Though with their tongue firmly in their cheek, the organisers claim that the origins of Bath Fringe go back to the sideshows which sprang up around important Temple festivals during Roman times, its more immediate history can be dated back to the heady days of the late 1960s.
Bath was then a centre of counter culture with the Walcot festivals mixing experimental theatre and progressive rock with ‘happenings’ and eco activism. In 1981 these became the Bath Fringe, created as a counterbalance to the more established and mainstream Bath International Music Festival.
The Fringe Festival is now among one of the oldest continually operating such events in England, and includes around 200 events, taking place around the late May Bank Holiday and running for 17 days at the end of May to the beginning of June.
Staying true to its origins, it’s a festival of all the arts, with few rules as to what should be in or out – it's what people want to do, and what venues want to put on.