The Mayor's Thames Festival - Celebrating the arts and getting involved

There’s no better way to close out the British summer than the Mayor’s Thames Festival. If the weather’s good, hundreds of thousands of people flood the area from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge during the two day extravaganza. So what attractions bring around 800,000 people to the festival each year?


Now in its 16th year, the Mayor’s Thames Festival has matured into more than a celebration of the area’s culture and arts. Today is it a festival showcasing the capital’s cultural diversity and creativity energy. Dance, music and street arts are always part of the line-up for the capital’s largest outdoor arts festival, so if you are an exponent of the arts and live in the area, you could become part of the festival.


Artists are invited to make a proposal through the thamesfestival.org website. The process is fairly simple and explained in greater detail on the official site. If you’re not an artist, you could become part of the spectacle, as volunteers are always required to help make this a special summer event.


The festival doesn’t just benefit the capital’s artists. School children from 300 primary and secondary schools representing all 33 London boroughs are part of the festival’s learning and participation programme. This involves music and arts related workshops during the Spring and Summer terms.

Festival friend

Although the festival is free, you can become a member and enjoy some exclusive benefits. Festival friend annual membership costs just £15 and allows you entry to VIP viewing areas for the fireworks on Blackfriars Bridge. Offers from the festival’s partner businesses are also a benefit of membership, as is entry to a prize draw in which you could win a private champagne capsule for up to 20 people on the London Eye.

Free for all

With a carnival and firework display to end the proceedings, no Thames festival goers return home unhappy. This is a feel-good festival that brings people together. It’s the Mayor of London and the Arts Council’s way of giving something back to Londoners through the spectacle of art and entertainment. So if you’re in the area during the festival weekend, make sure you attend.

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