Dalston's inaugural Land of Kids festival inspired by crazy Glastonbury hippies

PUBLISHED: 15:17 07 May 2013 | UPDATED: 18:00 07 May 2013

Land of Kids festival in Dalston, photo credit Sonya Hurtado

Land of Kids festival in Dalston, photo credit Sonya Hurtado


A land of curiosities and magic to inspire children's imaginations was brought to Dalston's doorstep on Monday for the inaugural Land of Kids festival.

Festival Director Connie Harrison, who has been running the adult multi-venue festival Land of Kings for the last five years with Nick Griffiths was wanted to put together something for youngsters.

“We wanted to create something with difference – odd, unseen, curious, magical, inspiring and memorable,” she said.

“We want children to go off and talk about it, dream about it, make things, write things, imagine things.

“And with no TV characters, I don’t mind TV but this is about the magic of imagination.”

A main stage set up behind Ashwin Street hosted the likes of Pan Nation’s 15-strong steel band and Disco Loco, while Punchdrunk Enrichment’s “story balloonists” took youngsters up Kingsland High Street to an eccentric botanist’s shop where they tasted the imagination-inducing moon juice he had brewed up.

Gastro-delights were being served up in a carpark by Street Feast, where take-outs of a different kind were also on offer in the form of made-to-order poems from The Poetry Takeaway truck.

A recycled drumming workshop and a soft play area were set up in the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, and the Arcola Theatre hosted the likes of a Pirate School and the House of Hot Breath’s mini video dance parties.

Ms Harrison said the day was partly inspired by a trip to Glastonbury aged nine: “I remember it all being a bit bonkers, there were lots of hippies doing crazy, creative things. Adults not being adults, it was fun. Maybe that’s in there somewhere.

“A lot of people have fed back that they had very happy tired children at the end, and that was our main goal.”

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