Visit London Blog » victoria park Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 5 Summer Festivals in London Mon, 28 Apr 2014 12:32:50 +0000 Summer festivals in London

This season is set to be a summer of fun with these scorching hot festivals. Whether you’re after serious rock in Hyde Park or prefer picnicking at Kew Gardens with Elvis Costello, throwing it about during the dance-off at LoveBox, krooning with Kanye, or dining with the stars of MasterChef at Taste of London, there’s a festival for you this summer in London.  

WHEN: 18-19 July, Victoria Park
WHAT: One of London’s favourite festivals, Lovebox returns to Victoria Park this summer with a fantastic selection of live music, top DJs and fun activities. Headliners M.I.A., Nas, Chase and Status and A$AP Rocky set the tone for gritty, cutting-edge rap and electro.  Catch some hot moves from Breakin’ Convention, Continental Drift’s Circus Re-mix and East London Dance. Get in with a range of experiences on offer:  sparkly makeovers at The Parlour or Miss Lippy Beauty, yoga classes and the legendary Dance-Off.
THE VIBE: Let the good times roll.

Taste of London

Taste of London
WHEN: 19-22 June, Regent’s Park
WHAT: The annual Taste of London festival is a foodie haven with four days of fabulous summer eating, drinking and more. As well as sampling the dishes and meeting the chefs from your favourite London restaurants including Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galleti from MasterChef, avant garde cupcake queen Lili Vanilli and Tom Kerridge from the Hand & Flowers, the festival serves up cooking demos, wine tastings, and innovative cookery how-tos such as sushi making and Champagne appreciation.
THE VIBE: Very tasty indeed.

Black Sabbath

Barclaycard British Summer Time
WHEN: 4-13 July, Hyde Park
WHAT: British Summer Time takes over Hyde Park in Central London for a big week of R.O.C.K. with something for everyone, depending on your taste. Catch metal gods Black Sabbath with Soundgarden and Faith No More on 4 July; The Libertines with the Pogues on 5 July; Neil Young and Crazy Horse on 12 July; and king of crooners Tom Jones with Boyzone and Little Mix on the 13th. Festival faves McBusted also take to the stage this year with the Backstreet Boys on 6 July.
THE VIBE: It’s all about the music.

Wireless Festival. Picture by Andrew Whitton

WHEN: 4-6 July, Finsbury Park
WHAT: This year, the popular Wireless Festival has a new home. Taking up residence in North London’s Finsbury Park, Wireless promises a cool lineup including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Drake, Rudimental, Bruno Mars and Outkast. With excellent transport links from Finsbury Park station and gates open from midday, Wireless promises three days of smooth tunes for your aural pleasure.
THE VIBE: Kool Kanye comes to North London.

Kew the Music

Kew The Music
WHEN: 16-20 July, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
WHAT: Kew the Music offers up a summer bonanza of music and performance against the beautiful backdrop of Kew Gardens. This year you can catch a coveted solo performance from Elvis Costello, enjoy feel-good favourites Bjorn Again, crowd pleaser Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, 80s megastars Simple Minds and the musical comic stylings of Bill Bailey.
THE VIBE: Laid-back listening in stunning surrounds.

What’s your pick of this summer’s festivals in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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What’s On This Weekend: 19-21 July 2013 Mon, 15 Jul 2013 09:00:33 +0000

It’s a wonderful weekend to be outdoors, whether that’s at a music festival, cricket match or even the cinema!

The Second Investec Ashes Test at Lords Cricket Ground

See top cricketers from England and Australia battle it out in the second Test of one of sporting’s most celebrated contests. Started in 1882, the biennial Ashes series alternates between Australia and England – but the degree of rivalry remains constant! Comprised of five Test matches, played at different English venues over the summer, the 2013 Ashes will be an absorbing spectacle watched by millions across the world. This weekend the competition takes place at Lord’s, one of the world’s most famous cricket grounds whose history dates back to the 1700s. Tickets start from £58. 18-21 Jul

