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Festival of Britain

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by Catherine Stobbs (subscribe)
I'm an actress and freelance writer living in North London
Event: -
This year the Southbank Centre celebrates the 60th year of the Festival of Britain. The Festival of Britain is an annual four-month festival that celebrates British life, art and culture. It features events that take place all around London with the majority taking place at the Southbank Centre.


The first Festival of Britain opened in May 1951 it was a collection of exhibitions held in and around London, with the main site being on London's Southbank. Other exhibitions took place in different parts of the City with other festivals taking place in Glasgow, Cardiff, York, Oxford and other parts of the country. Taking place not long after the end of the Second World War, a lot of London was still in ruins and the festival was designed to help Britons gain a feeling of togetherness and hope for the future.

Your Memories

As this year marks the 60th anniversary of the festival, Southbank are looking to get in touch with people who were at the original festival. Did you go along to the festival? Do you have any home videos, photos, postcards or stories to share? The the Southbank Centre would love to hear from you. They are looking for as much information and personal experiences as they can for their 60th anniversary exhibition. For full details of how to get involved and contact the Centre, click here.

This Year
This years festival includes a variety of events, talks, outdoor performances and exhibits. There are various acts and entertainment from now until September and full details can be found on the website, but here are a few key dates that you may want to remember. There will be various themed weekends, covering various aspects of British culture.

These weekends include;

Stewart Lee's weekend of Music and Comedy (27th-30th May), Light Fantastic a weekend of Light, live music in association with the BBC (24th-26th of June),
a weekend of Hiphop dance and music (14th-17th July),
and a Vintage Weekend (29th-31st July).

Other key events include:

National Treasures: A series of events featuring people who have made a difference to the British culture in recent years. They include chefs, comedians, actresses and musicians. There will be a variety of performances, exhibitions, orchestras and talks. Featured people include Paul Daniels, Roy Walker, Heston Blumenthal, Meera Syal and many, many more. Have a look at the National Treasures part of the website for more information and to book tickets.

These Lands are Your Lands: A celebration of dance, music and celebration from Britain and around the world. This series of performances and events explores British culture and its connection with different cultures from around the world. For full details take a look at the featured series of events.

There is so much more going on, it is impossible to cover it all. I recommend you check out the website for full information, or if you find yourself with a free sunny afternoon, head down to the Southbank Centre and see what is going on. The festival includes, the E4 Udderbelly, London in Love weekend, London Guitar Festival and an Exhibition by Tracey Emin. There is something for everyone, so I urge you to get involved this summer.
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Why? To experience everything British culture has to offer.
When: From now until September 4th
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Cost: Various, check the website for full details
I've London on the brain since watching the Royal Wedding this morning! I love this article and am just excited to visiti London again. Between the wedding festivities and the upcoming Olympics, I am thinking more and more about returning soon! Thanks for the information! Lots to plan! Cheers!
By Melissa Ruttanai - senior reviewer
Friday, 29th of April @ 02:09 pm
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