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Summer Sessions

Family RaveThis summer saw the activation of Barking Riverside’s riverfront with the ‘Summer Sessions’—10 weeks of food, drinks, activities, and events, all happening alongside the River Thames.

Following last year’s ‘By the River’ programme, this year’s Summer Sessions expanded the riverfront offer for residents, with an action-packed summer programme of events, as well as providing an opportunity for visitors to discover this new East London neighbourhood.

Situated by the BRL Project Office, the Summer Sessions kicked off in mid-July and ended in mid-September — the longest riverfront programme ever delivered by the BRL team. Residents were able to enjoy pop-up food and drinks, as well as outdoor furniture and a large sandpit for children. Highlights have included a residency from Barking’s independent bar, the Boathouse, weekly fitness and yoga classes, and organic drinks served up by cocktail experts, Meetini. There were additional events, such as the Barking Summer Games, organised by the Resident Events Panel.Emerge East

The Summer Sessions was designed with all audiences in mind. As part of a weekend aimed at families, BRL partnered with Big Fish Little Fish to deliver a family rave, attended by approximately 300 people - some ‘family ravers’ travelled from Woolwich, Forest Gate, Waltham Abbey, and even as far as Milton Keynes, to take part.

The closing event of the Summer Sessions was Emerge East—a community festival celebrating creativity and nature, delivered in partnership with event organisers Hemingway Design. Emerge East took place Saturday 16th September and was sponsored by L&Q and Bellway. Over 1800 visitors enjoyed curated activities, including DJing classes, nature-inspired workshops, an outdoor sauna experience, ‘Home Cook’ food stalls that featured Barking Riverside residents, an independent Makers Market, a personalised poetry experience in an L&Q Show Home, and the launch of the Wildlife and Wellbeing Trail commissioned by Create London.

The Boathouse weekendSarah McCready, Head of Placemaking and Communications, comments: “Our Summer Sessions programme was ‘pop-up-style amenity for the growing community living in Barking Riverside, and for visitors who wanted to explore this emerging neighbourhood. The programme activated one of East London’s most undiscovered stretches of the River Thames and provided a unique summer offering for residents and non-residents alike. The Summer Sessions provided a platform for residents to connect with their friends and neighbours, whilst experiencing the uniqueness of our riverfront.

Future events at Barking Riverside will be announced soon on our What’s on page.