Alexandra Park’s 150th Anniversary Celebration

London is full of incredible green spaces, and the 196-acre Alexandra Park is no exception. Opened in 1863, the park not only boasts panoramic views of London, but also a deer park, horse racing course, boating lake, miniature Japanese village and much more. On Sunday you can celebrate the park’s long history with a variety of free family activities and entertainment, provided by local businesses, entertainers and community groups. Activities take place from 11am to 4pm. 21 Jul

Redemption: An Alcohol-Free Bar

England’s capital is full of great bars, breweries and distilleries, but if you’re in the mood for an alcohol-free evening why not head to Redemption, a pop-up alcohol-free bar? Serving healthy raw food, delicious deserts and a variety of mocktails, this is a great venue for those looking for an alternative way to party. The first Redemption takes place in Bethnal Green’s Netil House for 10 consecutive Sundays. Just don’t confuse it with the brewery of the same name! Starts Sunday 21 Jul

The Nomad Cinema, Various Venues

Dubbed ‘one of London’s best outdoor cinemas’, The Nomad Cinema is back with another great line-up of classic, cult and mainstream films. You can see everything from School of Rock to The Lost Boys in some very special London locations, including Brompton Cemetery and the Hyde Park Lido. The screenings all have a fun, festival feel and you can buy snacks and cocktails to enjoy with the film. What’s more, 100% of the profit goes to The Sustainability Institute charity in South Africa. Screenings vary, see the website for full details and ticket prices. Until 21 Sep

Lovebox Festival, Victoria Park

See the likes of Goldfrapp, Plan B and Annie Mac at Lovebox, one of London’s most popular summer festivals. As well as three days of performances by top musical artists across multiple stages, you can enjoy theatrical and art installations, as well as an array of delicious food and drink. Tickets start from £43.45. 19-21 Jul

More London events

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As One in the Park at Victoria Park Thu, 30 May 2013 11:00:57 +0000 Katy B performs at As One in the Park

On Sunday London’s LGBT community and I descended on a sunny Victoria Park for the debut of brand new gay festival As One in the Park.

Victoria Park played host to two festivals at the weekend, starting with Field Day on Saturday, followed by As One, the first large-scale gay music festival in London for over a decade.

The weather was on our side as the sun beat down on a sea of colourful, flamboyant festivalgoers.

Most of my day was spent enjoying the music by the main stage, kicking off with Celebrity Big Brother winner and the X Factor’s comical finalist Rylan, who presented part of the day and welcomed us to “Vicky Park.” He had the crowd chanting his name as he did his own version of Gangnam Style and a Spice Girls mash up. Another X Factor performance came from Union J − whose set included several covers from the show plus their debut single ‘Carry You’

Katy B had everyone up on their feet dancing, to her top hits, including Aaliyah – which led into a couple of covers of the late artist. Plus special guest Holly Johnson made his first London appearance for several years, appearing on the stage in his glittery suit and had the crowd singing along to Power of Love.

Elsewhere festivalgoers enjoyed a selection of activities from the dance tents to the dodgems, and were entertained by Cabaret at Madame JoJo’s, including burlesque and drag acts, who wore some killer heels!

Brit nominee Rita Ora pulled the biggest crowd of the day as she closed the festival in a pair

of smiley faced trousers and sung her number one singles, Hot Right Now, How we Do and R.I.P.

As One in the Park is a fun day out –whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender… or even straight, if it’s a glitzy, extravagant festival you are after, this is the one for you.

If you missed As One in the Park or just can’t wait till next year, check out the other festivals in London this summer.

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Hair to Celebrate: Amazing London 2012 Hair Sculptures Sat, 11 Aug 2012 10:40:37 +0000

If you still haven’t donned a Union Flag or red, white and blue face paint, don’t worry, there’s still time to support Team GB. And perhaps you can take inspiration from these amazing hair scultpures and get creative with your follicles?

Catalan street theatre company Osadia have been working their magic at the BT London Live site in Victoria Park, combining hair sculpting skills with performance art.

Models Juliet Cook, Chris Wilkinson and Josie Todd above demonstrate just some of Osadia’s creations, celebrating the Games and London’s famous landmarks including Big Ben and a red telephone box.

