Events & Festivals Travel

Festival of Love

One of my favourite things about London is that there is always something going on somewhere. Sometimes I am totally keyed in on it, and sometimes I’m completely oblivious to an event, until someone else mentions it. Over the weekend, I was meeting an old friend from drama school at the National after Sam’s show. And as I walked down from Waterloo to the Southbank I was overwhelmed by colors. It was awesome.

It turns out the the Southbank Centre is hosting the “Festival of Love” from June 28- August 31. The festival is celebrating the Same Sex Couple Act, but is exploring all the various aspects of love (filial, paternal, fraternal, romantic, etc). There are different events every weekend; pop up tents, a festival market, poetry readings and art installations. There’s even a big group wedding day towards the end of August.

 Entrance to the Temple of Agape

I like the Museum of Broken Relationships exhibit inside the Centre (it’s pretty much exactly as it sounds). There’s the Tunnel of Love inside Royal Festival Hall. The Temple of Agape entrance makes me happy just looking at it.

But of course my favourite installation is the Sliding Gate, a series of slides that ALL members of the public are encouraged to ride (not just the kids) to remind you of the ups and downs of family life and love, and the plain old joy of being a child and the nostalgia that slides can bring back.

festival of love southbank london
festival of love southbank london
One set of slides.
festival of love southbank london
festival of love southbank london
festival of love southbank london
 Cardigan: The Gap. Top: Camden Market (similar here). Jeans: BDG. Shoes: Converse. Watch: Swatch. Necklace: Rachel Roy Drusy Pendant.
festival of love southbank london
And what dessert better says “love festival” than the Snog Bus?

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  • The slides look like they were great fun!

  • Those slides sound awesome! Love attending those random festivals, they tend to be the most fun and memorable.

  • Exactly! That’s what makes it so much fun too! To see people playing with their lovers/spouses/parents/grandparents/bestfriend. It’s great and I think it’s nice to have something fairly central in a large urban area that encourages more than just the daily drudge. xx

  • this is so much fun!! love, love, love.

  • The colors are amazing! And I would totally be all over that slide!

  • I love finding things like this in London, I might even pop down here over the weekend πŸ™‚

  • What an amazing idea! I love all the colours too and although the museum of broken relationships sounds terrifying, I would totally give it a visit!

  • Oh this is such a cool idea! I wish I could see that and go down a slide! Sounds like fun πŸ™‚

  • Alex @ She’s His Co-Pilot

    This sounds amazing. I wish you got pictures of the Museum of Broken Relationships exhibit. That sounds pretty interesting!

    • I think it was croatian originally and now it tours all around Europe. Lots of objects from relationships and people anonymously writing about them, etc. It’s really cool and interesting and sad all at the same time x

  • I love that you just run into these awesome things. !!! We have a Thursday night market in our town except everyone knows about it.. because it’s all we have. AND- they sell really overpriced yet delicious hot dogs……. and there’s sort of good bands that play. As in two and one girl that sounds really terrible….. and everyone brings their dogs even though dogs are annoying because they always want to fight each other and they poop on the street and try to smell my butt when I’m walking by…

    But on a more related note: That place looks awesome! I Love the idea behind it..!! The Broken Relationship Exhibit.. we can all relate to that one!

    • Hahaha why does everyone bring their dogs? We can definitely all relate to the exhibit, that’s probably what makes it so popular πŸ˜‰ xx

  • I just got back from a visit to London, and I fell in love with the city. Like you said, there’s always something going on. It’s such a massive city that it’s impossible to ever be bored, and there’s something for everyone! I would have loved to visit this when I was there. Hate that I couldn’t, but I feel like I still got to see and do a lot!

    • What was your favourite part of London? Or thing that you did? πŸ˜€ x

      • My favorite thing was actually the pub crawl I did haha. I had never done one before, and the one I did with my group was a lot fun! We did the 1 Big Night Out one, and it was a blast.

        • Oohh did you do the Sammy Smith’s pub crawl? πŸ™‚ x

          • I didn’t! I only did that one with 1 Big Night Out. Maybe next time I’ll look into doing that one! I definitely want to go back for another visit.

  • This looks soo fun. I’m DYING to go to London. There’s a deal on groupon for a london vacation that I really want to take my boyfriend on.

  • Marielle

    Haha! Oh, that Snog bus. I remember talking about the Museum of Broken Relationships with my adult Korean students. . .they thought it was so puzzling and funny!

