BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL 2016 LONDON (19 – 23 OCTOBER)
Bloomsbury Festival 2016 London October 19 to 23 october
For hundreds of years, Bloomsbury has been catalyst for ideas that have had impact across the world. Bloomsbury Festival celebrates contemporary Bloomsbury; a hotbed of creativity and pioneering development which has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the country.
For five days in October, Bloomsbury will be full to the brim with artistic, scientific and literary events for all ages and tastes, from breakfast until late in the evenings taking place in the streets, parks, museums, galleries, laboratories and public and (normally) private buildings of this vibrant cultural quarter. There will be over 150 events created with over 100 partners.
Inspired by the centenary of SOAS and with Bloomsbury residents reflecting one of highest levels of diversity in the UK, the theme selected for this year’s festival is Language. Language comes in many forms; speech, symbols, non-verbal communication, performance language, dance notation, morse code, sign language, computer code. Language will be explored throughout all the events; from the cuneiform inscriptions on tablets of clay at the British Museum inspiring a collaboration by an artist and historian, to investigations of Legal and medical ‘languages’ that are used in many firms and laboratories and hospitals in Bloomsbury.
Baroness Valerie Amos, Director of SOAS says: ‘As we celebrate 100 years of SOAS teaching and research, we are delighted that the Bloomsbury Festival’s theme this year is dedicated to language. SOAS is a special place with its unique blend of languages, regional and discipline expertise. We are proud of our Bloomsbury location and, with the addition of Senate House North Block, the growth of our Bloomsbury Campus. As we look forward to the next 100 years, we will continue to play a central role in the cultural and creative life of the area.’
Kate Anderson, Bloomsbury Festival director says ‘Bloomsbury Festival is unique, as is the area of Bloomsbury in which leading institutions and world-class creative organisations rub shoulders with primary schools and lawyers. We make the Festival with over 100 Bloomsbury partners, providing opportunities for unusual collaborations and development opportunities for all. The result is a very distinctive festival indeed! And with over 150 events including all art forms, science, architecture, walks, technology, outdoor music, debating and hubs focusing on families, I think we can safely say there is something for everyone at Bloomsbury Festival.
A few of this year’s headline events include Coram’s Songs, a promenade performance set in the known and secret spaces around the Foundling Hospital. 2016 marks the 275th anniversary of the Foundling Hospital and the 80th anniversary of Coram’s Fields. Created by director Emma Bernard in partnership with renowned composers including Jocelyn Pook, Orlando Gough, Michael Henry and Melanie Pappenheim, Coram’s Songs is inspired by this unique seven acre, greenfield site in central London that has been preserved as a sanctuary for children for circa 300 years.
Step Out Store Street will be a night-time street party with a twist: the street will be transformed by an array of artists and dancers, showcasing and teaching different dance disciplines from around the world, from Bollywood to BBoy and Swing to Line dancing. Pa-BOOM’s fiery pyrotechnic art installations will make a welcome return and the event will also feature a premiere of a new street dance commission from acclaimed dancer Tony Adigun’s Avant Garde Youth Dance Company. The street’s eclectic mix of boutiques, shops and restaurants will each house a different art, music and dance experience and an abundance of street food and bars will be available.
Other headline events will include The Last Whisperers at the British Museum, Calling Tree in St George’s Gardens, a specially curated programme at The Wellcome Trust, Goodensemble and ENO at Goodenough College, and SOAS’ World Music Stage inside the newly opened north block of Senate House.
The festival centres around three main hub venues Goodenough college, UCL, and Conway Hall with activities also taking place at a further 20+ satellite venues including the Wellcome Trust, the British Museum, the British Library, Pushkin House, Charles Dickens Museum, Coram’s Fields, the Music Room, Bloomsbury Hotel, the Curzon Bloomsbury, and Store Street. There will be lunchtime events Wed 19 – Fri 21 for locals and workers to attend and breakfast events and talks in local cafes.
Every year the Festival runs a competition for BA (Hons) Graphic Communication Design, Central Saint Martin’s students to design the festival logo. This year’s winning entry is by Wies van der Wal which the judges felt illustrated the theme of language, the coming together of ideas and joy of the Festival perfectly.
Key Dates and Times:
Festival Dates: Wednesday 19 October to Sunday 23 October, throughout the day, everyday
Coram’s Songs: Wednesday 19 October, evening and repeated during the Festival, Coram’s Fields, 93 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1DN
Step Out Store Street: Friday October 21 2016, 6.30pm to 9.30pm, Store Street, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7DH, Free outdoor event, just turn up
Coram’s Fields, 93 Guilford St, London WC1N 1DN, Camden
Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ, Camden
Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB, Camden
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Store Street WC1E 7DB, Camden
UCL Gower St, London WC1E 6BT
Bloomsbury is an area of the London Borough of Camden, in central London, between Euston Road and Holborn, developed by the Russell family in the 17th and 18th centuries into a fashionable residential area. It is notable for its array of garden squares, literary connections (exemplified by the Bloomsbury Group), and numerous cultural, educational and health-care institutions.
Established in 2006, Bloomsbury Festival is a creative explosion of arts, science, literature, culture and fun throughout the streets, parks, museums, galleries, laboratories and public and (normally) private buildings of this vibrant cultural quarter. For hundreds of years Bloomsbury has been a catalyst for ideas that have had impact across the world.
Bloomsbury Festival celebrates contemporary Bloomsbury; a hotbed of creativity and pioneering development which has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the country. Created with its extraordinary community including more libraries, museums, and educational establishments than any other part of the city, the Festival acts as catalyst bringing together its diverse population, and as a spur to develop new projects and new ideas. Each year, the Festival attracts an audience of around 50,000 people.