On Saturday 3 December, Barking Riverside hosted its first ever winter festival—Emerge East—welcoming Londoners to experience the creativity, community and nature this emerging new area has to offer. We were delighted to welcome nearly 1,800 visitors to site throughout the day, joining us not just from the local area but all across London.
With a jam-packed schedule of activities running from 11am through to 8.30pm, Emerge East took visitors on a journey of discovery, giving them the opportunity to taste local home-cooked food, shop from independent businesses, explore the area with nature walks, learn about stargazing, plus enjoy a line-up of music, entertainment and plenty of free activities for children. The event also marked the opening of the new Station Square, connecting the Barking Riverside Overground station to the pier and Fielders Crescent in a few minutes’ walk.
Residents took an active part in the delivery of the event, with many independent brand owners joining the Emerging Makers Market. Faizan Jahangir from Kashmir Saffron trader Luxuriants, said of Emerge East “I trade in markets across London, including Borough Market and Greenwich. This was the most seamless experience, and the sales today were phenomenal. I’ve nearly sold out…..making this my best trading day this quarter.”
At the Home Cook event led by TV chef Bola Obileye, local people delivered a unique food offering featuring many diverse cuisines representing the multicultural character of the local area. Residents involved received support and mentoring ahead of the event in order to cater for large volumes of customers at high standards.
More highlights included the Riverside Sauna, where visitors could experience the feel-good benefits of deep heat, cold contrast and delicious steam alongside a range of sauna rituals from around the world. A stationary Uber Boat by Thames Clippers vessel hosted a session of Indeedy Musical Bingo on a Boat, giving participants a chance to guess the song for points and prizes. The Fold your Town activity allowed visitors of all ages to re-create Barking Riverside with paper origami.
The event was supported by TfL; Uber Boat by Thames Clippers; housing association L&Q; house builder Bellway London; ecology experts Arcus Consultancy Services; Acre Landscapes; Swedish waste management company Envac; and construction engineers McLaughlin & Harvey and Gallaghers; and architects Weston Williamson + Partners. It was curated by HemingwayDesign.