Saturday 1 – Sunday 30 September 2018
This year’s programme includes over 100 events celebrating the River Thames. The programme will look at the river as an inspiration and source of creativity connecting London to other cities around the world. It will also celebrate the heritage of the Thames and illuminate the long-standing traditions and unique stories the river holds. It will include arts, culture, heritage and active events including foreshore archaeological walks, a poetry boat party and live music under the river in Tower Bridge’s Bascule Chambers!
Rivers of the World
gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London SE1 9PH
Wed 29 Aug – Sun 9 Sep
Boathouse Creative Studios, Malthouse, 62-76 Abbey Road, Barking IG11 7BT
Wed 19 – Sat 29 Sep
Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival Trust project in partnership with the British Council which has worked with 30,000 12-14 year olds in 30 countries around the world to inspire young people to learn about rivers through art and creativity.
This exhibition of river-inspired artwork has been created by young people from around the world working in collaboration with professional artists to explore and express what rivers mean to communities today. This year’s exhibition will feature work from Barking & Dagenham, Exeter, Worcester in the UK as well as Kenya, Malawi and Palestine.
The World’s Oldest Boat Race
Guildhall Yard, Aldermanbury EC2V 7HH
Sat 8 – Mon 24 September
The Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge is the world’s oldest continually competed sporting event started in 1715. It is competed in every year by apprentice river workers on the Thames.
This year, Totally Thames will delve into this tradition passed down through generations of Thames watermen, hosting the race itself on Tuesday 4 September, and exploring its rich heritage in a series of outdoor exhibitions.
Using recorded oral histories, photographic portraits by Hydar Dewachi, and 100 years of archive material made publicly accessible for the first time, The World’s Oldest Boat Race brings to life this hidden history at the heart of London. It encompasses stories of family pride and family rivalry, and the passion that kept Doggett’s race alive through two World Wars, a schism between ‘gentlemen amateur’ and ‘professional’ rowers, the decline of the docks and a fast-changing capital.
CLASSIC BOAT FESTIVAL
Fri 7 – Sun 9 Sep, 12pm – 6pm Fri, 10.30am – 6pm Sat & Sun
St. Katharine Docks, 50 St. Katharine Way, E1W 1LA
The 10th Classic Boat Festival, with over 40 vintage sailing and motor boats to view and explore and a jam-packed programme of family-fun events.
GREAT RIVER RACE
Sat 8 September, 10am – 7pm
From Millwall Slipway to Ham House
Come and cheer on hundreds of London’s river marathon contenders as they race down the Thames.
FORESHORE ARCHAEOLOGICAL WALKS
Sat 8 Sep, 7.30pm
Cousin Lane Foreshore Archaeological Walk, Outside Cannon Street Tube Station, Dowgate Hill, EC4R 6AP
Sun 9 Sep, 9.30am
Hammersmith Foreshore Archaeological Foreshore Walk Outside Eventim Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street
Sat 15 Sep, 11am
Bermondsey Foreshore Archaeological Walk, Bermondsey Tube Station, Jamaica Road, SE16 4SN
Sun 16 Sep, 12pm
Bankside Foreshore Archaeological Walk, Founders Arms Pub (adjacent to Blackfriars Station south side) SE1 9JH
Tickets: £10, £6 concs
Join Dr Fiona Haughey for a range of archaeological walks on the Thames Foreshore at Hammersmith, Bankside, Bermondsey and Cousin Lane to discover the secrets buried beneath the surface providing a new perspective on our history.
Mon 24 – Sat 29 Sep
The R.A.P. Party: Wed 12 Sep, 7.30pm
In Conversation with Ben Aaronovitch: Mon 3 Sep, 6pm
Throughout September, literary events inspired by the river will explore its social, cultural and historic role as a source of inspiration for writers.
Mother Danube will see a week of free performance at various unique and riverside locations, with storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton and musician Emma Clare, will take a magical journey across Europe evoking the River Danube.
Inua Ellams brings an exhilarating, vibrant, live literature event in The R.A.P Party aboard the beautiful Dixie Queen to sail down the Thames. Featuring a stellar line-up of spoken word artists performing poems inspired by hip hop culture whilst a DJ plays a kaleidoscope of tracks for a laid back, poetry-infused nostalgic boat party.
There will also be a unique opportunity to hear from London born and bred writer Ben Aaronovitch who wrote the hugely successful, Sunday Times best-selling urban fantasy crime fiction series Rivers of London.
Bascule Chamber Concerts
South Bascule Chamber, Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP
Thurs 20 – Sun 23 Sep, various times
Tickets: £25, £15 Under 25s. Guided Tour & Concert £50
(Sat 22 & Sun 23 Sep, midday & 2pm performance)
Composer and curator Iain Chambers returns to fill the atmospheric subterranean Victorian space in Tower Bridge with a brand-new programme of works, including commissioned spoken word performances and an immersive sound walk exploring London’s greatest hidden space.
The concerts will feature music, vocal and poetry works from the Marian Consort, Tabla player Kuljit Bhamra and storyteller Rae Levine.
THAMES BOAT TRIP: BRUNEL’S LONDON
Embankment Station, Villiers Street WC2N 6NS
Tickets: £5- £15
This isn’t just Brunel, it’s a voyage into the birthplace of modern London by boat, train and foot ending at the Brunel Museum.
KINGSTON UPON THAMES RIVER FESTIVAL
Sat 22 & Sun 23 Sep
Kingston Riverside & Ancient Market Place, KT1 1QN
Head to Kingston upon Thames’ stunning riverside for a weekend packed with festivities to celebrate the lifeblood of the town of 1100 years