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More London Free Festival and the Free Fringe Festival June 2011 May 30
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This year, the More London Free Festival runs throughout the entire summer, from 1 June – 30 September. Starting with a series of fringe arts events, it will offer a wide range of theatre, music, film screenings, and live performances. And the best part? It’s all free!

Free festivals have a rich history and the More London festival continues to honor their long tradition of openness. They started in the 70s, with the commune and squatting movements, which protested the monarchy and elitism. No admission is charged to these festivals, but their attendees’ involvement is encouraged. They happen organically, without any centralised control, the very essence of hippie philosophy made popular in the 70s.

It’s fitting, then, that the More London Free Festival starts off with the Free Fringe Festival, since fringe is simply another way to refer to the countercultural movement of the 60s and 70s. Fringe culture describes the values behavior of any group of people which run counter to the mainstream. It expresses the dreams and aspirations of a specific generation, and spans all generations, to the present day. The Free Fringe Festival celebrates this tradition of protest and of simply being different.

The Free Fringe Festival runs throughout the month of June. Taking place at London’s great outdoor amphitheatre, the Scoop, the Free Fringe Festival will offer the best live performances “from the left-field” for everyone looking for something a bit different. The first of these performances will be Pallidini Productions’ comedy drama, entitled “Citiest of Cities.”

The festival’s second event will be “Troy Boy,” a new and lighthearted rendition of Offenbach’s “La Belle Helene,” performed by the Merry Opera Company. Other highlights of the Fringe Festival will be a new version of “The Canterbury Tales” by The Pantaloons, and the festival will end the final week of June with two performances by the award-winning theatre troupe Chickenshed—“Crime of the Century” for adults and “Tales from the Shed,” aimed at children under the age of seven. If you are planning on making your way to this free festival and need a hotel, check out the Jurys Inn range of hotels in London.

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