June's jubilee celebrations set new party precedents across the board. While the bunting and union jacks may have come down (much like the sore heads at work on the Wednesday after) and the Queen has since been granted a well-earned rest, it hasn't stopped a team of London promoters from putting their heads together to bring something unheard-of to a stretch of derelict land part of The Royal Docks in East London.
Named London Pleasure Gardens by its team (the same behind Glasto's Shangri La site), the project — which came about as the result of a victorious pitch for the Meanwhile London competition — will usher in a multi-venue location frequented by some of the most on-point promotion teams on the planet this summer.
“On the water, covered in wild flowers and with two iconic heritage buildings, the site itself is unique and full of charm,” explains chief booker Dan Perrin. “It benefits from excellent transport links, including Riverboat services, the DLR, the next-door City Airport and the transport hub at Canning Town. Nearby landmarks include the ExCel, O2, Docklands and Thames Barrier."
Set against London's concrete skyline in a post-industrial urban wasteland setting, it's not only the surroundings that make Pleasure Gardens an exceptional clubbing location. Launched on 30th June with a free Paradise Gardens Festival, this summer the site is host to Bloc Weekender; Art of Dark 1st Birthday Garden Party (with Steve Bug, Kate Simko and Phil Weeks); Animal House (a fancy dress party featuring Dr Syntax, Raf from the 2 Bears, Foals and Horse Meat Disco); Hypercolour (with Groove Armada, Claude VonStroke and Maya Jane Coles) and Secretsundaze (featuring Matthew Herbert and Ben UFO). Made up of three stages, including The Black Canvas — a large arts space that holds 27,000 people, depending on installations and design features — the area will offer the capacity for all manner of parties.
“The Black Canvas is exactly as it sounds,” explains London Pleasure Gardens’ Lesley Wright. “A vast empty space for promoters to work with, bringing inventive and exciting venues and stages to the site.”
As well as an ex-communist battleship, the MS Stubnitz, sailed in specifically for Bloc Weekender, there's The Hub, a projection mapped dance arena capable of holding 2800, and The Dome, a 1000-capacity (700 seated) multi-arts venue envisioned for bands, theatre and circus cater for the raving collective next to Silo D, an iconic post-industrial listed building that replaced those destroyed in the Silvertown munitions factory explosion of 1917. War! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'. Apart from serving up a killer place for a party, of course...
6th - 7th July, Bloc Weekend: Snoop Dogg, Orbital, Gary Numan, Richie Hawtin, Amon Tobin, Ricardo Villalobos, Jamie Jones, Carl Craig, Four Tet, Scuba & more.
14th July, Art of Dark 1st Birthday Garden Party: Steve Bug, Kate Simko, Phil Weeks, Hector.
3rd August, Animal House: Dr Syntax, Raf (2 Bears), James Fox, Horse Meat Disco, Foals.
11th August, Hypecolour Records: Groove Armada, Claude VonStroke, Maya Jane Coles.
26th August, Secretsundaze: Matthew Herbert, Ben UFO, James Priestley and Giles Smith.