Pleasure gardens open in Royal Docks
Wed 6th June 2012, 10:49 am
A new entertainment quarter in east London featuring a giant dome will recreate the pleasure gardens that were at the heart of the capital's social life for more than 200 years.
A 15 acre site at the Royal Docks in Newham is to be transformed into the London Pleasure Gardens, hosting a string of Olympic-year shows. Performers already lined up include Groove Armada, Gary Numan and Baaba Maal.
There will be a 1,000-capacity dome with a 6.30am licence, sculpture garden, floating cocktail bar and dance and theatre arenas.
The park will be able to host 35,000 people in total. It will officially open on June 30 with the Paradise Gardens weekend, featuring Roots Manuva, Alabama 3 and Jerry Dammers of The Specials.
There will also be fireworks and a theatrical performance at Silo D, a restored Grade II-listed concrete grain silo, inspired by a 1917 tragedy when a TNT factory exploded.
The park will host the BLOC electronic music festival, featuring Orbital, Snoop Dogg and Gary Numan, and replace Jubilee Gardens as the venue for African concerts in the BT River of Music programme, with star names such as Hugh Masekela, Staff Benda Bilili and The Noisettes. There will also be free entertainment throughout the summer.
The £5 million venture has been backed with a £3 million loan from Newham council, which cut the deal with a team of producers whose projects include the Lost Vagueness field of alternative entertainment at the Glastonbury Festival.
They will be redeveloping and operating the site for three years as a prelude to the long-term regeneration of the area.
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