Bankside Open Spaces Festival countdown

  • Date Friday, 26 May 2023
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Kate Turnbull

Better Bankside is delighted to be one of the lead sponsor’s of a free festival that is coming to the neighbourhood on 10 June!

The Bankside Open Spaces Festival will take place on 10 June from 12noon – 9pm and is welcoming a genre-busting music and entertainment line-up to Union Street and surrounding areas.

From its Latina opening to a dance after party, the free and unticketed Bankside Open Spaces Festival will have four music and performance stages, and the festival will have a vibe to suit all tastes and all ages.

Looking to dance in the street? Check out Alma Casa/EXT Radio’s DJ Stage down Redcross Way with six sets, live sax and drums, firedancers, bubble artists and two MCs all putting on a show from a huge glitterball.

Seeking a musical journey from roots to rock & roll or rocksteady via funk, rhythm ‘n’ blues and ska? The Main Stage is for you, opening with four Latina dance groups before segueing into six varied sets featuring the likes of Art Terry and the Black Bohemians, Ese & and The Voodoo people, Sister Cookie and returning headliners, Cosimo Matassa Project and The Brothers Ignatius. The Main Stage is a festival in its own right, and with street food and bars nearby, there’s no need to move, unless…

Hoping for a bit of chill? Why not bumble over to Red Cross Garden, take a seat among the verdant planting and enjoy a bit of alt-folk, Americana, delta blues or indie pop from a line-up of six London artists, interspersed with spoken word performances. Headliner Rob Corcoran returns to this bandstand stage – a favourite on the UK folk circuit. You can even enjoy the dog show, meet some bees, learn about early surgery from the Old Operating Theatre, grab a free massage or tackle a spot of yoga while you’re there.

And for the active and community minded, head over to Marlborough Sports Garden’s Community Stage for a mix of community choirs and performers, plus free dance workshops – surely this is the only festival where you can learn an Irish jig, salsa and tango all in one day? There’s a chance to kick back, too, with sets from the London International Gospel Choir and Brixton Chamber Orchestra in-between activities.

Across the festival, local craft stalls and free activities and workshops will keep all ages busy and entertained. There’s a beach, free sports coaching and plenty of craft for the kids, plant stalls and a BIG plant giveaway for the green fingered, art workshops for the busy, bars for the thirsty, street food for the foodies and a dog show for the barky! (The Little Dorrit Dog Show returns for its 7th year with pampered pooches judged by festival favourite and BBC Radio London’s dog expert Anna Webb).

The free Bankside Open Spaces Festival is the perfect way to welcome in the summer festival season. See you on the streets exploring everything that makes south of the river so special – 10 June 12-9pm!

Keep an eye on Bankside Open Spaces Trust’s social media channels for updates:
Instagram @bostse1
Twitter @BOSTSE1
Or visit

About Bankside Open Spaces Festival
Bankside Open Spaces Festival is made possible through partners and funding – the trust has received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, The Arts Council, Southwark Council and Better Bankside. The DJ stage is curated by London based promoters Alma Casa. The festival’s media partner is EXT Radio.

About Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST)
Bankside Open Spaces Trust is an environmental and volunteering charity. In 2020 we celebrated 20 years of protecting, preserving and enhancing parks, gardens and other amenities in London’s SE1 and surrounding areas. We manage and maintain open spaces, welcome volunteers from both the community and the corporate sector, run regular gardening groups, support park steering groups, organise and take part in public events and educational projects, and offer advice to others. We collaborate closely with local residents and businesses to champion green spaces.

Thousands of people enjoy our open spaces every day. Each of our sites is unique, with its own atmosphere, identity and sense of place. Our spaces include Red Cross Garden, Marlborough Sports Garden, Waterloo Millennium Green and Tate Community Garden.