City of London set for a spectacular September as new landmark cultural event launched
Vertical dancers to perform aerial spectacle suspended from St Paul’s Cathedral, kick-starting the three-week Bartholomew Fair.
- London will be wowed with free stunning performances and cultural events this September as the City of London’s historic Bartholomew Fair is reimagined.
- A spectacular vertical dance performance on St Paul’s Cathedral will launch the Fair, the City of London Corporation announced today.
- Other performances include a night-time projection installation creating an extraordinary, illuminated journey through the City’s intriguing streets and hidden squares alongside an arts-filled, night-time cultural trail throughout the City.
- Bartholomew Fair is part of the City Corporation’s Destination City programme, which sets out a vision for the Square Mile to become a world-leading leisure destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.
The 2023 reimagining of the iconic Bartholomew Fair brings a modern twist to the historic event in a celebration of the City of London’s heritage and contemporary culture.
From 31 August to 16 September, the City will become the stage for an array of exciting, unique entertainment, and live performances taking place across the Square Mile.
The St Paul’s Cathedral spectacular opens the three-week Fair of contemporary culture with performers suspended from the iconic façade in an unmissable fusion of dance, original music, and architecture.
The world premiere show is co-produced and co-commissioned by the City of London Corporation and Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.
The performance, RESURGAM, by world-leading, US based vertical dance company BANDALOOP, will combine aerial choreography, cutting edge climbing technology and original music on London’s most famous Cathedral between 31 August and 2 September.
The company, known for its innovation in vertical performance, has been granted rare access to St Paul’s to create the spectacular piece, fusing intricate mid-air choreography with rock climbing techniques.
It features as part of both the Bartholomew Fair and Greenwich+Docklands International’s 2023 festival programmes.
Bartholomew Fair, which dates back to the 12th century and was last held in 1855, began as a cloth fair and quickly became London’s pre-eminent event, entertaining visitors for over 700 years.
The City’s revival brings a modern twist in a celebration of contemporary culture and the Square Mile’s unique heritage.
The Wider Programme:
Follow Me Into
A series of projection installations by digital performance company imitating the dog will take over a number of locations across the City during the Fair.
Full of spectacle and video-mapping magic, this extraordinary journey through the City’s intriguing streets and hidden squares sees visitors encounter figures from the past, each with a story to tell and a talent to pass on.
The striking visuals will light up renowned buildings and spaces within the area each night from 8pm-10pm between 7 and 16 September.
The Midnight Run
A special edition of The Midnight Run, a walking arts-filled night-time cultural journey through the City, will run from 6pm until midnight between 31 August and 2 September.
Curated by Inua Ellams, produced by Fuel and featuring local artists, guests will be taken on an adventure through the City’s hidden nooks and crannies. Come ready to explore, play, and create.
The full City-wide programme, dates, and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information see www.thecityofldn.com/bartholomewfair
City of London Corporation Policy Chairman Chris Hayward said:
“We are reimagining the capital’s greatest event and creating something that is truly extraordinary - a new landmark London cultural spectacular.
“With fantastic free fun for everyone, we are bringing the extraordinary story of the City to life, attracting audiences from across the capital and beyond.
“From the Barbican Centre and the Museum of London, to our world class pubs, bars and restaurants, we look forward to welcoming you to the City - the birthplace of London.
“Building on our launch last year we are proud to showcase the Square Mile as part of our Destination City programme, creating a world leading visitor destination for everyone to enjoy.”
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings MBE said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with the American vertical dance company BANDALOOP to present “RESURGAM”, an extraordinary site-specific performance, at St Paul’s Cathedral.
“Christopher Wren’s masterpiece has always stood as an icon of hope for Londoners and the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival is proud to be working with the City of London Corporation and St Paul’s to deliver this extraordinary event offering an inspiring reflection on the way in which hope can sustain us through difficult times.”
The City Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £130m every year. The organisation manages a range of world-class cultural and heritage institutions, including the Barbican Centre, Tower Bridge, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Guildhall Art Gallery, London Metropolitan Archives, and Keats House. It also supports the London Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of London.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About The City of London:
The City of London, which spans the Square Mile, is an unrivalled world-renowned destination which offers art, culture, history, dining, and more. From exploring London’s Roman Amphitheatre in Guildhall to dining in al-fresco restaurants and bars atop some of the City’s most striking skyscrapers, visitors can enjoy delicious food markets and wander trails of hidden gardens, artworks, and public spaces. There is something for everyone to see, do and visit in the City - the birthplace of London. www.thecityofldn.com
The City of London Corporation works in collaboration with the City’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to animate and promote the Square Mile: Aldgate Connect, Cheapside Business Alliance, Culture Mile, Eastern City BID and Fleet Street Quarter.
About City of London Corporation:
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
About Destination City:
The City of London Corporation’s flagship Destination City programme sets out a vision for the Square Mile to become a world-leading leisure destination for UK and global visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.
Find out more about the Destination City Programme here: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/destinationcity.
About Greenwich+Docklands International Festival:
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival is produced by FESTIVAL.ORG, and has been London's free, annual outdoor theatre and performing arts festival for over 27 years. Taking place from 25 August – 10 September 2023 across Greenwich, East London and the City of London, GDIF is committed to co-creating, commissioning and presenting outdoor productions, which tell compelling stories in spectacular style, whilst bringing Londoners together.
Picture credit: Tomas Sereda