MERGE Bankside - Immersive arts festival

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MERGE Bankside - Immersive arts festival

Illuminate Productions By Illuminate Productions

MERGE is a month-long free arts, music and performance festival bringing an exciting programme of events and installations to unused spaces and historic sites in Bankside, London SE1.

London Idea stage

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Power a laser show with your brainwaves, make a wish in a bioluminescent wishing well, and see a theatre show in a retro gold caravan - these are just some of the experiences brought to you by previous MERGE festivals.

MERGE is Bankside’s imaginative and immersive arts festival which brings together artists in experimental partnerships, and transforms lost buildings in Bankside before regeneration; bringing the character of these unused spaces to the fore. It gives you the opportunity to explore the history of London in a unique way.

We need you to help us make MERGE bigger and better for 2016. MERGE relies heavily on the goodwill of volunteers but this in itself needs management. To meet growing demand we need resource to manage a volunteer programme and deliver more events on a greater scale.

MERGE Bankside will run from 23 September - 23 October 2016.

What we'll deliver:

  • Commission site-specific work in unusual locations, opening up some of London’s lost buildings and heritage sites.
  • Curate and produce an interactive arts, music and performance festival.
  • Make outstanding artwork freely accessible to a wide audience.
  • Offer unique experiences in unusual locations.
  • Support emerging artists.
  • Support innovative collaborations between individuals, organisations and scientists, bridging the arts-science divide.

Why it's a great idea:

MERGE is a free festival, making art accessible to everyone.

The festival was founded upon the basis that people living and working in Bankside wanted to keep a local community feel despite regeneration in the area.

MERGE brings together local communities, workers and visitors as both participants and audiences. Through interactive projects we aim to provide culturally engaging activities that inspire, educate and challenge perceptions.

As Bankside continues to evolve MERGE plays an important role in bringing historic buildings and unusual locations to life, highlighting the rich heritage of the area - once London’s rowdy pleasure quarter.

Where else would you get chance to see tap dancing robots or a melting wax house? MERGE is fun and free, and allows audiences to discover the character of Bankside from a new perspective. Support the arts and help us to secure the future of the festival.

Steps to get it done:

  • Engage local business and residents
  • Finalise programme of events
  • Promote the festival to locals, Londoners, visitors and media
  • Collaborate with artists and develop ideas
  • Source locations for site specific works

MERGE Bankside has the support of Southwark Council who have contributed £15,000 for specific installations on Blackfriars Road

MERGE seeks to be inventive and resourceful in its approach, changing each year to grow with the expectations of its audiences, giving you new experiences in unusual locations. Our mission is to develop opportunities for artists to create ground-breaking art in unusual spaces where communities can engage, collaborate and be inspired.

MERGE relies heavily on the work and good will of volunteers. As demand and visitor numbers increase every year, we need more volunteers to deliver the festival - which in turn needs management. Support us to deliver a successful volunteer programme and secure the future of this much-loved arts festival.

The first 50 backers who pledge £150 or more will receive an invite for you and a guest to a private launch event at the end of September at the headline installation. Drinks included!

Location London

About the space

Various locations across London's Bankside, Southwark.


Southwark Council

How will the money be spent?Total £54,959

Arts production - £36,000 (66%)
Project management - £4,000 (7%)
Technicians/trade - £3,500 (6%)
Marketing - £2,500 (5%)
Walk/tours for local workers/residents/groups - £2,500 (5%)
Utilities at locations - £1,500 (3%)
Other - £4,959 (9%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. Before entering fundraising these costs will be confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified by the verifier.

Arts production
Project management
Walk/tours for local workers/residents/groups
Utilities at locations
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT

Total £54,959

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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