Walthamstow whey-hey: a 2-day free fete follows the annual St John fest in Hackney

Hackney Summer Fete nr St Augustine tower London E8 180715 © david.altheer@gmail.com
From St Augustine's tower: NE London, St John-at-Hackney church Clapton 180715 © DavidAltheer@gmail.com
Great sights: a previous Hackney Summer Fete and, above, the St Augustine tower

IT COULD BE 20 years since council ended the annual Hackney Show. Held on Hackney Downs, the hugely popular event was cancelled when the town hall wanted to make budget cuts.

Hackney Summer Fete has been a worthy substitute, last year attracting, organisers say, 10,000 people to its offerings of refreshments (via Hackney Heart Market and the Five Points Brewing Company), arts, crafts, and music (Hackney Empire, Percolate, Secretsundaze, London Fields Radio and Shoreditch Radio) and other entertainment.

London Fields Radio @ Hackney Summer Fete nr St Augustine tower London E8 180715 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Near St Augustine tower: London Fields Radio at the summer fete

Hackney’s Percolate, DJ Bootsy and daytime rave star Giles Smith, of Secretsundaze will head a DJ stage.

The fete occupies parkland around the church (consecrated 1792), including a large festival field, walled children’s garden (catch the  treasure hunt) and woodland areas. Reaching towards the Narrow Way, the event also incorporates a fringe programme in local venues.

The church front garden will include donkey rides, the annual Hackney Dog Show, Hackney Playbus and the main music stage.

St Augustine’s Tower, Hackney’s oldest building, will run visits to the top, where panoramic views give views down to the city and up to the hills of Essex and Hertfordshire.

ANOTHER PROMISING FREE FESTIVAL (writes David Altheer), this one a two-dayer, is being held a few km north of Hackney next month July 2016.

The delightfully named Walthamstow Garden Party (gentrification, anyone?) is said to attract more than 30,000 people. It will feature music, theatre, dance, circus, film, spoken word, arts and crafts, food and family events and stand-up comedy.

Romany band Fanfare Ciocarlia (supplied)
Gypsy jive: some of the Romany band Fanfare Ciocarlia (supplied pic)

Among the musicians are Asian Dub Foundation, Alif, Ana Tijoux, Mo’Kalamity, Sam Lee, Rocket Number Nine and outstanding Romany 12-piece band Fanfare Ciocarlia.

Organisers the Barbican, Create and Waltham Forest council are still adding performers — check the garden party site.

Hamish Scott 140616

* Hackney Summer Fete, St John-at-Hackney, Lower Clapton Road E5 0PD, Saturday 9 July 2016, noon-7pm. Proceeds to Hackney Night Shelter and Hackney Food Bank. Entry  free

* Walthamstow Garden Party, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 5JW, Saturday 16 July 2016, noon-9.30pm-Sunday 17 July, noon-8pm. Free.

Hackney Dog Show London E8 2015 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
(Bow) Wow! Hackney dogs out to collar a prize
* Backstory: A hit in the heart of Hackney; Hero priest’s post-riot get-together for Hackney; Sorry story of a Hackney horror; Hackney Wick sizes up big-time arty trick; Kate Malone fish surface in Leyton 

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