Bloomsbury Festival Programme Announced

The programme for London’s Bloomsbury Festival has been announced: a weekend of live music, theatre, dance, walks, talks and food this October. Bringing together The British Museum, Wellcome Collection and more than 60 other venues, The Bloomsbury Festival takes over the parks, squares and buildings of the area with a unique programme of more than 100 events and activities, all of which are free to attend.

Bloomsbury’s numerous squares will be brought to life with events including SOAS’s World Music Stage in Russell Square, featuring a programme of world class international music throughout Saturday. Brunswick Square will be the site of an interactive art installation with unusual swings in the trees encouraging playful engagement with the surroundings. On Sunday afternoon Lamb’s Conduit Street will be buzzing with the Holborn Street Party, with music, entertainment and food and drink from local producers and chefs.

There will be opportunities to uncover the secret stories and hidden spaces of Bloomsbury on a range of guided walks, with a secret tour of Charles Holden’s iconic Art Deco building, Senate House; a walk led by author Richard Barnett (Medical London) for Wellcome Collection exploring stories of fame, addiction and disease and an exploration of the grisly history of St George’s Gardens complete with tales of bodysnatching, poisonings and executions amongst the tours.

Families will be well catered for with a programme of activities including a street dance competition hosted by Arlene Phillips, a glorious night time lantern parade, a chance to meet Axel Shleffer (illustrator of The Gruffalo and The Stick Man), digital workshops at the British Museum, mask making workshops, football training for under sevens, and a day of arts, crafts and cookery devoted to the humble apple!

Bloomsbury is one of London’s most culturally rich corners, with thirteen of the world’s leading museums and galleries situated along ‘Museum Mile’ which runs through the heart of the area, including The Brunei Gallery, the Charles Dickens Museum and the Foundling Museum. Bloomsbury is also London’s academic hub, with many universities and schools situated here, including leading creative education establishments such as Central St Martins, The Place and RADA.


Friday 22nd October, 18:00-20:00
Lantern Procession
Watch night-time Russell Square come alive with light and music for the opening of the Bloomsbury Festival!
Russell Square

Saturday 23rd October, ALL DAY
South Asian cultural celebrations
One day family festival bringing together the local South Asian community and SOAS. Activities include: a South Asian food market with Holborn Community Association and exhibitions of large scale artworks from the Mary Ward Centre created over several years with the local community in partnership with the Camden Bangladesh Mela as well as new work made for the Bloomsbury Festival. Free drop in workshops in henna hand painting, embroidery and art will also be on offer for all the family, as well as film screening, lectures, dance and music performances. The event takes place at SOAS, on the north west corner of Russell Square.

Saturday 23rd October, 10:00-19:00
SOAS World Music Stage
A highlight of the Bloomsbury Festival 2010; SOAS’s world music expert brings the colour and excitement of a world class international programme of music to Russell Square: not to be missed.
Russell Square

Saturday 23rd October, 10:30-12:30
Arlene Phillips’ Bloomsbury Dancing Stars
Arlene Phillips judges an exciting street dance competition for children in local schools along with Debbie Moore from Pineapple Studios to help celebrate the launch of her new series of books for children, ‘Alana Dancing Star’.
St Pancras International Station

Saturday 23rd October, 12:00-16:00
Apple Day
A whole day centred around the humble but glorious apple at the wonderful community garden of the Calthorpe Project: a celebration of British apples through a number of activities for the whole family. Activities will include apple tasting, making juice with a press, games like apple bobbing and apple on a string, a cake/apple pie baking competition (prizes for the winners!), making apple recipes in the kitchen and outdoor clay over and apple arts and crafts.
Calthorpe Project

Sunday 24th October, 16:00-21:00
Street Party hosted by Holborn Community Association
Holborn street party: the closing event for the 2010 Bloomsbury Festival will see Lamb’s Conduit Street alive with a modern version of the traditional London street celebration, under canvas, with music and entertainment and delicious food available all from local food producers / chefs – including halal and vegetarian. Or you can bring your own food! Open bar selling beers, wine and soft drinks. All welcome to join in the party, surprise competition and prizes! Hosted by Holborn Community Association, Bedford House, Emerald Street. If nasty weather we move next door into Holborn Community Association in Bedford House (in Emerald Street).
Lamb’s Conduit Street

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