Features - Love Camden

Festival Culture

London Festival of Architecture 2022

Camden is known for its rich cultural and architectural heritage, and constantly changing built environment.  Recent examples include the transformation of King’s Cross and the plans for Euston. That’s why, we’ve been named as one of five LFA Destinations 2022, with over 90 events happening across the borough.  

Here’s our pick of some of the best. For full borough listings, visit: https://www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org/destinations/london-borough-of-camden/

Time Tunnel – the history and future of Seven Dials, 1-30 June
Walk through the ‘Time Tunnel’, an alfresco exhibition focusing on the past, present, and future of this unique central London area. Find out how the streets and spaces have evolved over 300 years, and what they could look like in the future. 

24 June
Film + Q&A with John Cowley St Pancras Rent Strike
The St Pancras Rent Strike of 1960 happened after a new council elected in 1959 planned a huge rent hike for council tenants. Some 6,000 people took to the streets in protest, and the dispute lasted for most 1960. Followed by a Q&A with John Cowley. 
ACT! Curated Lates – unseen archive films + Q&A

Filmmaker Sue Crockford made the 1980s documentary ‘Somers Town’ with 1930s footage. It tells the story of slum clearance and the 1930s social housing project. After the film, there’ll be a Q&A with Diana Foster and Esther Leslie from the museum.

Drinks and refreshments available. 

Book free tickets: 

The Phoenix Road Performing Gardens
24 June – 26 June

Designed by NOOMA Studio, the Phoenix Road Performing Gardens envisions a street garden for the people of Somers Town, which facilitates performance, showcases the spirit of the local community, and explores alternative scenarios for the road to be pedestrianised during its weekend-long closure at the end of June. During the weekend you can experience a programme of performative events, establishing spontaneous spaces on Phoenix Road and providing a platform for the local community to perform, meet, and exchange.

120 Years of Housing in Somers Town
27 June, 11am-1:30pm
From Euston Station to St Pancras Station, this walk explores the Somers Town community just north of Euston Road. 

Book tickets: 

A Walk in 3 Acts
Covent Garden, corner of Southampton St and Tavistock St, WC2E 7HA 
28 June, 4pm

This theatrically themed walk will visit three key locations that have seen much activity both on and off stage. The tour will end with an introduction to the Theatre Green Book, which aims to support sustainability in the sector. 

Book tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-walk-in-3-acts-tickets-31775013821

Panel Discussion: Is this A Space for Us?
People’s Museum Somers Town, 52 Phoenix Road, London NW1 1ES
28 June, 6:30pm

Somers Town is changing rapidly – do local people have a say in their space and heritage?

Book free tickets: 

A purple crown with the words 'The Queens Platnum Jubilee' around it

Camden is excited to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee

On 6th February this year Her Majesty The Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

Thursday (2 June) to Sunday (5 June) is a four-day bank holiday weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. To kick off the celebrations in Camden, the Mayor of Camden will light the Queen’s beacon at Russell Square Gardens at 9.45pm on Thursday 2 June – please arrive from 9.15pm. This will be part of a national event where more than 1,500 beacons will be lit across the country.

You’re also encouraged to celebrate by hosting a get together in one of Camden’s parks or open spaces. If your group is likely to include more than 25 people, you will need to make the Council aware via our website. Please also respect the space and other people while you are celebrating. If you decide to have a barbeque in our parks, please use a re-useable barbeque (not a disposable one) and follow our barbeque guidelines. Please also chuck your rubbish away before you leave the park. If a bin is full, please use the next one and report the full one via Love Clean Streets App

There are a host of Jubilee festivals happening this weekend all across Camden, download the full list here.

A group of dancers performing outside, all dressed in blue tops, leaning forward in a pose and one of them is standing with their arms raised
Love Camden

Welcome to the new Love Camden Website!

One thing we’ve changed is that registered users can no longer add events directly to the site. But fear not, we still want to hear about all the brilliant stuff going on in Camden. If you’d like us to add your event, please email: love.camden@camden.gov.uk.

We’ve made a few other changes too. If you look at our new menu, the first heading you’ll see is What’s on. Here’s where you’ll find all our latest events as well as our top picks, a curated list of our current favourites.

Next on the menu is Venue hire, where you can discover all the fantastic local venues for hire, both indoor and outdoor. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to host a wedding party, a community festival or a corporate awayday, we’ve got the perfect space.

In our Features section you can read all about Camden’s incredible range of arts, culture and heritage. From top 10 lists to interviews with local creatives to our lively music scene, our markets and more. No other London borough comes close!

Moving on to our Libraries pages, find out why there’s more to these places than meets the eye. Camden is also home to the stunning Swiss Cottage Library, a Grade II listed building since 1997. It even made Time Out’s London’s most beautiful libraries list.

You can get in touch with us: love.camden@camden.gov.uk

We look forward to hearing from you,
The Love Camden team.

