As we gradually creep into the warmer months of the year, hoping to leave this hail-stone fuelled spring behind us and be blessed instead with blue skies and sunshine, the sensation that the season of festivals is approaching becomes ever stronger. Long summer days filled with good vibes, music, gorgeous concoctions of smells from street food gurus, and liberal dress-codes (bar a mandatory face-paint for most youngsters)...This year sees Lewisham packed with a schedule of exciting summer festivals. We’ve got week long endeavours spanning various locations and events; street-art festivals peppering the streets with colourful murals, and one-dayers that pack all the intensity of Glastonbury into 10 hours of endless fun. So here’s the round-up; flick through and check out which festivals are near to you this summer, and pop down with friends and family for a day (or week!) of festive fabulousness...
Hither Green Festival - 14th - 22nd May
Kicking the festival shenanigans off this year, with a full week-long schedule packed with activities, is the Hither Green Festival. Running from 14th - 22nd May, this eight-day bonanza is set to deliver a range of exciting and jovial activities for all to take part in. Their world food, arts, and crafts fayre will be leading the proceedings on Saturday 14th May, which is being held in the same lovely location as last year - The Clocktower Piazza at Meridian South. This iconic tower is cherished as Hither Green’s centre point, and resides just off Hither Green Lane in a quaint, hidden abode with lush greenery and trees accompanying it - ideal for a local fayre! Following this the festival quickly develops and will be hosting events such as a Plant and Seed swap; Springtime stories; a historical photography exhibition; a quiz night, and much much more. The locally famous Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet will be hosting a night on Saturday 21st for all the disco lovers, and Hither Green Cinema will also be showing a special free screening of multi-award winning documentary ‘Happy’ on Sunday 15th. Check out the rest of the exciting schedule here, and look out for their epic banners across the area, they’re quite something!
More info here.
Brockley Max - 27th May - 4th June
Once again set to take over Brockley for a nine-day projection of community arts, music, and local talent, Brockley Max returns this year from the 27th May - 4th June. Having always been an inclusive, volunteer-led festival since its beginning, Brockley Max is for one and all, and if you are a creative type or have anything you’d like to showcase at a festival, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. The opening night will be taking place on Friday 27th May from 4pm - 10:30pm, and will feature live bands, singers and dance performances. After this the festival opens up to showcase myriad works from local artists, crafts-people, musicians and more across a week long period, in various locations across Brockley. To see the full list of events, you can download their programme here. Brockley Max is sponsored by many of the great local businesses based in Brockley, Crofton Park, Ladywell, and Honor Oak, and many will be holding stalls on the final day of the festival for their ‘Art in the Park’ celebration. We have collaborated with them too to bring about the exciting Children’s Treasure Trail - a week long trail where you collect stamps from our local businesses on the scheme to help save a Hilly Fields that is under threat! Pop by our stall on the final day and say hello as we reveal who the lucky winners of the trail are!
More info here.
Brockley Street Art Festival - 27th May - 4th June
Running alongside Brockley Max this year will be the wonderful Brockley Street Art Festival, a brilliant community led arts-project that aims to showcase the fantastic murals of local, national and international artists in Brockley. Having already injected life into the high streets and side streets of Brockley from work produced at last years festival, the team behind Brockley Street Art Festival are set on adding more incredible art to the area and creating a colourful, vibrant and positive set of murals for residents to gaze at. The event is community-led, and is funded through donations to cover the costs of the festival. Donations are being accepted now, so if you want to see more fantastic artwork pepper the streets of Brockley, click here.
Manor House Gardens Festival - 18th June
Manor House Gardens Festival will be returning to entertain the people of Lee on Saturday 18th June, with more food, music, and vibes than ever before. Set in the idyllic Manor House Gardens, with its stunning lake in the middle and overlooked by Manor House library to enhance the scenery, it is set to be a great day out for friends and families. With stalls for food, drink (including special cocktails!) and not short of a bouncy castle or two, there’s fun for everyone. Live music will be pumping from noon until dusk, with a variety of local musicians and acts from all different genres and styles gracing the stage. Don’t miss out on this epic day of classic festivities. We will be manning a stall here as well so pop by and say hello!
More info here.
Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre - 18th June
After a highly successful event in 2015, Brockley Society’s Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre is another great local day festival occurring this summer in Lewisham. With plenty of stalls available, Hilly Fields will be transforming into a mini-glastonbury for a day, with music, art events and face-painting, and ample street food options occupying the slopes. Brockley society say:
“The 2015 event was a huge success. A wide range of delicious foods (hot and cold) were available, along with tasty ales (thanks to Brockley Brewery), singing and dancing, charity displays, competitions, a birds-of-prey display, fun fair, Brockley’s best bric-a-brac market by a country mile, and much more. We’re hoping to repeat the success in 2016!”
More info here.
Blythe Hill Fields Festival - 2nd July
Blythe Hill Fields Festival is happening on the 2nd July and it’s set to be a great day out for all the family. With confirmed stall-holders Malaysian Deli, The Proud Sow, and Wellness Rooms, there is good food and even better company on the slopes of one of Lewisham’s nicest parks. Offering breathtaking views of London, the location couldn’t be better; and with weather permitting, you don’t want to miss out on this potentially sunshine filled day of warmth and festivities at the beginning of July. Again we are occupying a stall as well, so come and say hello!
People's Day - 9th July - Mountsfield Park
Undoubtedly Lewisham’s biggest annual festival, People’s Day brings together all the residents of the borough for one hugely popular day in Mountsfield Park on Saturday 9th July. With various stages for music, including a large main stage where many a big name has played in the past, the vibes will be going strong from noon until 8pm. People’s Day is a council run event, and is always looking for as many people and local businesses to get involved. They say:
“This is your chance to promote your business, make contact with other community and voluntary groups or fundraise for a cause that’s important to you. Whatever your reason, with over 25,000 visitors, and now in its 32nd year, you have to be there.”
Don’t miss out on this landmark event in the already packed calendar of Lewisham Festivals this year; we’ll be there, great food will be there, music of all kinds will be there, and all this in the beautiful sunshine (fingers very crossed)...
More info here.
Sydenham Arts Summer Festival - 1st - 10th July
As part of the Sydenham Arts organisation, Sydenham Arts Summer Festival will be happening this year in the first week of July. As a community run project that has expanded over the years to offer a range of different art events and projects all year round, they are committed to providing a platform for emerging, local artists as well as bringing high quality, established artists to the area. Exact details of the festival have not yet been confirmed, but you can keep up to date with their facebook page here, or on their website for any upcoming events.
Far East Festival - 6th August
The Far East Festival 2016 is the first of its kind. The festival is an open air event happening in Mountsfield Park on the 6th August. The aim of the festival is for people to come together to discover, explore, and celebrate the vast wonders known as the Far East. With a packed and exciting schedule including cultural performances, martial arts displays, and dragon dance performances just to name a few, the festival is set to be an exhilarating yet fascinating experience for all involved. There will also be a wide range of street food stalls with authentic food, in their 'taste of the far-east' area. For more info on the festival see their website and sign up to their mail list for the latest.
There we have it! 8 great local festivals to look forward to in the coming months in Lewisham. If you know of any other local festivals happening in Lewisham this summer, be sure to let us know and we’ll try and include and post about them!
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