If you start to feel the end-of-summer blues creeping up on you as soon as we hit mid August, then you need to hear this. The autumnal equinox (a.k.a the start of autumn) is actually not until September 23 – so you really need to make the most of those last few weeks. Luckily, this year, City of London’s Bartholomew Fair is putting on an incredible programme of dance, music and cultural events (most of which are free!), to keep us well entertained throughout the final weeks of everyone’s favourite season.
Dating back to the 12th century, Bartholomew Fair started out as a humble cloth fair, but quickly became London’s preeminent event. This year, from August 31 to September 16, the historic event will be reimagined throughout the streets of London’s Square Mile. Keep reading to find out everything that’s in store…
Starting with a bang, Bartholomew Fair will commence with a performance from vertical dance company, BANDALOOP, at St Paul’s Cathedral. Suspended from the facade of this iconic monument, the dancers will give a jaw-dropping performance combining aerial choreography and cutting edge climbing technology. You can witness this captivating spectacle on August 31 – September 2 at 6.15pm.
If you are planning on visiting during the first three days of the fair, be sure not to miss The Midnight Run. Before diving into the details, you’ll probably be glad to hear that this is more of a leisurely walking event than an actual run. But the experience aims to unite London’s artistic community, encouraging people to explore and create on a cultural journey while the city sleeps. Enjoy a tour through London’s iconic landmarks and lesser-known spots whilst taking part in a variety of activities. Previous Midnight Runners have enjoyed everything from life-drawing and cocktail making to tai chi wrestling. But if you want to know what’s in store this year, you’ll have to see for yourself!
And the after-dark entertainment doesn’t end there. From September 7-16, night projections will appear on six buildings across the City between 8pm-10pm. Telling the story of a child adventuring through the City at night, Follow Me Into imparts fascinating tales and talents of figures from London’s past. Each projection lasts around 3-6 minutes and can be visited in any order, at any time in the two hour period.
This is just a taster of the outstanding array of events, performances, installations and more taking place at Bartholomew Fair. Visit their page to see a week-by-week breakdown of all there is to see, do and explore.
If the Bartholomew Fair has left you with an appetite for more cultural recs, then why not check out these other goings-on in the City of London?
– Aldgate Sounds – free mini concerts from 12pm-2pm every Tuesday in August in Aldgate Square
– Summer Outdoor Cinema – catch outdoor screenings of new and old releases at the Barbican until September 3
– A Strange Loop – this critically acclaimed musical will be showing at the Barbican until September 9
– Wren at Work – discover the life and works of Christopher Wren at Guildhall Art Gallery until October 15
– War of the Worlds Immersive Experience – an interactive theatre production taking guests on a journey through a Martian invasion until December 2023