Bloom Fringe, described as the younger and rather irreverent cousin of Bloom In the Phoenix Park, returns to the streets of Dublin this June.
What is Bloom Fringe, you ask? Well, according to the organisers, think of it as “an urban interventionist guerrilla sporting fatigues instead of tea dresses, planting where no one has dared to plant before”. Forget de rigeur garden displays, they tell us, she does avant gardens instead!
It is a festival of the city streets, where once neglected alleyways are turned into lanes that are loved. Each year, there is a packed programme of family-focused events that take place at various city centre locations.
This not-for-profit urban festival was founded by Esther Gerrard, Landscape Architect at Elements of Action, and Marion Keogh of Marion Keogh Garden Design. Together they form Bláth Cliath, and lead a little platoon of dedicated volunteers. The success of the venture is down to the enthusiasm and will power of those involved, fuelled by grassroots support, social enterprise, and inspired collaborations.
For the 2016 edition, Bloom Fringe has once again come up with the goods. On Friday, 3rd June at 6pm in the Printworks in Dublin Castle, none other that the gangsta gardener himself, Ron Finley, will be flying in from LA for the Irish premier of his film ‘Can You Dig This?’ There will also be a Question & Answer session along with a panel discussion. Tickets for this event cost €20 and may be reserved online — but hurry, they won’t last long!
The inaugural Irish Basket Festival will be hosted by Bloom Fringe at Dublin Castle, with demonstrations, masterclasses, exhibits, and workshops by master basket makers. The public will also be able to get hands-on with the process, as they will be afforded the opportunity to participate in ‘Woven Castle’, working with world-renowned master basket weavers in creating a magnificent new installation over two days, June 4th and 5th.
There will also be pop-up forests and street art, transforming unloved gritty spaces into pretty urban oases in the heart of the city. Other items of interest on the schedule for the weekend include workshops, talks, secret garden tours, community open days, exhibitions, foraged food, and guerilla gardening.
The full programme of events to date is available online, as well as information about ticketing, though the majority of events are free admission. Check back with the Bloom Fringe website for further updates in the lead-up to the festival.
Bloom Fringe is backed by Dublin City Council, Fáilte Ireland, and the OPW in Dublin Castle, with media support by The SodShow.
So, get yourself into town this June Bank Holiday weekend, and support nature and the greening of Dublin.
All images courtesy Bloom Fringe