London Pleasure Gardens to open with free Paradise festival next weekend

PUBLISHED: 12:09 21 June 2012 | UPDATED: 12:27 21 June 2012

Pyrotechnic show, Silo D

Pyrotechnic show, Silo D

London Pleasure Gardens

London Pleasure Gardens will celebrate its opening next weekend by hosting the annual musical utopia that is the Paradise Gardens Festival.

The gardens, which have been designed to transform an area of wasteland in the Docklands, will provide the setting for a weekend of music, dance and a huge pyrotechnics show.

The free festival, previously held in Victoria Park, is expected to attract a crowd of 35,000 people, with acts including Alabama 3, legendary reggae group Musical Youth, and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

The crowd will also be invited to join in a world record attempt for the largest hokey cokey ever, which is being organised by music hall artist Ida Barr, who often incorporates it into her performances.

On her decision to attempt a world record, Ida Barr said: “Because I have overseen the dancing of this exuberant nonsense many, many times it ocurred to me that there must be a world record for the biggest one.

“When I saw that it was held by the Yanks, my blood boiled. Not because they are American, but because I feel that the Hokey Cokey world record shouldn’t belong to a nation that calls it the Hokey Pokey.”

The record attempt will be just one of a long list of bizarre festivities taking place over the weekend, including a ‘Sillympic Games’ competition.

Director of Paradise Gardens Julian Rudd said: “We are over the moon to be the opening event of London Pleasure Gardens, kicking off our own eccentric wave of Olympic fervour in a Paradise Gardens fashion.

“We aim to present all that’s great about London’s counter culture from Ida Barr to Alabama 3 and all shades in between.”

The festival will be held on Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1, from 1-11pm. London Pleasure Gardens are situated opposite Pontoon Dock DLR station.

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