The idea of the traditional summer 'village fete' - which I remember well from childhood summers in an actual village - seems to have been well and truly reclaimed by London's hipsters. Summer in London is replete with ironic village fetes, complete with everything from bunting to tombolas to home-made cakes, from the Innocent Village Fete in Regent's Park to the V&A's annual Summer Fete.
So it was with this weekend's Shoreditch Festival, which saw the usually somewhat dingy space of Shoreditch Park transformed into a multi-coloured extravaganza of fun - yet pleasingly, this free, family-friendly festival didn't overdo the irony, and so managed to retain some of the good-natured community atmosphere of a real, old-fashioned summer fete, albeit one reinvented for an urban East London audience, complete with jazzy pigeon-themed branding.
Some of my highlights from my afternoon stroll around the festival grounds were: lemon-yellow cupcakes and tea; Buster Keaton films on the big screen; children's books (what else?) on sale from the excellent Victoria Park bookshop; guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens courtesy of Hackney City Farm; children bouncing on huge cushions on the Spoken Word tent, in between playing drawing games with Children's Laureate Anthony Browne; Mr Wonderful's Tea Dance; and especially the ace Shoreditch Bark Dog Show which featured some exceptionally cute dogs completing for titles such as Most Glamorous, and Best Tail-Wagging. (Now I bet that's something that wasn't on the line up at ATP or Latitude...)
[Image via Shoreditch Festival]