Summer in the Park saved by Arts Trust after former partners close down

Summer in the Park, an annual free festival, is back this year with an exciting new chapter of events popping up across South London’s green spaces. 

Arts Trust, producer of King’s Cross Summer Sounds, is taking full creative control of this year’s festivals following the closure of long-time partner Greenwich Dance after the organisation fell into redundancy last year.

Despite the setback, Summer in the Park will return this July and August with a series of outdoor dance classes, festival events and community picnics hosted in Greenwich Park, Maryon Park and Queenscroft Park in Greenwich as well as Cygnet Square in Bexley.

The events are designed to celebrate community, arts, sport and culture, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Peabody Trust and supported by Go London.

The Park Picnics are community-led events which will feature artists including Ceilidh Tree, a folk music and dance company, a vibrant tribute to aging gracefully with Queen B’s blend of historical fashion and modern spirit as well as craft and arts by local artist Sally McKay and her Free Drawing Project.

Alongside this there will be a programme of sport coaching and physical fitness, provided by Charlton Athletic Football Club and tennis coaching by Greenwich Get Active, a Greenwich council initiative.

Summer in the Park 2023 (Picture: Summer in the Park)

There will be a six week series of Tango and Tai Chi lessons starting from June 15, in Greenwich Park, which aims to tackle loneliness, isolation and wellbeing in the community. 

For those interested in more of a party, Silent Disco Skate Jams in partnership with Vibes on Vibes, will be offering skate lessons on July 13, 14 and 21 in Greenwich Park and in Cygnet Square, Bexley, on August 4. 

With free skate rental available, it’s easy for everyone to participate in this event which aims to address anti-social behaviour and knife crime among young people in Greenwich.

This year, Summer in the Park will also contribute to the Greenwich Park Revealed project, in partnership with The Royal Parks charity, with two new festivals, Greenwich Park Youth Festival on July 13 and 14, and Greenwich Park Family Festival on August 24.

Cygnet Square Dance (Picture: Roswitha Chesher)

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, the two festivals will include a youth takeover by Tramshed, performances by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and South London’s Brass Rascals who deliver the best in Pop, DnB, Dancehall, and Garage.

The festivals will also present Silent Disco Skate Jams, Tango classes and a Milonga, a hip-hop dance performance of Fish Out of Water by Michaele Cisrikova Dance Company, and a farmers’ market. 

The full lineup will be announced soon.    

Martin Collins, founder of Arts Trust Productions said: “It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the closure of Greenwich Dance, our partner in bringing ‘Summer in the Park’ to life over the years. Their dedication to the arts and the community has been inspirational, and they leave a lasting legacy.

“Our local partnerships are stronger than ever, and we are committed to growing and enriching the festival experience for everyone involved. We believe this year’s programme will not only honour the past but also pave the way for an even brighter future.”

Pictured top: Greenwich Dance Summer in the Park (Picture: Roswitha Chesher)

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