London’s equivalent to the celebrated New York High Line is due to launch this July with live music, festival feasts, performance art and a sober rave
London’s first linear riverside park is due to launch this July with back-to-back weekends of live music, art, film, holistic wellness activities and riverside feasts, all overlooking the River Thames.
The Tide – a five-kilometre cultural linear park designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the co-designers of New York’s High Line (a 1.45-mile-long elevated greenway created on a former railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan) – will be the first of its kind in London.
Located on Greenwich Peninsula, London’s newest creative neighbourhood, will be a new riverside destination for art, design and wellbeing, with giant sculptures by Damien Hirst (who used to live on River Way, the tiny row of houses near The Pilot pub on the Peninsula, when he was at Goldsmiths University), sunken gardens, a 27 metre-long outdoor picnic table and a unique jetty garden.
The first 1km of the 5km long landscape, which will be unveiled during Turning Tides Festival, running from 5-7 & 12-14 July, features elevated walkways 9 metres high and flows through native trees, providing a unique landscaped route for running, walking and meditation.
Leading the line-up of Turning Tides Festival is former Supergrass singer Gaz Coombes, British singer Laura Mvula, Grammy award-winning Oumou Sangare, music programming curators Village Underground, iconic drag show performances by Sink the Pink, and the participatory Wish Trees art installation from Yoko Ono.
LA-based conceptual artist GERONIMO will reveal I Can Taste You on a Rainy Day – a bold, large-scale installation of 25 inflated water droplets ranging from 1-7 metres tall, which will form the backdrop to a flamboyant performance by Sink the Pink on opening night.
‘This bold 3D landscape opens up the river, brings people together, gives us art to absorb, nature to enjoy and space to escape’
The installation will then inhabit The Tide, the fist section of which is located in the new residential and creative district of Upper Riverside, by the O2 Arena, throughout the remainder of the festival.
‘The Tide brings to London an unrivalled outdoor experience in the city,’ says Kerri Sibson, Director of Greenwich Peninsula. ‘This bold 3D landscape opens up the river, brings people together, gives us art to absorb, nature to enjoy and space to escape. Most importantly, it’s a place for everyone.’
Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Neiheiser Argyros and landscape architects GROSS.MAX, The Tide will feature bridges between elevated timber decked ‘stepping stones’ planted with native trees and natural vegetation to provide visitors with platforms to pause, reflect and enjoy the surrounding views of the River Thames.
Evolving over the years, the finished 5km route will be twice the length of New York’s High Line and will adapt to each new Peninsula neighbourhood as they are built, weaving among the buildings.
‘Visitors will experience the park from varying vantage points, from street level up to nine-metre high elevated paths that weave through the site to plug into the existing network of leisure, art, and social life across neighbourhoods,’ says Diller Scofidio + Renfro Partner-in-Charge, Benjamin Gilmartin.
TURNING TIDES FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Sink the Pink will perform against the backdrop of GERONIMO’s I Can Taste You on a Rainy Day installation from 6-9pm on Friday 5 July.
East London music venue Village Underground, under the artistic direction of Glenn Max, will be taking over the mainstage on both weekends with a programme of music featuring Mulatu Astatke, known as the father of Ethio Jazz on Saturday 6 July from 6.30pm-8pm, while consummate rocker and songwriter Gaz Coombes of Supergrass will close the first weekend on Sunday 7 July from 6.45pm-8pm.
Headline performances on the second weekend will come from the extravagant New Orleans funk and hip-hop ensemble Tank and the Bangas on Friday 12 July with support from American gay rapper and multidisciplinary artist Le1f.
On Saturday 13 July, Grammy-award winning Malian musician Oumou Sangaré headlines the Village Underground stage on Saturday, while south London collective Ghost Notes curate a day of London focused talent.
Closing the festival on Sunday 14 July will be The River Knows, an unforgettable event with musical director Dave Okumu and guest vocalists including Laura Mvula interpreting beloved river songs by the likes of PJ Harvey, Neil Young and Patti Smith.
Village Underground will also orchestrate a pop-up cinema on Peninsula Square, in partnership with streaming service Mubi. Films will be selected especially for Turning Tides Festival with food and drinks served by Stevie Parle’s CRAFT London.
A rolling line-up of Riverside Feasts, taking place on artist duo Studio Morison’s Seafood Picnic table – London’s longest picnic table at 27 metres and another permanent feature of The Tide – prepared by guest chefs throughout both weekends.
The 5-star banquets overlooking the Thames will be prepared by guest chefs including Berber & Q (a Mediterranean BBQ with a difference hosted by Studio Morison), Matt Williamson (a Seafood Feast with oysters, whole sides of trout and smoked eel), Stevie Parle (bringing his acclaimed fresh pasta restaurant, Pastaio, to the riverside), and British picnic fare from Disappearing Dinning Club. Tickets, priced £35-£55, are available on Design My Night.
You’ll also find an array of street food and bars offering food from around the world in Turning Tides Food Market.
PUBLIC ART INSTALLATIONS
Turning Tides Festival will see the launch of newly acquired monumental artworks and design curiosities including two sculptures from iconic British artist Damien Hirst (Hydra and Kali, 2015, and Mermaid, 2014, from Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable) and British pop-artist Allen Jones’ 8-metre high artwork Head in the Wind, as well as Siblings, a large scale illusionary patterned work by Morag Myerscough.
The festival will also incorporate public and performance art including a specially commissioned soundscape, titled Undercurrent, by composer and sound artist Scanner, as well as Yoko Ono’s interactive Wish Trees, to which you can tie your wishes for peace.
WELLBEING BY THE RIVER
Yoga Sonora will lead an uplifting vinyasa flow yoga session to an immersive soundtrack of deep house and melodic techno on 7 July from 2pm-3pm, while Dr Tamara Russel will lead group tai chi sessions (7 July at 2.30pm-3pm & 3.30pm-4pm).
On 13 July, London-based sober ravers Morning Gloryville will kick start the day with an energetic sober celebration featuring uplifting tunes, visual entertainment, yoga, massage and Reiki sessions (11am-3pm), while Catia Liete with Siobhan Swider will lead calming yoga sessions accompanied by live harp and crystal bowl sounds on the Jetty on 14 July (various times).
Charlie Dark, the inspirational DJ, yogi and founder of Run Dem Crew, will lead a Battle of the Flows with Lululemon ambassador Sanchia Legister on 13 July at 2pm – part yoga sesh, part dance battle, you decide which flow wins.
Plus, OPO Audio meditation points by BeBox will be sited along the route throughout the festival, a permanent feature that will allow users to tap in and use The Tide’s views and spaces to channel a moment of calm and personal headspace.
Coinciding with the Festival, Argentinian ceramicist and illustrator Kinska is transforming neighbouring public art space NOW Gallery with My Opera House, an exhibition that invites visitors to navigate a garden of ceramic creations.
Plus, food futurologists Robin Collective will be hosting an Ice Cream Social on Saturday 6 July, inviting you to compete with family and friends in funfair games while shaking and churning your own ice cream creations.
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