Osadia: Whose Hair Dares” is part of Showtime, a free festival of events from the Mayor of London Presents programme, which continues until 9 September.

Let us know how you are celebrating the London 2012 Games in the comments section below.

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Where to Watch the Olympic Closing Ceremony in London Sat, 11 Aug 2012 09:00:23 +0000
Make sure you celebrate the London 2012 Games in style with the official Closing Ceremony on Sunday night. It’s been a fantastic fortnight of sport for London, with Team GB making us all very proud, so here are some place to party as we hand the baton over to Rio!

Royal Greenwich
Enjoy the closing ceremony at one of Royal Greenwich’s big screens. There’ll also be some local Olympic fireworks on the night. The Screens can be found at the Old Royal Navy College, General Gordon Square and the Tudor Barn.

BT London Live, Victoria Park
We’ve loved the atmosphere everytime we’ve been to Victoria Park during the Games. Make sure you’re there for one last hurrah as the big screens show the Olympic Closing Ceremony from 7pm. There’ll be performances from Cuttashine Hoedown and Kidnap Alice; if there are fireworks in the Olympic Stadium, you might well be able to spot them from Victoria Park in person as well as on screen. Entry is free.

London’s National Olympic Houses
There’ll be parties aplenty at the various National Olympic Houses set up by visiting nations across the city. You can see a list of the houses here, and read our reviews of the venues here.

Haggerston Park screening; Hackney
You can watch all the action of big screens from 9 til 11.30pm in Haggerston Park in Hackney, not far from the Olympic Park: again, if there are fireworks, you’ll be well-placed to perhaps catch a glimpse over the East London rooftops.

Lewisham Big Screen in Blackheath
Starting from 7pm, you can enter the Blackheath Closing Ceremony for free. The South London site also offers a mirrored Spiegeltent with food, a bar and lives entertainment.

The Water Poet, Spitalfields
Multiple big screens will be available throughout the Spitalfields pub, capturing all the live action throughout the evening. The best seats will be in The Water Poet’s basement cinema. Arrive early and enjoy their barbecue in the garden from 4pm. No tickets or booking required.

Forman’s Fish Island, Hackney Wick
Located just 100m outside the Olympic Park, Forman’s Fish Island has been taken over by the Maddox Club during the Olympics. As well as a big outdoor screen showing all the Closing Ceremony antics, there’s beach volleyball, and super tasty treats courtesy of the Maddox Club chefs. Entry on the night of the Closing Ceremony is £25.

BBC Big Screens
The BBC’s BigScreens@LiveSites in Walthamstow Town Square and General Gordon Square, Woolwich will also be showing the Closing Ceremony.

Where will you be watching? Let us know in the comments below.

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What’s On in London This Weekend: 10-12 August 2012 Fri, 10 Aug 2012 15:00:25 +0000 The London 2012 Olympic Games may be drawing to a close, but events aren’t slowing down in London. Our top events this weekend allow you to master Indian drumming, sip 800 beers or take on an outdoor tango.

London International Arts Festival
Nearly 2,000 international music acts applied to perform at the first ever London International Arts Festival, but only 14 were selected to play at Grade II listed Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford this weekend. They hail from countries as varied as Cyprus and Serbia and include Dhruv Ensemble, a London-based South Indian youth orchestra and Latin-Balkan beat band La Internacional Sonora Balkanera. Workshops in nearby Vine Church Hall on Saturday mean you could come away schooled in Indian drumming or Mexican traditional music. Concert tickets start from £8 and workshops are £5.
10-12 Aug

London Live
It’s the last few days of the Olympics and there’s a good chance Team GB medallists will drop into the two London Live sites at Hyde Park and Victoria Park. Both are great spots to catch the final events on big screens in a festival atmosphere: Hyde Park is home to the interactive chocolate experience that is Cadbury House, while Victoria Park boasts a 55m-high observation wheel, bungee trampolines and the zip wire that Boris Johnson recently got stuck on. The sites are free but book online for guaranteed entry before 2pm.
Until 12 Aug

