely at random, so no one knows what is going to happen). The activities are more casual and open, allowing the community to participate at their own discretion. At 5pm the next set of performances is wrapped into the Festival of Ideas - where a wide variety of artists exhibit a large range of shows.

Amongst this group of artists is Greg McLaren who is set to put on such an experimental, aural, and visual show. He has been out on the streets, singing to anyone and everyone, without explaining his intentions to his audience - quite possibly coming across as a bit of a loon. 'By denying the public an easy definition and reason for my behaviour they either get involved or become agitated and suspicious, even though what I sing is perfectly understandable as language.' He has recorded his exploits and the reactions of the public, and will be exhibiting these during his 7pm (16th and 17th of August) slot at the Forest. Through combining these recordings with specially composed music and a live performance Greg hopes to get 'people to consider the power in their voice, and how much we understand from the vocal sounds a human makes.'

The Festival of Experiences is a sequence of late nights that deliver live art, music, and film to audiences. Amongst these events, Moveyhouse (on Tuesday the 10th at 11pm) lets Aberdeen-based electronica producer and vocalist Fiona Soe Paing perform an audio-visual set, and will feature a live performance from in-house band The Suitcase Royale. The night’s organizer (and co-director of the Forest Fringe) Andy Field says he was hoping to create 'a night that gave people the opportunity to think about film and live performance in a different way.'

But the Forest Fringe doesn’t restrict itself to the confines of The Forest. During the day the Festival of Adventures takes people away from the venue and lets them explore and interact with hidden spaces across the city. The Bench, a piece by Anthony Hampton and Glen Neath seeks to re-introduce the art of first encounters with strangers - reviving the art of meeting others for the first time. It is up to you and a friend to think of a person to have the other pair up with and gather at the bench. Without any onlookers each participant follows instructions that dictates how to respond to dialogue and small movements - creating a sort of funny but surreal tension between the two.

The Forest Fringe is a new (yet it feels quite logical) way of experiencing the Edinburgh Festivals for both audiences and artists. It allows artists free reign of their work without having to worry about huge amounts of money that are usually sunk into advertising (flyers are surprisingly expensive!)- letting them display their work with the help of a supportive and appreciative community. The festival won last year’s Empty Space Award - which has allowed it to expand past the confines of The Forest and establish events across various other spaces in the UK such as the Microfestival in Glasgow’s Arches.

every minute, always

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Glas(s) Performance, the company behind the critically acclaimed Junction 25, present their new piece starring a member of the company and her dad. This is a show about fathers and daughters that stems from the real life experience of Jess Thorpe and Tim Thorpe. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.


Kieran Hurley recounts his journey across Europe to the G8 summit protests in this intimate and uplifting one-man show, with live music from Over The Wall. In association with The Arches, Glasgow. "A passionate piece of traditional storytelling. The audience at the Arches cheer him to the echo." -Joyce MacMillan, The…

Two Trillion

There are many creatures in this world, and I am one trillion of them. Glasgow's Fish & Game take it right back for this new performance back to basics, back to nature, and all the way back down to the trillions of cells that make up their bodies - real old skool. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

Like You Were Before

  • 4 stars

October 27th, 2005. The temperature in Toronto was 12 degrees celsius. The Canadian dollar was at 80 cents to the American dollar, 85 cents to the Euro, and 52 p to the pound. It was intermittently sunny and cloudy. In the UK it was probably cloudy. The Toronto Argonauts were playing the Hamilton Tigercats at the…

Journey to the End of the Night

A solo performance based on Dylan Tighe's personal diary written on the Trans-Mongolian Express from Beijing to Moscow, spanning five time zones and two continents. "A quiet beauty." - The Irish Times. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

Future Editions

An interactive archive of visions, involving a dizzying array of people from across Edinburgh and beyond. A chance to find yourself in the most surprising and inspiring of conversations, sharing somebody's dream of the future. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

Never Park Your Body in a Wadi (Working Title)

A show created by three generations of the same family about being a man, the twentieth century, fathers and sons and cowboys and indians... 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.


'Return' tells the story of Noah, a man trying to figure out where he fits. Convinced he had to leave home in order to make his mark, Noah returns to find a world where a lot of things seem the same but nothing actually is. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

Hold Hands/Lock Horns

Join in / pass up; stick / twist; follow / lead; win a friend / gain an enemy. Non zero one have some decisions for you to make. You do want the choice, don't you? 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

Residence in Residence

Residence are a loose collective of artists and companies based in Bristol who we've worked with regularly over the last few years and are generally very inspired by. Their number include Action Hero, Jo Bannon, Tom Marshman and both Tinned Fingers and Search Party who will be performing at Forest Fringe in the week…

Travelling Sounds Library

The Travelling Sounds Library is a wandering collection of audio experiences, captured on MP3 player and hidden inside hollowed out hard back books. A chance to escape from the festival and drift away into somebody else's world. Featuring Stan's Café, Blast Theory, Duncan Speakman & Unlimited Theatre, Ian Campbell many…

This is Just to Say

This is just to say is a conversation with poems in it. It's about manipulation, Britishness, love and winning. This is just to say is smudging its make-up, buying you bouquets and screening your calls. This is just to say is an intimate audience piece set around a table. Pull up a chair and drink some wine. Please note…

Doris Day Can Fuck Off

Greg McLaren has been singing in the street. Where he would talk, he has sang. This has resulted in many hilarious encounters. But it has also resulted in a feeling of isolation and rejection. The problem with singing is that it is too heady a means of communication when buying stamps or a bun, or trying to change details…

The Last Romance Club (Ever)

We are hopeful. We are looking for love. We want to get lucky. We want to serenade you outside your window at night. We want to give you our last rolo. We can't sing but, for you, we'll try. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

It's Like He's Knocking

  • 4 stars

A stripped back performance incorporating storytelling, dance theatre and afro Brazilian percussion, set in the intimacy of a bedsit. A collage of moments taken from the lives of three generations of men. Drink a toast to loved ones, bet on some cards and close your eyes to remember your past. 'Part of the Forest…

'I Belong To This Band'

'I Belong to This Band!' uses live/performance art to explore folk traditions. We are doing R&D residencies and Scratch showings, making songs and dances, before a Rural Tour of Great Britain 2011/12. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

Growing Old With You

Growing Old With You is a life long performance project which attempts to document lived experience in real time. Starting in 2010 and for every 5 (or so) years for the rest of their lives Search Party will create a performance exploring ideas of age, duality and accumulation. 'Part of the Forest Fringe'.

Inspiration Exchange

Developed out of an original idea by Alex Kelly from Third Angel, the inspiration exchange is an opportunity to hear a beautiful collection of stories detailing what has inspired some Forest Fringe's artists and friends. In return we also want you to let us know what you've inspired by whether it be a book, or a film, or…

Senior Moments

Kristin Fredricksson (Beady Eye) & Rob Vesty (Box Social) spend a week in the run-up to each Senior Moments performance during which they meet & recruit older people. They go to bingo halls, housing estates, community groups, shopping centres and Bridge clubs to enlist up to 40 participants aged 65 and over. Kristin…

What I Heard About the World: Research Map

Created out of Forest Fringe's Microfestival in Glasgow as part of the development process for their new piece What I Heard About the World, this project is a 12 hour durational performance by Third Angel and Lisbon-based mala voadora. Over the course of the day they will attempt to map the world in stories collected from…

Forest Fringe

This artist-led community offers a diverse range of performances, experiences, interactive happenings, walks and installations. 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the Forest Fringe so expect a special programme to mark the occasion.

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