There was a Camberwell Fair on Camberwell Green from 1279 until 1855 when it was shut down by local authorities for causing ‘immoral and riotous behaviour’.
The Fair was a grassroots celebration of Camberwell and its people, involving, music, games, food, drink and celebration, and was a valuable and celebrated community event for nearly 600 years.
In 2015, with the support of Southwark Council and Arts Council England, we brought back this ancient tradition, creating a new Fair reflecting the demographic of modern Camberwell, but very much in the original style: a market, games, two live music stages, food, drink and strong representation from all facets of the local community.
Receiving funding from Southwark Council’s High Street Challenge scheme to support local business, we have worked with over 50 local businesses to help showcase themselves at our market, partnered with over 30 local community groups to help provide a platform for them to meet the local community, and played host to over 50 live acts representing the diverse culture of Camberwell, from emerging local artists to reggae legend Dawn Penn and Nigerian afrobeat originator Dele Sosimi, while working with a huge range of cultural and community partners to produce the 2015 and 2016 Fairs, which received excellent media coverage in Time Out, on BBC (Robert Elms Show) and even on London Live TV.
The 2015 event welcomed 3500 people onto Camberwell Green for a free celebration of all things Camberwell. In 2016, while works were completed on Camberwell Green, we played host to 4500 in our new home of Burgess Park. In 2017, we will return to Camberwell Green, in the heart of Camberwell’s town centre, for an extended 2 day celebration that will welcome an expected 7500 people.