Feast of St. George 2018
Fairs, fetes, fun-days and festivals are an integral part of English culture, and Feast of St George perfectly fits the bill. On Saturday 21 April, there's no better excuse to wave a flag, enjoy tea, cake and great entertainment, all in the surrounds of iconic Trafalgar Square.
The event promises a strong and varied live music programme with traditional and contemporary acts, including a 25-piece brass band, pop and folk groups, Victorian music hall, and showcase for young musicians.
In keeping with the Mayor's wider #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign to tackle gender inequality in London and celebrate the centenary of some UK women getting the vote, there will be a number of female performers and plenty of musical content celebrating great female artists. A 6-piece band, ‘Pop London’, will deliver a set of tracks by classic and contemporary UK female artists. An all-singing all-dancing Victorian music hall show, delving deep into London’s heritage, will feature tributes to popular female artistes of yester-year.
Host for the stage is BBC Radio presenter Abbie McCarthy, a champion of new music, who has compered at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Glastonbury, The Great Escape, and the Mayor’s GIGS/Busk in London final.
Elsewhere on the Square you'll find arts workshops for children, old fashioned rides and a friendly dragon centrepiece. There’ll be red and white bunting and flags, stilt walkers, roaming entertainers, and pearly kings and queens. Look out too for the Ballad of St George and the Dragon, a special show presented by the Lions Part theatre company and performances by New Esperance women’s morris dance group.
Plus lots of quality food stalls selling all kinds of tasty treats, with a central banqueting area where you can sit and enjoy the occasion.
Some interesting facts about St.George
Music stage line-up
12:00 - 12:45 - East London Brass - 25-piece brass band
East London Brass is a contesting brass band based in Walthamstow. The band has a long history that goes back before 1900 and were originally known as Walthamstow Silver Band. Now in the 21st century, they are known as East London Brass and have been conducted by Jayne Murrill since 2007.
13:00 - 13:45 - Gilmore & Roberts - Folk duo
Contemporary folk/acoustic duo Gilmore & Roberts combine great song-writing, musicianship and harmonies to create a powerful wall of sound. Nominated 3 times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Katriona Gilmore (fiddle, mandolin) and Jamie Roberts (guitar) met while studying at Leeds College of Music and released their debut album in 2008. Since then, the duo have toured extensively, including Canada and Europe and played some of the UK’s biggest acoustic and folk festivals.
14:00 - 14:45 - Pop London (set 1)
Pop London are a sensational 6-piece function band consisting of some of the most in-demand singers and musicians in the UK. With a host of recording and performance credits to their name, this collective of musicians have featured on studio releases, TV and radio, major festivals and tours, including performances with the likes of Robin Thicke and Jessie J.
Their 2pm set will celebrate tracks by some great British female artists.
15:00 - 15:55 - Player's Theatre - Victorian Music Hall show
The music hall tradition goes back to the early 19th century, when pubs, supper rooms and pleasure gardens provided popular entertainment in the fast growing towns and cities of Britain. This was nowhere stronger than in London, and in the years before sound recordings and cinema, the music halls, and their songs and stars were immensely popular. The Players Theatre, originally founded in 1936, celebrate this tradition, and will bring to Trafalgar Square an exuberant and joyful performance featuring some of the best known music hall songs. Led by Jan Hunt, chairman Peter John, singers Julia Sutton, Judith Hibbert and Mickey Driver, plus dancers from Laine Theatre Arts school choreographed by Lucie Spencer, the show will include a tribute to female stars of yesteryear such as Marie Lloyd, Florrie Ford and Gracie Fields.
Very special guest will be Anita Harris , whose stage, screen and recording career spans over fifty years. She has worked with many legendary artists from the world of entertainment, appeared in two Carry On films, enjoyed success in the pop charts, played the role of Peter Pan in pantomime, and starred in Cats in the West End. Anita will portray the music hall artist Vesta Tilley, famous for her performance of 'Burlington Bertie'.
