Aldgate Community Festival hailed a rousing success

The Aldgate

Revamped Aldgate Square was a hive of activity on the weekend as a community-driven festival rumbled on over three days to mark its grand opening.

Aldgate Square Festival opened with a fashion walk by pupils from neighbouring Sir John Cass’s School, and featured live music from the likes of all-female ukelele group the Mansell Street Minstrels and the harmonies of the London Music Hall Choir.

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The festival was the first major event at the recently redeveloped Aldgate Square.
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Organisers lined-up a packed programme of entertainment. 

A picnic, storytelling and spoken word performances were also among a packed bill created to get locals out and about enjoying the new public realm. Saturday’s programme included an Eid celebration tent to coincide with the end of Ramadan.

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Picnic of the bunch: locals were keen to make good use of the new public space.
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Food stalls did a roaring trade.

The revitalisation strategy undoubtedly captured the imagination, and the on-site Aldgate Pavilion was teeming with punters looking to fill up on treats in the summer sun.

Randall Anderson, chairman of community and children’s services at the City Corporation, described the festival as a “fantastic success.”

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“There has never been an event like this in Aldgate before and a lot of hard work went into organising it,” he said.

“More than 1,000 people attended the festival, enjoying the entertainment, food and performances on offer. There were talks and exhibitions in the church, films in the crypt, as well as a well-attended community parade led by Drum Works from the Barbican on Saturday.

“Aldgate Square is a space for everyone to enjoy.

“I hope that City residents, workers and visitors will be able to enjoy the square and the facilities for many, many years to come.”