Lagos expects over 2,000 visitors as Fringe Festival opens Nov 19

One of the exhibiting visual artists captured while painting his canvas
One of the exhibiting visual artists captured while painting his canvas

Lagos is set for the largest gathering of creatives in the Nigerian arts and culture calendar, as the Lagos Fringe Festival begins Tuesday next week.

The event will run from November 19 to 24.

With over two thousand visitors expected from across Africa and around the world, the festival, in its second edition, offers open access to inspiring artists to showcase their talents.

The festival will feature performances by young artists from Nigeria, Senegal, UK, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Ghana, Portugal and many more.

According to information on its website, Lagos Fringe Festival is being held in partnership with Multichoice Nigeria, British Council Nigeria, Freedom Park and the Alliance Francaise.

The weeklong fiesta will regale the audience with live shows and plays, panel discussions, playwriting classes, and screening of short films and documentary films selected from local and international filmmakers.

It also features the Lagos Fringe Market and the amazing Fringe Kids.

The multidisciplinary open-access arts festival is billed to hold in two separate venues. The first is the Alliance Francaise/Mike Adenuga Centre where a programme curated with the idea to celebrate Women in the Arts and Creative Transitions for the Performing arts/culture in Lagos, will take place.

The second venue is the Freedom Park. It is segmented into 15 mini venues to present seminars and conferences on topics regarding arts and health with the CEO, Brighton Fringe- Julian Caddy, Rea Mokone; a representative from the festival’s partner Vrystaat Arts Festival South Africa and the British Council. The discussions will tackle practices surrounding the skills of both arts and health professionals.

The British Council will also house film screenings (such as AUGUST MEETING; a story on the famous Aba Women’s Revolt) and performances in music, spoken word, games, talent shows, alternative music concert, comedy and plays from November 21-24.

The Talent Hunt show designed for young creatives will see the winner get a cash prize of N200,000 in correlation with the festival’s idea of empowerment.

At a media parley in Lagos, the Festival Director, Kenneth Uphopho, said awards will be presented to members of the creative industry who have distinguished themselves as advocates in their respective fields.

“The members of the Lagos Fringe Advisory Board are the jury which will review all the shortlisted candidates that are in-competition and announce the winners of the Lagos Fringe Awards at the Official Launch Ceremony.

“There is also a cash prize to be won at the Lagos Fringe CentreStage Open Mic talent show. The goal of the prize is to raise awareness for the festival and inspire standards for young aspiring local performers,” he said.

According to a report by Vanguard newspaper, the producer of the festival, Brenda Fashugba, said the organisation was repositioning the creative industry with the introduction of the Lagos Fringe Centre-stage talent show.

“From our early days of developing the theatre festival till now, our objectives have been reinforced on the development of capacity and education for the young and aspiring creative. We encourage collaboration and co-creation among artistes, professional and amateurs.

“Aruwayo marks a decade in media with ‘One Chance’(Opens in a new browser tab) We are focused on fostering a community of daring creatives that will lead the world in innovation in the arts and consistently create breathtaking experiences across all genres.” She said.

Ms Fasugba added that while the festival establishes the phenomenon of unconventional spaces, of which the dynamic nature of Freedom Park helps to achieve, it most importantly, promotes the sustainability of the artistes.

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