“The City’s standard bearers for old-school music hall … this is cutting edge Victoriana … rich in eccentricities beloved by the English and their visitors” Time Out
16:10 - 17:10 - Gigs / Busk in London performers
Roadstead are singer/songwriters Josh Gleaves and Zac Carpenter who met playing music together at The Brit School. Since the formation of the duo in 2017 they've gone on to win prizes in competitions such as Teenstar, and ‘GIGS Big Busk’ where they won the song writing prize with their summer single ‘Too Late'.
Josephine Shaw (solo)
Josephine Shaw is a classically trained singer and a proud busker. She is no stranger to singing before crowds, having performed with the chorus in the Royal Opera House. She is a winner in the Mayor of London's Big Busk competition.
Natalie Shay with Joey & Kathleen (trio)
Natalie Shay is a indie pop/rock artist from North London. Her successes to date include her long list of awards from ‘Best Undiscovered Talent’ London Music Award, Winner of The Guardian’s Music Award and two-time winner of the Mayor of London's Gigs competition.
17:20 - 18:00 - Pop London (set 2)
Lots of pop classics to get the party started!
12:00 - 18:00 Abbie McCarthy - Compere
Abbie McCarthy is the go-to-go girl for the best new music recommendations. Abbie currently presents BBC Music Introducing in Kent, a radio show that is greatly respected amongst members of the industry and music fans alike. Abbie has discovered and championed a vast array of great acts and is very popular with listeners because of her warm, fun presentational style and sense of humour. You'll now hear Abbie regularly covering shows on BBC Radio 1, depping for Huw Stephens in the evenings, Phil Taggart on The Specialist Chart and Matt Edmondson at the weekends. As a compere, Abbie has hosted stages at BBC Radio's Big Weekend, Glastonbury and The Great Escape. She also hosted the Grand Final of the Mayor of London's Gigs programme at Westfield in 2017.
Other St. George's Day events
The following are details of some events in London to celebrate St. George's Day. You are advised to check with the organisers before setting out.
Head down to St. George's Gardens on Saturday 21 April for a free party filled with music, Punch and Judy, face-painting, fun entertainment for children, and tea and cakes!
St George's Gardens
4A Regent Square
A week filled with fun activities to celebrate St.George in Southwark.
Saturday 14 April - Make a Dragon Mask!
Free family workshop 1-4pm
St. George The Martyr Crypt
Borough High Street
Book your free place in advance:
Thursday 19 April - Poetry Workshop
From 4pm there will be a free poetry workshop followed by a free poetry performance from 7-9pm.
St. George The Matyr Church
Borough High Street
Book free tickets in advance:
Saturday 21 April - St. George's Festival
1pm - Gathering at St. George's RC Cathedral, SE1 7HY
2pm - Festival Procession to St. George The Martyr, SE1 1AJ
3pm - Performance of 'St. George and Dragon(ia)', and community tea at St. George The Martyr Church.
Sunday 22 April - Festival Eucharist
11am - Festival Eucharist at St George The Martyr Church
6.30pm - Choral Evensong with 'The Martyr's Voices' and children's choirs
St. George The Martyr
Borough High Street
Sunday 22 April - Borough Market
Come down to Borough Market from 12-4pm on Sunday 22nd April for a family friendly celebration of Saint George.
8 Southwark Street
Monday 23 April - The Ballad of St. George and the Dragon with the Lions part
Taking place at:
3.30pm - Red Cross Garden, Redcross Way, SE1 1HA
4.30pm - Flat Iron Square, Union Street, SE1 1TD
Tuesday 24 April - Wind-up Penguin Theatre Camp
Free interactive concert for children and families hosted by Borough New Music, 1-2pm.
St. George The Martyr Church
Borough High Street
Saturday 21 April - St. George's Day Family Celebrations
11.30am - 4.30pm
Tower Hamlets Council is in partnership with the Museum of Childhood and will be staging a traditional day of merriment to pay homage to the patron saint of England.
The museum will be hosting a range of old-fashioned games and entertainment from 11.30am - 4.30pm free of charge, including discovering the delights of English folk music and dance traditions, Punch and Judy, lots of craft activities and home-made cakes. Perfect for all ages!
Performances included by The London Music Hall Choir, the Tilbury Brass Band, THAMES Brass Ensemble and Women Sing East.
