River Cultures Festival - Previous Festivals

2003 29-31 August (West India Quay)

The heritage of Tea in the Victorian Docks was our theme this year. The Festival relocated to West India Quay in the Canary Wharf area. Together with the newly opened Museum in Docklands, we attracted 10,000 visitors.

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Smoky Tea Den Weekend (West India Quay)

Along the quayside were tea pavilions from China, Japan, India, and Africa, an arts & crafts bazaar, floating tea garden, Mad Hatter's Tea Party, tea dances, stiltwalkers, street artists, majorettes, travelling musicians, and food stalls. Original poetry was written by visitors with help from wandering poets.

As night fell, the Fire Lighting Ritual started off 'Parading with Glamour'. The Starlight World Music Club Night with Akaash rounded off the evening.

Tea Dance Stage (West India Quay)

The Tea Dance Stage appealed to all age groups who participate in a range of dances including ballroom, jive, tango, swing, salsa, charleston, lindy-hop, Latin, line dancing, sequence dances and easy moves.


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Traditional Sailing Crafts (Cutty Sark)

Display and demonstrations in sail-making, block making, knot-tying, quoit-making, and an opportunity to play deck quoits.


Crucible of World Traditions (The Space)

Monday 25th Aug

Udichi in a musical performance based on The Liberation Movement of Bangladesh

Workshop 5.30pm - 6.30pm / Performance 7.15pm - 8.15pm

Tuesday 26th Aug

Fusion in the process, preparation and presentation of Somalian traditional performances.

Workshop 5.30pm - 6.30pm / Performance 7.15pm - 8.15pm

Wednesday 27th Aug

Indigo Moon in 'The Worm That Squirmed' - a thrilling Indonesian puppet play for all ages from 5 upwards.

Performance 3.00pm - 4.00pm / Workshop 4.15pm- 5.30pm

Thursday 28th Aug

Alé Douvan celebrating key social occasions through Afro-Caribbean dance and music that connected traditional and modern styles. With young people from Entwine.

Workshop 5.30pm - 6.30pm / Performance 7.15pm - 8.15pm

Friday 29th Aug

Jingkun Opera Association in 'Preparing for Battle' - a magnificent piece from the dazzling repertoire of Beijing Opera.

Workshop 5.30pm - 6.30pm / Performance 7.15pm - 8.15pm

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Last Saloon Festathon (The Space)

48 hour non-stop weekend of performances, bands, exhibitions, films, classical music, kids stuff, poetry, open mic sessions cabaret, comedy and installations.

Tea Hats (Museum in Docklands)

Children made tea hats and wore them at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party on the Tea Dance Stage.

Photographic Exhibition (Jack Dash Gallery)

An exhibition of photographs inspired by the cosmopolitan heritage of tea taken during Summer workshops by young people from multiethnic backgrounds, including deaf young Bangladeshis.

Photo Gallery