If you’ve ever ventured into the City of London on the weekend, you’ll know that it’s a ghost town, with tumbleweed rolling across its spotless pavements as paralytic bottomless brunchers stagger to Farringdon station.
But on Saturday October 15, the eerie and skyscraper-shaded streets of the Square Mile will be transformed into an open-air festival as part of the City’s bid to become a cultural destination to rival the South Bank.
Usually the stomping ground for suits and pencil skirts, the City’s streets will fill with more than 100 performers and thousands of visitors joining a mass treasure hunt and a fairground in locations including the Guildhall and the Museum of London.
Running from dawn to dusk, the event will use street theatre to bring the area’s millennia-long history to life, and invite visitors to explore the hidden streets of the City. The event is part of the £2.5 million Destination City project which aims to power the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic, which left it deserted.
The City of London Corporation is on a mission to shake off the district’s nine-to-five image and transform it into a destination for eating, shopping and culture. The City’s ‘culture mile’ will stretch between the Barbican Centre and the Museum of London, in a bid to bring more visitors to the area traditionally known as the capital’s financial sector.
Chris Hayward, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, said: ‘We will open the Square Mile’s doors to everyone, revealing fascinating secrets and making magical moments happen for our visitors.
‘Together we are putting the City of London on the map as a globally renowned destination which is exciting, diverse, creative, and inclusive.’
So, you’re invited to tear it up in the Square Mile’s this October. In a way that doesn’t involve drinking 12 pints with your team and tying your tie round your head.
Destination City Street Festival. Sat Oct 15. Free.