Great British Beer Festival
It’s big, it’s British, and it’s full of beer. The Olympia Exhibition Centre becomes one enormous pub for this annual celebration of the good old pint. More than 800 British real ales, ciders, perries, and foreign beers will be available to sample – though we don’t suggest you try them all. You can learn about the brewing industry from producers, or just choose a glass (a third, half or a full pint) and get tasting.
Until 11 Aug

Dance Al Fresco in Regent’s Park
Head to Regent’s Park for a spot of outdoor dancing at Dance Al Fresco. DJ Jacky Logan will lead “The Broadwalk Ballroom” on Saturday, taking visitors through some Latin, salsa, line dancing and more, while Sunday’s session is dedicated to the Argentinean tango. Both days kick off at 1pm with a class for beginners, followed by a demonstration at 4.30pm and dancing until 6pm. Tickets are £10 and proceeds go to the Royal Parks Foundation charity.
11-12 Aug

Where will you be this weekend? Let us know by commenting below.

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BT London Live Site: Victoria Park Wonders Tue, 07 Aug 2012 15:00:55 +0000 Ferris Wheel at BT London Live Victoria Park Aurora - one of the Mayor of London Presents: Wonders Drip - There Is An Island Bloom, one of the Mayor of London Presents: Wonders Zipwire at Victoria Park The Universal Tea Machine

Watching the Olympic Games from the comfort of your own lounge is fun, but nothing quite compares to cheering on the athletes with a like-minded crowd. And, short of actually being there at the stadia, the BT London Live Sites are an excellent place to catch all the action, with a fun festival atmosphere and some cool art to boot.

Victoria Park Livesite on “Super Sunday” of the Games was just warming up when I arrived around noon. By the time I left at 5pm, just after Murray’s triumphant tennis gold, the site was buzzing with fans. Luckily the space is huge so you could still stake out a spot, although I imagine by Bolt’s 100m sprint final at 9.50pm it was pretty packed.

During the day, people were zipping down the zip line, lining up for the Ferris wheel, bouncing high on bungee trampolines and playing Ping Pong. Kids enjoyed the free sport-themed entertainments of sumo suits, mechanical horseriding, fixed cycles that plot your speed, hockey, water zorbing and child-sized bungee trampolines.

As well as all this, the Victoria Park Live Site hosts four of the Mayor of London’s Wonders – free interactive art installations – that are really worth looking out for. First I spotted Aurora, a gently lit hoop canopy reminiscent of Olympic rings. Next was Bloom, a fantastic hot pink structure-in-progress. With three “cells” of pink backbones laid out and piles of chunky plastic bits to slot in wherever and whenever you wish, this was a fun art-as-play meccano set for people of any age to enjoy. Next to Bloom was Drip - There Is An Island, which grows stalactites and creepers using a clever water flow system. Down near the largest big screen was the Universal Tea Machine, which works on binary mathematics to create the perfect cup of tea. The artworks are part of the Mayor of London’s Summer Like No Other programme.

If you’re keen to visit Victoria Park livesite, you’ll find a good mix between families with youngsters and buggies spending a relatively uncrowded morning/afternoon and more of a party atmosphere as it gets towards evening. My tip would be arrive early to avoid the worst queues (especially if you’re coming with kids) and enjoy!

Have you watched the Olympics at one of the BT London livesites or on another big screen in London? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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The Big Busk, Playing at a London Bandstand Near You Sat, 04 Aug 2012 13:30:01 +0000

London’s largest ever street music competition, The Big Busk sees young musicians and singers from across the capital performing in iconic venues for your pleasure – and your votes.

Running from 21 July to 25 August, the big buskers are cropping up all over London. Venues include The British Music Experience, BT London Live sites at Hyde Park and Victoria Park, and the Clapham Common Bandstand.

In case you don’t happen to catch all of the performers on your travels, you can see them online and vote for your favourite. The three categories are Youth, Soloists and Duos and Groups. Check out the performances so far at Prizes include studio time, musical instruments, a scholarship and (appropriately) a Transport for London busking licence.

