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Southbank’s Festival of Love

Friday 15 August 2014

If you hadn’t heard, Southbank Centre is giving Saint Valentine a run for his money. Why just spend one day celebrating love, when you could spend sixty? The Centre has been hosting The Festival of Love since June, celebrating the Same Sex Couples Act by rejoicing and revelling in all things lovey. Poetry? Check. Speed dating? Check. Wedding bells?! Check!

The festival brings together artists, performances, pop-ups, talks and workshops to explore the different kinds of love, before ending with their big finale The Big Wedding Weekend, where couples are invited to marry or renew their vows at the Royal Festival Hall. If anybody has any reasons as to why they should not attend the festival, speak now or forever hold your peace. We thought so.

The Seven Kinds of Love will be explored individually each weekend, where family love, long-lasting love and love by shared experience have already been covered. Reunions with long lost friends, family photography exhibitions, meals with shared stories of enduring love and poets locked in a library at midnight have all taken place so far. If you think you’ve missed out then take a look at what they have coming up.

Yet to be covered is self-love, where themes of personal health and happiness are raised, before the heat gets turned up with the Eros and Ludus weekend – romantic, erotic love and flirtatious and playful affection. That’s got your attention hasn’t it? The pop-up Intimacy Lab will explore what intimacy and relationships mean today, whilst the Flirtology workshop will help you develop your skills of seduction. You can then practice your new found talents at Sundate, the capitals biggest speed dating event that involves a mass game of twister. Or if you don’t fancy getting yourself in a twist, then twirl yourself into the tango workshop, where participants can embrace dance’s most erotic style. It takes two after all. If that’s not your rhythm of choice, then courtship dancing and a Dirty Dancing masterclass are on offer to get all of the ladies out of the corner.

For those less inclined to get down on the dance floor, sing-alongs and choruses of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be taking place, where the public are invited to join in the mass outdoor performance. And if that doesn’t get you in the mood for love, then we don’t know what will. Wedding cake anyone?

Words: Kayla Joleen