WAF In Your Living Room

Making your place the main stage

WAF In Your Living Room began in 2018 as a digital provision for housebound audiences. As part of a longstanding commitment to champion artists and help make their work accessible to as many art-lovers as possible, WAF In Your Living Room is the place to catch the hottest new talent online from the comfort of your sofa.

WAF In Your Living Room 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, on 20 March 2020 it was with a heavy heart that Wandsworth Council announced the cancellation of Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF), in order to protect the wellbeing of its artists, audiences, community, and partners.

With around 150 events in the programme, WAF 2020 was set to be another jaw-dropping example of what WAF does best: cutting-edge theatre and comedy, exquisite music concerts, art exhibitions, experimental performance art, outdoor art extravaganzas, and everything in between, all taking place in a surprising variety of venues across the borough.

But while the festival couldn't take place as planned, the Fringe spirit remained strong! When lockdown began, WAF's artists developed or adapted their work for audiences to enjoy in the comfort of their own armchairs, with ambition, passion and innovation. 

WAF in your Living Room 2020 aimed to supply some inspiration, light relief and a bit of escapism, to keep Wandsworth stimulated, creative and laughing during lockdown. The website hosted a new digital platform to showcase a variety of projects. These included livestreams and recordings of the freshest theatre productions, online murder mystery games, visual art and creative storytelling to transport audiences away to distant times and places. There was also a Do-It-Yourself programme to kickstart creativity, including dance workshops, sketching masterclasses, and even an opera and movement class.

Suitable for all ages and artistic tastes, the programme ran from 8 – 24 May 2020, and additional content from local artists and partners continued to be hosted and promoted throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Like many festivals, we could have postponed the festival entirely, but WAF has always had, and always will have, the people who make up Wandsworth at the heart of everything it does. During lockdown, more than ever, our connection and collaboration as a community was vital, and the unique ways in which art helps us express what matters to us as individuals, families, and communities, invaluable. 

WAF In Your Living Room showcased 250 artists across 130 digital events that reached over 30,000 homes, and delivered creative activity packs to 2,100 local families and we are immensely grateful for all the hard work and resources residents, artists, organisations and community groups who transformed WAF2020 into a fully digital festival in just 5 weeks.

Building on the incredible success of WAF In Your Living Room 2020, WAF returned in 2021 with London's first hybrid arts festival. Over 10,000 people came from across the city to join the party and enjoy the genre-bending programme of 130 events that took place live and online from 25 June - 10 July 2021.

For 2022 and beyond, we will continue to ensure those at home can enjoy digital projects as part of our WAF In Your Living Room programme. 

Are you a local artist, creative producer, or arts organisation?

If you are a local creative practitioner or arts organisation, we would be delighted to talk to you about whether any elements of your WAF project could feature in the WAF In Your Living Room programme. Please get in touch with Wandsworth Arts Fringe Producer, Cath Mattos, on cath.mattos@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk

The team is working hard to support local artists and cultural organisations with the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their practices and businesses. Please get in touch with arts@wandsworth.gov.uk if you are being affected and would like advice on what support might be available. A list of support currently available to arts organisations is also available on the council website.