    • I think the Broken Relationship exhibit won a lot of awards a few years ago when it first opened. I like it because it is sad, but also funny in that everyone connects with it and can totally understand why ‘x’ brings back certain memories. x

  • ‘Snog’ FroYo?! Awesome. :o)

    • Hehe there are a few Snog stories around London, but I’m loving their temporary bus on the Southbank a) because it’s delicious fro yo and b) for all the Love fest snogging puns πŸ™‚ x

  • A frozen yogurt truck!! Say Whaaaaa? I have never seen one of those here in the US. Jealous!

    Stopping by from the blog hop and happy to be your newest follower!

    • Thank you very much! I’m a frozen yogurt addict so I hope buses catch on and become the new “thing” πŸ™‚ x

  • Gonna have to check that out during my visit in August!

    • Hurray! Definitely! What else is on your itinerary so far? x

      • We are going to try and go riding in Hyde Park and go see a musical. I think that’s as far as we’ve got so far but I did see that there are some Harry Potter tours of the city and we may have to check one out:) Any recommendations? We will be there from around the 16th to the 20th.

        • Riding in Hyde Park sounds amazing! I see people doing it and I always think “that looks like a blast!”. What musical are you seeing? I can’t remember: have you done the Harry Potter studio tour? That’s definitely the HP activity that I recommend most highly!

          • I’m not sure yet but I am leaning towards The Lion King. Haha we have actually done the studio tour twice!

  • Wow, it looks so fun! That’s what I so much admire about the big capitals like London: there is always just so dang much going on; much of it unexpected and awesome. If I was going to be in the UK this summer, I’d totally get on down to that festival.

    • Anything that’s about just loving everyone and is colourful, I am pretty on board with. πŸ™‚ When we lived in Stratford upon Avon last year, I loved living out in the country and enjoying the natural beauty and the quiet but I definitely missed the options that London gives you! x

  • I stumbled across this on the weekend as well! The area is so bright and colourful!

    • Did you get a chance to go in the the Centre? It was pretty neat! I really want to score myself an invite to someone’s big group wedding though… x

  • Amazing!!! I want to go!!

  • That sounds awesome. And that frozen yogurt bus – woah!

  • Ooooh, how cool it this!

  • Amy @ the tide that left

    I want to go! This sounds amazing! Maybe I can fit in a trip to Lahndahn town before it finishes xx

  • This sounds really neat! Hopefully I’ll make it down in August and can find it.

  • TheJessaOlsonBlog

    I love that froyo truck.. that is the coolest ever!!

    • Ha, I’ll take froyo whichever way I can find it, and a traveling froyo store is the best! x

  • I love all the bright colors!! Looks like fun!

  • oh YAY that will still be there when I’m over! I’ll definitely drag Jon to check it out πŸ™‚

    • Yay! There’s a calendar of events on the southbank centre website so you can see if there are any other events/readings on when you’re here too. πŸ™‚ x

    • You’re coming over?! WHEN? Let’s all have a blog date! OHMYGOD maybe I’ll make a sign again like I did for your race. Wait…that’s weird. I’ve had a lot of coffee this morning and am no longer in school so I’m easily excitable…nothing to see here…. x

      • Please, please, please make a sign Lindsay. That sound be the best. Ever. (Also Betsy, when Lindsay and I met for the first time, we both independently texted other people our whereabouts, etc in case the other person was a murder.) I’m not sure what this adds to our blog date plan except to say that we have the all clear? xx

        • I’m a very good sign maker. And I feel like signs both embarrass and make people feel special in a really weird way. I may have to do that haha xx

  • I went past that the other day but went to the Udderly (??) fest next door instead. I’m really sad I didn’t get to go inside, especially after reading this.

    • The udderbelly festival! Where you there to see some comedy or just grab a drink? I haven’t seen anything there in 2 years now. To be honest, I’m not even sure which big comedians are in the line up this year! x

      • That’s the one! I didn’t see any comedy, I just went in there to enjoy some Pimms with my friend. Once I move to the area (well, Maidenhead), I’ll be going to stuff like this much more often.

  • I thoroughly enjoy all the bright colours of this entire event. Perfect for summer. x

    • We need to make friends with someone getting married over their marriage weekend because it sounds AWESOME! xx

      • Who needs to be friends, can we just show up wearing party dresses and tell everyone we’re friends of the bride and/or groom? We’d be the nicest wedding crashers ever. x

  • Aww, I love that this festival celebrates all kinds of love!