There are many reasons to enjoy life in Greenwich, but cultural events are a massive attraction. Stylish homes, easy commuter options and plenty of greenery are vital factors, as is the provision of good schools. However, alongside the functional reasons to live in an area, people need social and cultural attractions, which Greenwich delivers all year round.
It was natural that many people feared the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival would be postponed this year. As one of the largest outdoor arts festivals in the capital, a lot of people look forward to the event. However, with social distancing measures in place and genuine concerns about when large crowds can congregate safely again, some thought the festival would take a break this year.
The festival celebrates its 25th anniversary
Thankfully, it has been announced the festival will take place, although new safety measures will be in place. With the festive enjoying its 25th anniversary this year, it is pleasing to know the event will appear in some form.
There will be outdoor theatre, art installation and dance performances where social distancing measures will be in place. Attendees will be encouraged to walk or cycle to the events, and the large outdoor theatre shows will take place in isolated locations, with a reduced capacity.
This will, unfortunately, mean some people will not be able to attend as many events as they would like, but the organisers are determined to create an event which maintains the spirit of the festival without placing anyone at risk.
There is a stronger sense of community spirit
The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival is set for the end of August, and the people behind the festival hope it will offer a sense of community spirit. There is no denying many people feel as though they have a more reliable connection with their local area and neighbours because of how we have acted during the pandemic. An event such as this festival could be the perfect way to cement these bonds.
The programme for the event is still being finalised, but the opening weekend will place a significant emphasis on a community engagement project. Entitled Weaving Together, vulnerable residents in the local area have been provided materials for a weaving workshop. The creations will be utilised for performances and installations throughout the festival.
There will also be work celebrating the NHS and the environment. The individual events will be staggered to ensure there is full social distancing at all times.
Bradley Hemmings is the Artistic Director of the Festival, and he said that outdoor arts “can potentially offer audiences a bridge to a new and safe-distanced world of live performance.”
Bradley also spoke in greater detail about what then festival aims to achieve this year, saying; “In reimagining our plans, our primary concern has of course been the welfare of artists and audiences. Thanks to the resourcefulness of artists, staff and partners we are proceeding optimistically towards the 25th anniversary edition of the Festival, which whilst it will be very different to previous years, will retain at its heart the spirit of togetherness and transformation, for which GDIF has always been renowned.”
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