MERGE is an annual festival curated by Illuminate Productions to encourage and promote a set of performances, events and happenings which draw on the rich heritage and contemporary culture of Bankside.

  • Opens up London’s lost buildings before their regeneration, enabling artists to work in unusual and challenging contexts, whilst giving the public the opportunity to enjoy the history of the buildings for the last time.
  • Brings together artists, performers, art organisations and collectives in experimental partnerships and in unusual venues and situations.
  • Opens the way for discussion and fresh debate about contemporary art and culture. Local communities are also encouraged to take ownership of projects.
  • Brings together local communities, workers and visitors as both participants and audiences - taking art and music to the community.
  • Promotes and nurtures emergent talent and gives artists the opportunity to show alongside high profile international artists. Artists are given room to develop without having commercial constraints.

The vast majority of exhibitions and events are free to all and will reach a wide audience. 


Illuminate Productions is a not-for-profit organisation that presents contemporary art in unusual, yet accessible, environments. It stages shows in buildings of geographical or historical importance, as well as public outdoor spaces. Emerging and established artists are challenged to work in ground breaking contexts so their work may be brought to community and international audiences. ILLUMINATE PRODUCTIONS takes contemporary art out of gallery-type situations and into the public domain where everyone may enjoy it. Educational programmes run alongside exhibitions to provide people with a unique opportunity to become involved in exploring contemporary art and culture, as well as creating their own artworks. Previous exhibitions and events staged to international acclaim include MERGE (2012 and 2011), DRIFT10 (2010), DRIFT08 (2008), THE VISITORS (2007), EXIT (2007), CORE (2006), FLUX (2005), and Illuminate (2004). 

Better Bankside, the Business Improvement District in Bankside exists to make Bankside a better place to work, live and visit. It aims to improve the quality of the area and enhance the competitiveness of its businesses. It is a company owned, funded and led by businesses in the Bankside area.

About Bankside, Bankside is London's cultural district: a thriving and vibrant central London location on the River Thames with the famous Borough Market and Tate Modern at its heart. The district also offers superb transport links, including the major rail hub of London Bridge and Waterloo close by.