This Festival runs for the entire month of September with a program full of unmissable events: art, music, workshops and fun for the whole family, all with the river Thames as main theme.
From the Tower Bridge to the London Eye Ferris wheel, London celebrates diversity and attracts more than 600,000 people every weekend in September, although the Festival has events Monday through Sunday.
The Thames river
It comprises many side fests, music happenings and parties and therefore the event is known as a diffuse festival and it is held at several locations around the city.
In this year’s edition “Rivers of the world” is the title of the river-inspired artwork exhibition which will display sculptures and paintings created by young people from all around the world, working in collaboration with professional artists to explore and express what rivers mean in today's communities.
The Totally Thames Festival is a true party on the river Thames and during this time it is possible to sail on board the Dixie Queen, an unmissable boat party with music and dancing ‘on water.’
The Great River Race is London's River Marathon which attracts every year hundreds of crews from all over the world who come to London to participate in this spectacular 20-mile race with historical and traditional boats.
The London Bridge
International athletes compete wearing fancy dresses and they do it to raise money for a cause which differs year after year.
Organized at the same time of the Totally Thames Festival (and part of it), the Classic Boat Festival is held at St. Katharine’s Docks.
During this mini festival, which actually has a longer tradition than the Totally Thames Festival, it is possible to board more than 40 historic sailing boats and modern motor yachts, open to the public for the occasion in a sort of ‘open-boat’ event.
Art installations on the Thames
Many activities are planned in the St. Katharine’s Docks to entertain the whole family with exhibitions and street food.
Also the Tower Bridge, the most famous bridge-monument in London, remains open overtime during the Festival days.
This mysterious but fascinating place hosts a music festival and during this time orchestras perform classical pieces of the Renaissance and other acoustic experiences which are offered in this truly extraordinary setting.
But that's not all: during the whole month of September you can also dance, learn how to sculpt, listen to music, watch movies outdoors, drink, eat, watch shows, sing, play and even surf the Thames.
Many are the activities for the little ones: circus performances, face painting stalls, children’s choir competitions and fireworks, among many others workshops and games.
Since many activities organized during the Festival are fundraising events, aimed at raising funds for local charities and art projects, there is also a famous art auction held on this occasion every year.
Last year a group of local artists performed ‘live’ painting on salvaged nautical materials, such as oars and lifesavers, later sold to the best bidders.
Music and illumination with orchestra and fireworks are organised in the garden of the Hampton Court Palace while street arts festival are held on the shores of the Wandsworth neighbourhood.
The festival closing party celebrates beauty with an extraordinary carnival of more than 2000 dancers and an impressive firework display over the river at the height of the Tower Bridge.
And the best part is…? Everything is free!
The calendar of events of the festival dedicated to the Thames is very rich and can be consulted on its official website.
Special boats at St Kathrine’s Dock