London's massive end-of-summer celebration!
This year’s Thames Festival delivers a line-up of free outdoor events, music and dance, exhibitions and art installations.
London -- The Thames Festival, which takes place at the weekend starting on the 12 September 2009, is London’s largest free arts festival, a spectacular open-air celebration of the city and its river. The event is one of the highlights in London's cultural calendar, the Festival features an exciting programme of events and activities which take place right in the heart of London, between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge and beyond.
Spectacle: On the evenings of 12 and 13 September, French fire alchemists Compagnie Carabosse will create the Fire Garden, a magical fire installation in front of Tate Modern with animated fire machines, garlands of flamepots, boilers that belch fire and glorious structures laced with firepots.
Feast on the Bridge: Southwark Bridge hosts Feast on the Bridge, a celebratory harvest event with food, drink, entertainment and hands-on activity held on Saturday 12 September. Southwark Bridge will be closed to traffic and transformed into a feasting environment with banqueting tables, artist-led installations and the chance to sample food from some of the UK’s best sustainable food producers.
In the six months beforehand, an education project, Moveable Feast, will work with artists, schools and different communities to create 12 gardens and grow food in the city. Food from each garden will then be brought to Feast on the Bridge, exhibited and eaten on the bridge.
Open air performance: Flood Tide, a unique open air musical performance generated by the movement of tidal water, will be performed on Saturday 12 September. ‘Flood Tide’ is a live sonification of tidal flow. A sensor placed in the Thames reads the river’s tidal movements which are converted into musical notation and played live by an ensemble of up to 32 musicians. The piece will last 6 hours, going from low to high tide.
River Events: Highlights include, The Thames Pageant which sees a flotilla of working boats, both old and new, sail from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge. Festival-goers can also learn about London’s river history at a show-and-tell stall; join archaeological walks and make pots from Thames clay that are fired in a bonfire on the Thames foreshore by Globe Theatre.
Music & Dance: Dress up and dance at The Big Swing, the Festival’s famous Jive Stage and Al Fresco Ballroom, now in its fifth year, with workshops, exhibition dances and a host of live talent. There’s also Riverside Jazz from the F-IRE Collective; a New European music stage featuring future folk, Baltic beats and traditional gypsy sounds; and the amazing Disco Shed – a mobile disco complete with light show and visuals, housed in an ordinary garden shed!
For Families: Children and families are promised a host of exciting interactive activities at the Blue Ribbon Village at Potters Fields Park, the Festival’s environmental zone. Highlights include: Hoodwink Theatre’s production of The Pleasure Garden, a 15 minute show featuring bees, blossom, scents, extravagant characters and elegant comedy; an observational beehive housing over 2000 bees; and a flag installation by artist Shona Watt. Creative workshops include making underwater seascapes at the Natural England marquee, and making musical instruments from river rubbish with waterways charity Thames21, followed by the chance to perform as an orchestra.
Festival Finale: On the evening of Sunday 13 September over 2,000 dancers, musicians and masqueraders come from across the country with their amazing lanterns, illuminated costumes and fantastic structures to take part in the Night Procession. This will be followed by the Festival’s spectacular fireworks finale which is fired from two barges on the Thames between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges.
Thames Festival Trust / Expatica