Kingston Green Fair
Kingston Green Fair was one of the UK's oldest and best one-day environmental shows. Founded in 1987, KGF was a showcase for sustainable living with a plethora of stalls, performances, workshops, music, healing, and community groups. The whole show used only sun, wind, and pedal power... but was empowered by the 15,000 people who visited each year. I went to the very first fair, helped organise the Comedy Tent in 1989, and am honoured to have been a part of KGF Collective.
May 2007 was a rather wet month - heavy rain fell across the whole weekend leading up to and during KGF, which resulted in a £17,000 loss due to low attendance. The end of May 2008 turned out to be even wetter and KGF once again suffered losses due to low attendance. With cumulative debts of over £30,000 the Collective was forced to close the Fair after 21 years. Global awareness and action on environmental sustainability had changed immeasurably in that time.
But with the end, a new beginning... so the pioneering continues. In 2007 a collaboration was formed between the KGF Collective, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, local businesses and local venues. Paint the Town Green updated and expanded KGF's message of environmental education through celebration by hosting an annual sustainability festival involving the whole of the borough during the lead up to London Sustainability Weeks. The UK's oldest and best one-day environmental show has morphed into a month-long festival utilising the best music venues, art spaces, cinemas, shops, cafes and people that Kingston can offer. The legacy lives on...