Line up for Friday 20th July: Norman Jay, Joey Negro, Josh Osho (live) and Dom Chung
The rings are up and torches are on the move. Yes the Olympics are almost upon us. Even if you couldn’t give a flying javelin about the sporting activities there’s masses in London to entertain you this summer. You’ll find out about the best of them here.
The Fringe is one of the most intriguing pop up venues for the games. Situated on the canal just 100 metres from the western entrance to the park, we were whisked down by boat to check it out. Everyone has been moaning about the transport and fretting about how London will cope when the Olympics hits, well one of the ways to avoid the tube crush will be to travel to events by water.
Water Chariots are offering a rather swish way of arriving at the games. Head down to Limehouse Marina and jump in one of their cool little sloops. A pricey option, but you get a lounge to wait in before the journey with a free bar and can enter the site through an exclusive entrance. The Dutch Riviera style boats seat 12 and are operated largely by injured ex-servicemen, which is nice. The best bit is that rushing along the water you feel a bit like you’re part of a James Bond chase scene, very cool.
After 40 mins of travel through a somewhat grimy (although the graffiti will apparently be removed before the games) East London backdrop humming ‘I’m on a Boat’ we arrived at The Fringe’s pontoon. With the main stadium looming imposingly within spitting distance, The Fringe is certainly close to the action.
Situated in a former Victorian horse stable, The Fringe is not your super shiny corporate entertainment venue. A big 40,000 square foot space with cool exposed brickwork and some definite rough edges you can see why this was a popular warehouse rave venue a few years ago. With shabby chic furniture, art from Tim Flach, a great DJ line up (including Norman Jay, Joey Negro, Josh Osho (live) and Dom Chung) and some excellent cocktails from WJ favourites Sweet & Chilli give the venue an edgy Shoreditch vibe.
The Fringe will be open from 9am to 2am and you will get access to two floors of drinking and partying. Alongside the big screens showing the day’s action there will be free wi-fi, and street food stalls outside to satisfy your hunger. Whilst having a members club vibe, there is no snooty referral process; the club is an outsider venue aiming to be for the rest of us – hence the ‘The Fringe’.
When we got a look around there was still some work to do, but if it comes off The Fringe looks like it will be throwing some of the best parties over the Olympic period. Head down and try what is surely the best cocktail name this summer - a Ginford Christie.
Cost: From £35 per day
Where: The Fringe, Old Ford Lock, Swan Wharf E3 2NG