Bermondsey Street FESTIVAL

Take to the streets on Saturday 21st September 2013! by Chloe Hodge


this year, from 11am on 21st September, this jam packed day of entertaining and eclectic events returns for a seventh time. Last year the festival hosted fifteen events and over one hundred and fifty stalls and, due to an announcement from a local radio station, saw an unprecedented number of visitors swarm into Bermondsey to catch outdoor entertainment in the blazing sunshine. As the area grows in popularity, the festival grows in size and scale; this year promising more food, fashion, live performances and family friendly fun than ever before!

This enormous event is organised by volunteers and includes everyone from small craftspeople to the Fashion and Textile Museum. It is sponsored by Think Apartments, a prime example of a local business conscious of maintaining the area’s community essence, having supported Bermondsey Street Festival for the past five years and now looking to reach out even further to the area’s primary schools and homeless charity, the Manna Centre.

With maypole dancing, the infamous dog show and a tug of war, stalls from local gourmet eateries and a catwalk featuring the latest fashions, Bermondsey Street Festival really does have something for everyone; it is traditional village fete meets contemporary London. traditional village fete meets contemporary London.

“traditional village fete meets contemporary London


With their head office based on this tiny street, the IdeasTap team includes performers such as theatre groups, spoken word artists and multi-disciplinary dancers who will be entertaining crowds from the Performance Stage.

Hosted by Rhyme Intrinsica in aid of the Bliss charity, the music tent will be alive with the sounds of ska, reggae and funk – ever popular and guaranteed to have you pounding the pavements!

A peaceful space to enjoy a picnic set to an acoustic soundtrack, featuring a range of singersongwriters, small ensembles, spoken-word artists, choirs, contemporary dance and scratch theatre companies.

Set to the tunes of a live DJ, models showcasing garments from local designers such as Marmalade, Pussy Willow and Susie Stone will march up and down the red carpet of Leathermarket Street from 3-4pm.

From some of its events, the Bermondsey Street festival could be mistaken for a country fayre; in the grounds of this church children can join in with traditional games whilst the adults enjoy a slice of homemade cake or try their luck at the tombola.

As well as holding a vast array of market stalls, it is here that under- 12s can join in with the fancy dress competition. After the winners are announced, kids can practise maypole dancing – led by the seriously enthusiastic Donna Maria. Later in the evening this leafy park will be transformed into an outdoor cinema, allowing you to enjoy a vintage film whilst tasting all of the delicious morsels you’ve picked up throughout the day.

For the past six festivals, Dads, pub owners and policemen alike have gathered here to prove their strength with the old English favourite, tug of war. Enjoy a post-tug pint from the Tanner Street Park beer tent whilst the kids explore the crafts areas and visit the animals of the Surrey Docks City Farm petting zoo.

Each year this treasured event sees city hounds – dressed in ridiculous attire – dance, roll over and beg for first prize. You can register with your pooch at the pets’ fashion boutique Holli and Lil, and the show runs from 1-3pm in Tanner Street Park.

This portable bike-drawn cart of DIY electrics may look haphazard, but last year it kept Black Swan Yard partying right through from 11am ‘til close, and promises to do so again this year.

The talented restaurateurs of Bermondsey Street make this festival a food lover’s dream, holding stalls selling Argentinian, Italian, Greek and Indian delicacies, as well as a selection of fine wines, French patisseries and delicious cakes. Master chef Jose Pizarro, co-founder of tapas chain Brindisa and owner of both Jose’s and Pizarro, will also be adding a little Spanish charm by serving up traditional albondigas (meatballs) and jamón to festival goers.

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