V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
Saturday 21 April - Wreath Laying Ceremony and Cadets Parade
Brought to you by the Royal Society of St. George, the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Cenotaph will be taking place on 21 April.
The wreath laying is scheduled for 11am, with around 500 members of three Cadet Forces, accompanied by music from their band, will be on Parade and the Salute will take place immediately afterwards.
At 11.30am, the official party will move onto Westminster Abbey for a wreath-laying service at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior which will take place at around 12 noon.
This event is held annually to remember all those who have served our country and the Commonwealth as part of our Society's St. George's Day Celebrations.
Food glorious food
Enjoy all kinds of food and drink from specialist caterers at Feast of St George
- The Pie Cart - meat, veggie and sweet options
- Laura's Confectionery
- Great British BBQ
- Woodwards Farm Burger Shack
- Bad Brownies - speciality brownies
- Boston Shakers - fresh lemonade
- 28 Well Hung - Steak and chips/veggie options
- Harold's Hog Roast
- Crabbieshack - speciality seafood dishes
- The Flour Station - pastries, sweet and savoury bakes and sourdough bread
- Young Vegans - speciality vegan pies
- Ice Cream Cab
- Grind Coffee Cab
- Cafe on the Square - hot and cold drinks, light refreshments.
The cafe is open seven days a week from 10am - 6pm.
Access and Transport
Accessible facilities at Trafalgar Square:
• There is a wheelchair accessible lift on the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square.
Event stewards will be available to assist wheelchair users travelling between upper (north terrace) and lower terrace levels of Trafalgar Square.
• Wheelchair accessible public toilets are available on the lower terrace of Trafalgar Square. This is on the west side of the square to the left of the central staircase. These are open daily from 8am to 8pm. On event days the toilets are available free of charge.
• Trafalgar Square’s cafe is wheelchair accessible, and has a low-level counter and induction loop. Free drinking water is available upon request in the cafe.
• Additional accessible facilities for Feast of St George
• All staff and stewards will be briefed on disability awareness.
• The wheelchair accessible viewing area will be on the North Terrace, at the top of the central staircase. Some seating will be available for companions in the wheelchair viewing area, and for those less able to stand. An area with hearing loop will be available.
• BSL signers will be on the stage to interpret the spoken word content.
• Assistance dog welfare area will be available next to the lift, on the upper North Terrace on the west side.
• On the north west corner of Trafalgar Square (on the upper terrace) a Mobiloo wheelchair accessible portable toilet will be provided.
• The mobile toilet has a hoist and changing table. Mobiloo users needing to use the hoist must bring their own sling with them. This is for your own safety and convenience – and to prevent any cross-contamination between different users. Further details on the Mobiloo website. https://www.mobiloo.org.uk/
• You can plan your journey with TfL’s Journey Planner.
• The nearest railway station is Charing Cross. It is 325 metres away, approximately three minutes’ walk. Charing Cross rail station offers step-free access and a step-free route to Trafalgar Square.
• The nearest Underground station with step-free access from platform to street level is Westminster. This is served by the Jubilee, District and Circle lines. Outside Westminster station buses 12, 24, 88 or 453 have low-floor buses which call at a stop within 150m of Trafalgar Square.
• Charing Cross Underground station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines. It is the closest Tube station. However it does not have step-free access.
• Visit the TfL website for accessible Tube maps.
• Routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 53, 77A, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176 and 453.
• All these routes lead to Trafalgar Square. However, 9 and 15 are heritage buses and do not have a low-floor.
• Visit the TfL website for more information on buses.
• Find out about registering and pre-booking Dial-a-ride services.
• The nearest Blue Badge parking spaces to Trafalgar Square are:
• • St Martin’s Street – five spaces - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square
• • Outside Canada House – one space - 33 metres from Trafalgar Square
• • Suffolk Street – one space - 644 metres from Trafalgar Square
• • Spring Gardens – one space - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square
• To find other blue badge parking bays nearby, use the postcode WC2N 5DN and search the City of Westminster’s website.
• To see where the bays are, click the ‘View results on a map’ button on the search results page.