The hot spot of the Venice Biennale comes all the way from Peckham; Festivals suffer identity crisis

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Forget the Giardini, the hippest hang-out at the Venice Biennale is likely to be Palazzo Peckham, a fringe event in an old shipyard five minutes walk away from the pavilions proper.

The new venue will feature five spaces, each curated by a different artist. “Artist-plagiarist” Jon Rafman, best known for his Google Street View series, will decorate the lobby. There will also be a granita cocktail bar run by Frank and Jackson Boxer (of Frank’s/ Brunswick Café) and a series of talks, starting with Cindy Sherman. PP is the brainchild of go-getting south London gallerist Hannah Barry, with curator Ollie Hogan and Grace Welch, who may well call on her older sister Florence to help out with musical entertainment, too.

Funny ow often this seems to be happening...

First the Daphne du Maurier Festival became the Fowey Festival of Words and Music. Now the Greenwich Comedy Festival is changing identity. Its home for the last four years, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich can “no longer accommodate the festival in its traditional format.” So this July acts including Adam Buxton and Al Murray will perform instead in the “cultural heart of the city”, or Allen Gardens Park, behind the Truman Brewery. And it will henceforth be known as the Brick Lane Comedy Festival.

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