The Story So Far
"London’s cultural riches are not just limited to the city centre. Wherever you live, there’s a treasure trove of theatres, restaurants, museums and events right on your doorstep, and festivals like The Streets are doing excellent work to highlight some of the capital’s local gems. I had a fantastic time at the Tooting event listening to live music, sampling some great food and celebrating what makes my local area unique..."
Over the past two years acclaimed live music and event producer Serious worked with a consortium of seven outer London boroughs
Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Greenwich, Croydon, Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames
to tour an artistic programme of music and performance around London, using the communal space of the high street as its stage.
High streets have long been the epicentre of local communities; a space which is saturated in local heritage and should be harnessed as hubs of social, cultural and artistic identities. The Streets aimed to reignite the energy and identity of high streets, by coupling commercial priorities with cultural activity and staging dynamic, spectacular performances whilst stimulating local participation and discovery.
The Streets created valuable partnerships across broad sections of the communities in each area, connecting local authorities, businesses, residents and arts organisations for mutual benefit and to have a collective impact on their local high streets.
The project launched in July 2015, where Serious toured Australian percussionist Ben Walsh and his 8ft wheel of drums to a wide range of locations on the high streets, staging short, impactful events from rooftops and stations to shops and cafes.
Over our past four event weekends we hosted:
- 60,000 live audiences
- 445 events
- 1000 musicians
In its final year, the project also evolved to include an additional Heritage Lottery Funded project called Discover Your High Street. This strand was dedicated to researching and presenting the shared history of the seven boroughs through themes such as popular culture, migration, trade, transport and sport. During the recent November activity, this produced an exhibition which toured to each high street, alongside trails and talks, which encouraged local communities to discover something new about the seven areas. This project concluded by the launch of a publication which expanded on the research to date to be released in Spring 2017.
Our final installment of spectacular musical events, alongside the new heritage programme took place this November in each borough between Friday 11 - Sunday 20 November 2016 as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. Sign up to The Streets newsletter here for more information. Please do also browse our site to find out more, and follow us on twitter to keep updated!
The Streets November 2016
We enjoyed a fantastic final two weekend installment of The Streets - see below for a taster of our events. For more photos, view our event gallery!
Initiated by the Greater London Authority and supported by Arts Council England, The Streets serves as a catalyst for urban regeneration through creative cultural events, and sits amongst the national debate about the future of high streets and the power of ‘the arts’.
Read below to explore more about the topic and see case studies for how projects like The Streets are having an impact: