What’s on the Southbank this summer? 

by | May 23, 2023 | London | 0 comments

A river in a city with one bank clustered with art galleries, theatres, music halls, film institutes, and urban skate dynamism.  It’s an elegant and inspiring reality in the city of London, and continues to grow in its aesthetic, creative, and cultural dimensions, particularly in the summer when the festivities really flower. The Southbank Centre is made up of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Hayward Gallery, the National Poetry Library, and Arts Council collection.  Close by is the National Theatre, the British Film Institute, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe.   The large bankside hosts street performers and many installations, as well as places to eat and drink. It is the living, breathing cultural center of the city, where great international acts come to perform, and ordinary acts of romantic city magic happen to people every day. For the official guide, go here, but here are some of our highlights.  Gentleman & a Van are based along the riverbank at Nine Elms, so the Southbank is part of our cultural neighbourhood. 

Planet Summer 

Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis is the pioneering Hayward Gallery exhibition that exemplifies the suggestion that “caring is a form of resistance”. Planet Summer  draws together many artists, writers and speakers to share perspectives on the challenge the climate crisis poses.  Greta Thunberg, Rebecca Solnit, Mikaela Loach and Cerys Matthews are but a few.  Inspiring care and hope this summer Planet Summer will also curate artistic and community experiences as well as Earth Makes No Sound´s fusion of choral singing, movement and body percussion.  In addition, there are a lot of family activities, including Bird Rave’s “dance floor ornithology” and REPLAY: A Limitless Recycled Playground and The SpongeBob Musical.  Running from 21st June until 3rd September, this summer really will be a culture of climate awareness on the Southbank. 

Christine and the Queens Meltdown

The Meltdown festival at the Southbank is in its 28th year, with Christine and the Queens sharing his creative vision across the centre. From Friday 9th June – Sunday 18th June, there will be a potent musical line alongside club nights hosted by Pxssy Palace and The Chateau.  Sensory experiences provided by BitterSuite and acts such as Sigur Ros and the London Contemporary Orchestra set a wide spectrum of possibilities to explore in Christine and the Queens creative palette. In Chris’s word’s “I will pick musicians that have some gut-wrenching quality, and I wish for all of us to stroll around in those ten days being rejuvenated by artistic gestures”. Previous Meltdown curators have been Grace Jones, Robert Smith and Nile Rodgers.  For tickets, Southbanks Gigs shows all available acts for the Meltdown festival and general performances. 

Aladdin Sane: 50 Years 

The iconic lightning flash portrait of David Bowie is the focus of an exhibition celebrating 50 years since the release of the Aladdin Sane album. Described by Camille Paglia as “one of the most emblematic and influential art images of the past half-century”, it is a worthy centrepiece. However, that’s not all, musicians will perform the tracks of the album, and the National Poetry Library has commissioned poets to respond. A true legendary homage to the shape-shifting genius of Bowie.  Inspiring a range of events at the Southbank, there is still a chance to catch some of them in the last weeks of May.  Brian Duffy’s original photograph inspires the exhibition which explores the metamorphoses of Bowie’s image and his gender reimagination through various moments in time. 

Free events this summer at the Southbank

Explore the archives of David Bowie’s appearances at the Southbank Centre or uncover the relationship between poets and the clothes they wear.  Plus, for ages 10- 18 you can join the Southbank Centre Youth voices to explore your singing voice. There are many free activities and exhibitions on this summer. For example, you can join the String festival with Sheku Kanneh- Mason and listen to over 100 young string players join the maestro cellist for a day of learning and performance.  In the tradition of summer, Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms is returning as part of the Planet Summer theme.  The fountain creates rooms from different shooting jets of water which disappear as quickly as they emerge.  Showcasing the idea that the best things in life are free and ungraspable.  Always entertaining for children, and great to watch as you cool down outside on the banks of the Thames. 

Southbank Centre food market 

While the Southbank provides delectable treats for international culture vultures, the food market doesn’t disappoint with its range of world food, all at reasonable London prices. Thai, Japanese, Korean, Ethiopian, and Venezuelan are just a few of the menu highlights on this culinary map. Heritage local meats are also available for those looking for traditional sustenance, as well as all kinds of sweet delights.  Cocktails, champagne, and ales are also all provided, ensuring you can stay close to the river soaking up the atmosphere day and night. 

 Riverside removals and storage

Just further along the river at Nine Elms is the riverside shopping and dining area of Battersea Power Station.  Another developing centre of commerce, culture, and residences, the embankment also has pop-up food markets.  Stylish architecture complements the iconic power station, while the wholesale New Covent Garden market is resplendent with fruits and flowers. Gentleman & a Van operates here from new premises, providing removals and storage solutions all along the Southbank and beyond. At Gentleman & a Van, we specialize in bespoke services for our customers, upgrading the standard of removals and storage service that is available in London.  In fact, with our interior design affiliations, we consider ourselves to be the artists in residence along the Thames when it comes to removals and storage. 

Gentleman & a Van – next level removals and storage 

Originally founded to fill a gap in the market with genuine quality removals and storage services, Gentleman & a Van has built up a loyal customer base over the last two decades.  Our Box Shop makes packing into something of an art form;the packaging we can supply to you, or do on your behalf.  We specialize in working around your schedule to keep your business, family, or project running seamlessly, during any kind of removal transition.  As members of the Master Removers Group we have a foundation in excellent standards, and our team is trained to take that one step further.  For this reason, we work closely with interior designers and auction houses that use our Man and Van teams for their excellent service in handling valuable objects.  We have a range of vehicles that can handle different requirements, and if you are coming or going from overseas, let us handle the red tape. Check out our reviews here, and get in touch for a quote to see how we can help you with our storage facilities in London, and our quality removals services.