Mayor's Thames Festival Coming To Wandsworth And Nine Elms

Extending west along Thames for first time

This year’s Mayor's Thames Festival is extending further west to include a series of arts events along the Battersea riverside.

For the first time, the annual festival will run over ten days instead of a single weekend. Between September 6th and 15th, people will be able to enjoy a range of art, music, and educational activities both on the water and along the river's banks and bridges.
Highlights in Battersea will include:
Artists of the River Pageant Exhibition - The Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park will host this exciting exhibition including more than fifty works of art inspired by last year's Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. The exhibition runs from September 4th to 15th.

YES' sculpture - Ildikó Buckley and Jane Palmer's large-scale 'YES' sculpture will pop up in a different location each day during the Festival, celebrating green spaces along or near the river. Destinations will include the newly opened Riverside Gardens on Nine Elms Lane, and the temporary 'pop-up' park at Battersea Power Station.

White Rabbit's 'Are You Sitting Comfortably?' - Two storytellers from White Rabbit will recount unknown and fantastical stories about Nine Elms on the South Bank as they guide you on a walking tour.  Walks begin at Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms Lane on September 14th at 3pm and 6pm.

1513: A Ships' Opera - A waterborne ships' opera for the Thames performed by historical vessels modified with bells, horns, hooters, sirens, canon to become musical instruments. Co-created by Richard Wilson (twice nominated for the Turner Prize), this day-long performance from sea to central London will culminate in a dazzling spectacular of sound and steam at Tower Bridge on the evening of Saturday, September 14th. 

Source to Sea River Relay - Walkers, swimmers, rowers and sailors, carrying a jar of water collected at the source of the Thames in the Gloucestershire hills all the way to the sea.

The Great River Race - A marathon boat race of over 300 crews from around the world, including fancy dress, charity stunts and the competitive sportspeople and will run from London Docklands to Ham in Surrey.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: "It's great to see the festival expanding into Wandsworth this year and the programme is bigger and better than ever. Much of the action will take place in Nine Elms on the South Bank where we have begun to reopen sections of Battersea's riverside which have been closed off to the public for decades.

"The festival is a great way to celebrate this revival and to welcome even more local people back to this part of the borough. And The Pump House Gallery exhibition will be another great highlight for local people to enjoy and relive last year's incredible pageant."
Helen Fisher, Programme Director of Nine Elms on the South Bank added: "Nine Elms on the South Bank is delighted to be collaborating with the Thames Festival Trust for the first time. 

"Besides our central riverside location, the area has a rich history and increasingly vibrant cultural identity.  It's a pleasure to be able to showcase Nine Elms on the South Bank in this way."

Adrian Evans, Director, the Mayor's Thames Festival, said: "We're delighted the collaboration with Wandsworth Council and Nine Elms has helped us extend the Mayor's Thames Festival farther along the river, in addition to our usual focus between Lambeth Bridge and St Katherine Docks.

"We hope everyone enjoys the events we have on in Wandsworth and Nine Elms and that they are reminded of what a fantastic and special asset the Thames is to Londoners."

September 3, 2013