P.S. This is just the start. Keep checking back for more updates on our libraries and our fantastic events programme, including Camden Together, Black History Season, Camden People’s Museum and much, much more!

If you love Camden - like we do - you’ve come to the right place.

A group of perfomers acting in a park. In the foreground is a female actress in 1940's clothing dancing, behind her is a troup of actors, one with a flute and another with a guitar
Theatre Culture

Summer Outdoor Theatre, 29 June-13 August

Summer’s here and that means it’s time for another sizzling season of outdoor theatre. This year, you can watch not one, but two of Shakespeare most famous plays in the open air.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden 

Tickets: https://iristheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873624736/events/128374852

It’s Midsummer’s night and the students of Athens High are getting ready for a party. Young Demetrius is about to be crowned prom king with his queen-to-be (he hopes) Hermia. One problem though. She’s in love with someone else…

Don’t miss the award-winning Iris Theatre’s production of the Bard’s best-loved comedy in the heart of Covent Garden. This is the theatre’s 14th summer season at the historic St Paul’s Church, or ‘the Actors’ Church’ as it's known in the trade. 

Matinee performances start at 2:30pm/3pm, and evening performances at 7:30pm.

The Tempest, Camden Square

Tickets: https://shakespeareinthesquares.co.uk/venue/camden-square/

Prospero conjures up a storm by magic to torment the survivors of a shipwreck. Among them are the King of Naples and Prospero's disloyal brother, Antonio. Prospero's slave, Caliban, plots to overthrow his master. However, Prospero's spirit-servant Ariel has other ideas…

The 5th year of Shakespeare in the Squares brings a new production of The Tempest, directed by Sioned Jones. Expect magic and music in this island romance, where forgiveness triumphs over revenge and love can bring us home.  With the pandemic 'marooning’ all of us in recent years, the tale is more relevant than ever.

Performances start 5pm, end 7:30pm.

A crowd with lots of hands raised to the sky where there are bubbles falling down. A woman in the middle looks up at the bubbles with joy
Festivals York Rise

Community Festivals 2022 - 23

(Image : York Rise Festival. Courtesy of Dan Carrier)

We love Community Festivals… so they’re back!

In Camden, we love our community festivals. And we love our community spirit. It really is special and shone through during the pandemic as people looked out for their neighbours and made new friends.

We now want to build on that spirit, so we’re using our £35,000 Community Festival funding to support local events. These festivals are a great way to bring people together and we’ve awarded grants to 54 Camden community groups.

That means they’ll be a full calendar of fantastic free festivals, street parties, Jubilee lunches and more.

In the meantime, here are a few to whet your appetite for what’s to come.

Summer starts with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations (2-5 June) a perfect excuse for street parties across the borough. Highlights include the Bloomsbury Gospel Music Festival, Russell Square (4 June) and Jubilee Afternoon Tea on Asmara Road, SW2 (5 June). Keep checking our What’s on section for updates.

Two weeks later, it’s the Hampstead Summer Festival (link: Hampstead Summer Festival), which runs from 19 June until 3 July. Expect art, garden parties, Shakespeare and more. On 9 July, after a break, Somers Town Festival is back. It’s Camden’s biggest annual street party, and we can’t wait. Then on 17 July, the heat turns up for Camden Mela. There’ll be arts and crafts, food stalls, live music and dance, plus loads of free family activities, and a funfair!

Saturday 13 August brings the return of Pollock’s Toy Museum Fitzrovia Fete (Fitzrovia Fête 2022 | Pollock's Toy Museum). For a second year, this day of free art workshops, street games, live music and theatre will take over the local streets. A few days later, it’s time for Upshoots, a series of free, live outdoor music events by the canal in Granary Square (18-19, 25-26 August).

Autumn begins the York Rise Street Party on 11 September in Dartmouth Park, NW5. There’ll be a packed line-up with music, cinema, food and drink, theatre, and art. Next up, it’s Breathe: Bloomsbury Festival from 14-23 October with around 100 events focused on wellbeing, environment and air quality. For ten days, the area will come alive with performance, music, outdoor art, theatre, exhibitions, tours and talks, plus a Discovery Hub for families.

October also sees the West Hampstead and Fortune Green Picture Windows Art Trail. Paintings, photos and artworks will be on display in people’s windows and local shops, from 15-23 October.

Then on Saturday 30 October celebrate the Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life. Run by the UK Mexican Arts Society, there’ll be traditional ofrendas (offerings), arts and crafts, live music, poetry, film and dance. There’ll also be an authentic Mexican Market in Ossulston Street.

Finally, as the year comes to an end, it’s time for our Christmas festivals, but we’ll save that for another time…

If you’d like our support next year, applications for Community Festival funding will open again in December until the end of February.

To find out more, email: events@camden.gov.uk.

If you want us to add your event to our website, drop us a line: love.camden@camden.gov.uk.