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The Bloomsbury Festival 2011

Event preview

FIVE years after the first ever Bloomsbury Festival, this annual celebration of one of London’s most culturally rich neighbourhoods returns (October 21 to October 23, 2011) with an eclectic programme of over 150 events, including live music, theatre, dance, walks, talks and food, all of which will be free to attend.

Bringing together locally based organisations such as the British Museum, Wellcome Collection, The Place, The Foundling Museum and Faber & Faber with community groups and businesses, the Bloomsbury Festival transforms the streets and parks of the area, inviting visitors to enjoy all that makes Bloomsbury unique.

Highlights include the return of SOAS’s hugely popular world music stage, bringing rhythms from across the globe to the crowds in Russell Square, guerilla dancers from the Place popping up throughout the area, and parks transformed with new artistic works from local architecture and sculpture students.

There will be a local food market to explore, secret gigs in unusual locations, poetry performances, a magical children’s lantern procession, street parties and light and ceramic installations suspended in the area’s beautiful and historic trees.

Because all events and activities are free to attend, visitors are encouraged to take a risk on new creative experiences: perhaps delving into the darkness of St Pancras Crypt Gallery for Kalliopi Lemos’ eerie art installation, Navigating in the Dark; joining a riotous night of literary cabaret at the iconic St Pancras Hotel or a tea party as part of an unusual living art work by Central St Martin’s students; or participating in a guided exploration of the Garden Squares of Bloomsbury.

Other events include the sharing of a new work by Darshan Singh called Caravaggio: Exile and Death, and an immersive theatre performance by students of RADA, inspired by the Bloomsbury Set.

Families will be well catered for with a host of activities for children. Grant’s Museum of Zoology opens its doors for Dino’s Dodos and Dugongs, a tactile exploration of extinct animals; learn how to cartoon with comic artists Steve Marchant and Sally Kindberg at the Cartoon Museum; or take your teddy bear to be transported to another time via green screen technology at the British Museum.

Bloomsbury is one of London’s most culturally rich corners, with thirteen of the world’s leading museums and galleries situated along ‘Museum Mile’ which runs through the heart of the area, including The Brunei Gallery, the Charles Dickens Museum and the Foundling Museum.

Bloomsbury is also London’s academic hub, with many universities and schools situated here, including leading creative education establishments such as Central St Martins, The Place and RADA.

A limited number of tickets can be booked in advance at, where full programme details can also be found.