It’s amazing when a so-far-forgotten corner of London starts to come to life. Last Spring, the Greenwich Peninsula green was transformed for a free day of fun, food and festivities, thanks to the Urban Village Fete. Organised in association with Hemingway Design, the event saw the traditional village fair get something of a contemporary makeover fit for an urban audience.
The fete returns on the 15th May celebrating the best in design, music, art, innovative events and modern craftsmanship, all set within the flourishing Peninsula Gardens — designed by Alys Fowler and Thomas Hoblyn in collaboration with Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio.
The free day out will feature a range of designer marketplaces, street food, design hubs, artist interventions, diverse events, art and design workshops, walkabout entertainment, music, dance classes and pop-ups.
We suggest you round up the troops. There’s interactive workshops and cultural activities for all ages, ranging from 1Drum’s en-masse drumming workshop and Marawa’s Majorettes group hoola hooping sessions (we guarantee you’ll be hooked), to French artist Paul Henri’s spectacular paper hat workshops — stand out from the crowd!
Tick off your dream of being a DJ for the day with the Charity Shop DJs who are pros at making parties happen in unexpected places. Look out for immersive performances from the National Youth Theatre; oversized metallic slinkies; and brass band music mayhem courtesy of Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, a group who pay homage to the die-hard days of the Hacienda and 90s club culture.
It’s an anarchic, street extravaganza, bursting with colour and unfailingly rousing audiences — trust us, you’ll be drawn into the joyful frenzy. This bonanza of shows will be joined by interactive workshops, such as the Henningham Family Press — visitors to the fete will be thrown together in teams to labour on the screen-printing production line, and the currency you print can be exchanged in the locale.
The upcycled marketplace will show off the beauty to be found in repurposed materials and items. Highlights include Split Tin’s guitars and banjos, which are made from vintage sweet and biscuit tins; handmade, vibrant woven baskets by Mahika; and sustainable knitwear by Katie Jones, who teams playful aesthetics with serious ethics. And then there are the designers and makers: don’t miss products by Tom Dixon, known for his innovative British craftsmanship and covetable copper pendant lights.
Also on show are handsome, practical objects via J Glinert; hand-blown bespoke glass and bone china lighting by Curiousa & Curiousa; wooden kitchen utensils by Grain and Knot; and handmade, functional ceramics by Tilly Hemingway.
Gourmands are exceptionally well catered for, and there’s plenty of produce on offer to stock your cupboard: madeleines by Madame Mérillou, olive oil by Koko and Tree, teas by Twig, chocolate by Cocoa Runners, charcuterie by Black Hand Food, sweets and treats by Hardihood, bread by Lonzo, and cute treats by the Marshmallowist. In a nod to tradition, a ringmaster, Paul Martin, will be on hand to introduce the happenings of the day’s programming over the festive hubbub. Enjoy!