Lido Love 2012: London Fields hosts karaoke rave and Scrabble with a twist

Scores of people flocked to London Fields’ open air swimming pool on Saturday night for an extravaganza of performance art, music - and Scrabble.

Despite pushing back the date of the third annual Lido Love to the end of January, the weather remained as cold as the previous two years, with the thermometer not reaching much above freezing.

Performance troupe Figs in Wigs pushed on regardless, and dressed in red tracksuits, roped in punters to participate in their synchronised swimming routine based on sharks, turtles and jellyfish.

Meanwhile people thronged to the changing room to warm up, where The House of Hot Breath karaoke duo, Mike Gabel and Jennifer Earle, had set up a “Cardioke Shower Rave.”

This was no ordinary karaoke however, because as well as singing along to tunes like Electric Avenue, or I Like To Move It Move It, people had to work up a sweat on a cross trainer.


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A game of Scrabble with a twist broke the ice, as every visitor was given their own locker key, in which they found a letter to hang around their necks.

People were told to join forces with other Lido Love-goers to create the longest word they could think of – which turned out to be “Academia,” while the highest word score went to Fez.

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Organiser Gillian Fox, said: “We were delighted at this year’s Lido Love and feel it was the best one yet.

“Working in a space as large as London Fields Lido, it can be quite a challenge to fill it - you want enough that it feels busy, but not so much that a visitor feels they can’t take part in everything and that they are missing out.

“This year we were awarded a grant from the Arts Council, and this money enabled us to programme more artists which helped achieve this perfect balance.”

The event was set up in 2010 to celebrate the alternative history of London’s only 50-metre heated outdoor swimming pool, which closed due to funding cuts in 1988.

Before it re-opened four years ago, the empty pool hosted squatters and underground raves.

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