Have you seen any of the Big Busk performers? Who do you think should win?

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Victoria Park Prepares for the Opening Ceremony Fri, 27 Jul 2012 17:04:12 +0000

This morning as the Olympic Flame made its way up the Thames to Central London, I headed east to the Victoria Park BT London Livesite to take a look around.

The Victoria Park site, like the Hyde Park version, is a huge fenced off area that features giant screens, and a load of other entertainment. This includes some of the Mayor of London Presents “Wonder” installations – Aurora, Bloom, Drip and The Universal Tea Machine- which I was actually hoping to see for myself, not realising they’d be tucked away inside with no public access at such an early hour. I did, however, get to check out the impressive World in London photographic exhibition that’s now displayed on the outside fence.

With tonight’s Opening Ceremony expected to be one of the most popular events at the Livesites, there was a definite feeling of excitement in the air, even at 11am. Guaranteed-entry tickets for tonight’s BT London Livesite in Victoria Park are all sold out. If you’re lucky enough to have one, gates open at 4pm .

However, the beauty of this venue is that up to 10,000 people will also get in free this evening from 7pm on a first come, first served basis. In true British fashion, a queue was already forming by noon today, so we suggest getting down there fairly quicksmart if you’d like to attend this evening’s festivities.

Organisers wanted people to know that they won’t be allowed to bring anything into the site such as food, drinks or chairs (baby food is allowed), but everything is available to buy inside.

BT London Live Victoria Park One of the big screens at the BT London Livesite in Victoria Park BT Livesite Workers (L-R) Martin Cowan, Lewis Coates and Josh Nuttall Ferris wheel at the BT London Livesite in Victoria Park A glimpse of Olympic Park from Victoria Park Olympics fans arrive to join the queue at Victoria Park Livesite The queue for free tickets at 11.30am 27 July The World in London photographic exhibit at Victoria Park World in London at Victoria Park

Here’s our list of Places to Watch the Opening Ceremony. Where are you watching it? Let us know in the comments below.

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Free 2012 Events Outside Central London Wed, 11 Jul 2012 15:00:54 +0000
The Olympic Stadium isn’t in Central London, and neither are all the celebrations for the Games: London’s outer boroughs are also putting on fantastic shows to mark London 2012. Here’s just a taste of what’s happening.

Richmond has a plethora of London 2012 events thanks to the Mayor of London’s Showtime festival, which is visiting Richmond Riverside on its tour. Visit the outdoor arts festival on 22 July to catch acts including kids performers Plunge Boom, who could invite audiences to pet vegetables in Victorian prams for their act the Vegetable Nannies. Choreographer Rosie Whitney-Fish will be offering dance workshops from 4-5 August for the Dear Lido project (also part of Showtime) at the borough’s  Diamond Jubilee Gardens. If you want a rest after the exercise, there will also be vintage tea parties.

The Olympic torch relay will reach Brentford at 11.40am on 24 July, which calls for a gold-themed celebration. Stilt-walking dragons, jugglers and living statues will turn Brentford Market Place into a carnival. Sit on some hay bales around the main stage for the final two-hour programme of live music including jazz, pop and reggae.

Victoria Park is the setting for the Labyrinth Youth Festival on 28 July – once again thanks to the Mayor’s Showtime festival. One stage will be dedicated to local performers and another will have an open mic session and DJs for young people with learning disabilities. You’ll bump into other acts all over Victoria Park, including the fabulous paper hats of Chapeau Magique and the RASPO Steel Orchestra, one of the UK’s leading steel drum ensembles.

Redbridge is not being put off by the fact that the Olympic Torch relay arrives in the borough at 7.19am on 22 July. It’s celebrations for the arrival of the torch are particularly impressive, including a dawn chorus, breakfast barbeques, a mass Tai Chi display and early morning sports, should you be so inclined. It is also celebrating the arrival of the Paralympic torch on the evening of 29 August with sports and arts activities in a Paralympics Extravaganza Festival in Ilford Town Centre from 2pm that day.

Will you be celebrating the Games away from the centre of London? Let us know how below.

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