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Photograph: Jessica Swanson
Photograph: Jessica Swanson

Five reasons to head to the City of London's brand new fair this September

September in the City has never looked so spectacular! Get set for an epic fair packed with live art, installations and some aerial surprises

Written by Time Out. Paid for by City of London

London is packed with world-class destinations, arts and culture, but seeing just how much of that is packed into one square mile: The City of London, is a real eye-opener. Which is why the launch of Bartholomew Fair this summer is a great reminder of just what the City has to offer. For three weeks from August 31 until September 16, the City becomes the stage for an array of enthralling entertainment and live performances.

This year’s brand-new reimagining resurrects the historic Bartholomew Fair and brings a modern twist to a centuries-old tradition by celebrating both the City of London’s heritage and contemporary culture. Night and day there’s plenty going on, but here’s five excellent reasons to head there.

The fair launches with an awe-inspiring vertical dance performance on St Paul’s Cathedral
Photograph: James Adamson

1. The fair launches with an awe-inspiring vertical dance performance on St Paul’s Cathedral

Enough said really, but the spectacular piece titled RESURGAM, by US-based vertical dance agency Bandaloop premieres from August 31 to September 2, and combines daring aerial choreography, cutting edge climbing tech, and original music, all taking place with rare access to London’s most famous Cathedral. 

You can go on a midnight run through the City
Photograph: Poetry Film Productions

2. You can go on a midnight run through the City

From August 31 to September 2 between 5.45pm and midnight you can roam the City on a special Midnight Run to discover some of the Square Mile’s nocturnal secrets. The cultural journey –which is more of a walking trip than an actual run– is curated by Run founder Inua Ellams, joined by local artists keen to share their knowledge. Expect an arts-filled, night-time urban cultural trip, exploring, playing and creating, whilst the city sleeps. 

You can check out night-time light installations
Photograph: imitating the dog.

3. You can check out night-time light installations

Telling tales of the City’s rich and varied past and giving voice to the characters that inhabited it, the installation piece called ‘Follow Me Into’, by digital performance company imitating the dog, projects onto buildings across the City from 8pm-10pm between September 7 to 16 using a blend of light, spectacle and video-mapping magic.

You can relive your Phileas Fogg hot air balloon fantasy
Photograph: Mike Jarman

4. You can relive your Phileas Fogg hot air balloon fantasy

Bringing laughter and mayhem to the streets, ‘Phileas Fogg’ presented by Dizzy O’ Dare, renowned circus and outdoor theatre company, sees hot air balloons gliding through the City of London on August 31 and September 2. It’s 1872 and Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout have attempted to circumnavigate the world in just 80 days, and are within a whisker of the finish line. Cheer them on their journey on this interactive walk (or float) about.

See insightful cutting-edge theatre courtesy of an Olivier-award winner.
Photograph: Darren Evans

5. See insightful cutting-edge theatre courtesy of an Olivier-award winner.

Olivier-award winner Kit Green brings their punchy and provocative reworking of Ben Jonson’s original play ‘Bartholomew Fair’, written in 1614, to the new fair. It’s 1133’, which is both the date and a new fashion brand being launched 890 years after the first fair. Join the premiere catwalk show in iconic locations. The show will run on multiple dates in September: 1-2, 8-9 and 14-15.

But that’s not all...
Photograph: City of London Corporation

But that’s not all...

If this has you hankering to discover yet more fantastic activities in the capital, check out the City of London’s new destination website showcasing the City’s culture and heritage, great bars and eateries, places to stay and even spills its best kept secrets. 

Handily, with over 250 options to choose from in the Square Mile, there’s top 40 things to do over this summer which includes family fun with the Tower Bridge Cat Trail, catching a live lunchtime concert in Aldgate Square or getting your film fix with the Barbican’s outdoor summer screenings. The City of London as a world leading leisure destination has undisputedly got something for everyone.

Start planning your epic September now with more info on the Bartholomew Fair and Summer in the City.

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