about the Virtual Fringe:


The Virtual Fringe is a month-long festival of imaginary performances, exhibitions and events programmed to (not) take place around Coventry city centre. Each event is devised in response to a particular building or space.

Coventry is a city rich in possibility. Even though its inhabitants like to think they are not too attached to the place, the truth is we are. We enjoy this city's contradictions. We believe in its potential. And we can't help but defend it when it is challenged. The Virtual Fringe Festival is about exploring and harnessing this strength of feeling.

why programme a festival of non-existent events?
To encourage artists and decision-makers to engage together in the city's regeneration.
To imagine new futures for old buildings.
To advance the aspiration of a vibrant city centre.

Some of the venues are buildings slumbering in a state of disrepair, in need of attention and animation; others are fully functional and events could be, and sometimes are, staged there. Some are newly created spaces whose history is yet to be written; others are earmarked for redevelopment and the potential for their reawakening lies ahead.

your role:
You are the audience for the Virtual Fringe.

We ask you to look through this online brochure and imagine your presence at this festival.
We ask you to imagine the buzz on the street and to enjoy looking at your city with new eyes.
We ask you to imagine your role in realising such a festival, given that Something, like Nothing, can happen anywhere.

Coventry's Virtual Fringe Festival has been conceived and programmed by Talking Birds, and funded by Arts Council England, West Midlands.

All the artists featured in the Virtual Fringe live and/or work locally, practising a variety of different artforms. Many have national and international reputations, and act as cultural ambassadors for the city and the region.

For this festival, Talking Birds paired each artist or company with a space in the city and asked them to come up with a dream project inspired by, and specific to, that site. Some projects have also been paired with virtual co-producers, in the shape of some of the city's larger organisations.

© The copyright of the Virtual Fringe Festival concept belongs to Talking Birds, whilst the copyright for each individual proposal remains with the artist(s) that dreamt it up.

If you would like to speak to Talking Birds about a bespoke Virtual Fringe Festival for your town, please get in touch via the Feedback page.

This site is best navigated using the Venue Map, but can also be explored via Venues or Artists.

about Talking Birds:

Talking Birds is a company of artists engaged in the transformation of spaces - both real and imagined. The company’s work is created, and experienced by audiences, in many different places, including theatres, cinemas, concert halls, on television, the internet and radio, as well as in unusual sites, whether a seaside town’s seafront promenade, a 14th Century monastery or an underground car-park.

Talking Birds has a national reputation in the UK for producing 'stylish and compelling' work [Independent on Sunday] across a number of disciplines - including theatre, music, film/video, digital and visual art - and specialises in mixed-media and site-specific work. The Helloland website (one of ten new works to mark Talking Birds' tenth year) was heralded as 'innovative and unusual...akin to taking part in a David Lynch movie' by The Independent.

Talking Birds is funded by Arts Council England, West Midlands as a Key Regional Organisation.

virtual thanks to:

Andy Howitt & Frances Haywood in Cultural Development; John Eady at KKP & Huw Champion at Da Capo; Alison Gagen at Arts Council England, West Midlands; Adrian, Richard & Satpal at Portfolio Property Management; Tom McSpadden at Holy Trinity Church; Pete Walters at CVOne; John Neville at Skydome; Catherine Tennant at West Orchards; Roger Vaughan, David Shaw, Clare Huby & Steve Lane at Coventry Arts & Heritage; The Gallery Staff at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum; Phil Woodcock; Andy Telford in City Development; Hamish Glen at the Belgrade Theatre; Alan Rivett at Warwick Arts Centre; Brown's Cafe Bar; Steven Male; Andi Brookes

Also from Talking Birds | Twenty Four Piers | Helloland