Tempting Failure festival becomes a Croydon exclusive


By - Monday 25th June, 2018

This exciting festival, crammed with challenging, experimental works, is now taking place only in Croydon


The Penal Labour.
Photo by Heidi Edström, used with permission.

Croydon is set to become a hub for daring and radical performance and noise art this July, as the seventh incarnation of the festival Tempting Failure (TF18) descends on the borough – now in its new biennial format.

Bringing a fortnight-long programme of international and UK-based artists between 9th and 22nd July, this year’s festival will see bold and brilliant noise and performance art spilling into a host of spaces around the town centre. Performances and exhibitions are scheduled to appear in Turf Projects, The Spread Eagle, Matthews Yard, The Front Room, Braithwaite Hall and even the Croydon Council chambers, amongst others. With a line-up of over seventy risk-taking and boundary-pushing artists, including works by the infamous aktionist Hermann Nitsch, legendary sound artist Leif Elgrenn and renowned choreographer Mehmet Sander, Croydon audiences are in for something truly special.

Having previously taken place in venues all over London, the decision was made by Croydon resident and TF artistic director Thomas John Bacon to bring this year’s festival exclusively to Croydon.

“It means a lot to bring cutting-edge international artists into the borough”

Bacon explains: “Croydon is a vibrant borough, filled with artists and talent. As TF is a Croydon Culture Network member, I feel thrilled by the huge host of start-up and ground-roots artistic initiatives happening here. So, it really means a lot to bring cutting-edge international artists into the borough, as well as supporting local and national names, too”.

TF18 aims to highlight the real importance of the art spaces within Croydon and by focusing upon key venues, it hopes a legacy of new audiences will continue to support the vital work each delivers above and beyond the biennial.

Returning to Matthews Yard, the festival programme will also include a host of workshops and enrichment for the community to engage with for free – some of which have been happening around the area already. Most recently, Rita Marcalo of Instant Dissidence ran workshops with Croydon-based refugee group Young Roots. Working over three days, Rita collected stories and words from young migrants recently arrived in the UK, with the aim of using their language and experiences to create a new audio walking tour that will be premiered as part of the festival.

Artist Dave Phillips.
Photo by Nikki Sneakers, used with permission.

In my opinion, it’s this combined focus – an emphasis on both risk-taking innovation and a desire to be broadly accessible – that makes this festival so important for Croydon, London, and the larger artistic community across the country. Performance and noise art are undeniably among the more niche and specialist forms, but it is exciting and bold initiatives like TF18 that expand engagement and keep us all questioning, challenging and – most importantly – engaging with work from edges of the art world. Here in Croydon, a borough that relishes challenging, alternative and genuinely exciting work, the potential for unforgettable encounters this July will bring memories that no one will forget!

Tempting Failure takes place 9th–22nd July 2018 in venues across Croydon. For festival passes and full details of the Tempting Failure programme, please click here.

Robert Hesp

Robert Hesp

Robert Hesp is a live artist and dancer from Leeds, England. He creates and performs both nationally and internationally, having presented works at Spill, Buzzcut and Latitude festivals. He is an associate artist with Candoco dance company and recent member of the Tempting Failure 2018 festival team. Profile photo by Christa Holka, Spill Festival 2016.

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