The London Pleasure Gardens: A New Cultural Hub
The London Pleasure Gardens are set to open at the end of this month, bringing a new cultural and events space to the capital’s East End, and promising the finest in everything from electronica to architecture.
The 20 acre riverside setting, which will be able to hold up to 35,000 people, is located at the formerly derelict Pontoon Dock site, and will feature a range of performance spaces, headed by The Hub, a huge “projection mapped” arena.
As well as these performance spaces – which will host festivals, live music, film screenings, art installations, comedy, theater and even circus – the Pleasure Gardens site will feature a boutique hotel, floating cocktail lounge, sculpture gardens and a nature reserve, to keep even the shortest attention span preoccupied. And there’s also an “endearing” robot dragon, named El Grando, of course.
Perhaps the most striking and droolworthy event to be scheduled for the immediate future is Bloc Weekend (July 6-7), a big ol’ electronica mashup with a near-unrivalled lineup (Flying Lotus, Squarepusher, Jeff Mills, Four Tet, Orbital, Snoop Dogg…), taking place in London for the first time.
As a more restrained but equally interesting counterpoint, the London Festival of Architecture will be held at the Pleasure Gardens over June 23-24, featuring an underground bar and restaurant, The Oyster Grotto, and the intriguingly titled “Cabinet of Contaminated Curiosities,” a unique installation made up of ghostly, hovering globes.
The London Pleasure Gardens will officially launch on June 30, with the opening marked by Paradise Gardens Festival, a free two-day music event featuring Alabama Three, Ragga Twins and Dreadzone, alongside huge pyrotechnic displays and street art taking place.