Summer and Winter Festivals

In summer 2014, in response to suggestions from our Cultural Connectors network we began to research what a new summer outdoor arts festival for Barking and Dagenham could look like. We went on lots of trips with Barking and Dagenham residents to festivals across the UK to spot talent and think about what we'd like to see in our area. We had lots of great support with this from artistic advisors Maggie Clarke from Xtrax and Bradley Hemmings from Greenwich + Docklands International Festival.

DAGFEST in July 2015 was just the start of an exciting and ambitious programme of outdoor activities led by the Cultural Connectors network. Since the first DAGFEST and the major outdoor show 'The Colour of Time' as part of the Council's One Borough Festival in 2015 there have been a further 3 large scale festivals of circus, music, dance and street theatre.

All our festivals and events are curated by steering groups of brilliant, committed Barking and Dagenham residents and last year our festivals were attended by over 10,000 people!  

The festival fun doesn't stop when the summer ends! GLOW was Creative Barking and Dagenham's first Winter Lights festival at Eastbury Manor House. Taking place over Friday 25th and Saturday 26th November, GLOW was led by a steering group of Cultural Connectors and local residents and presented a huge variety of artists at the National Trust property.

GLOW 2016

25th & 26th November 2016, 5pm - 10pm

GLOW transformed Easbury Manor House in November. Over 2100 people joined us for two evenings of art, light and fire, interactive workshops and facepainting. With delicious food from The Buttery and glowing cocktails from Company Drinks.


18th June 2016, 12pm - 6pm

This year DAGFEST returned to Dagenham village and featured over 280 hand-picked performers - 220 of which were talented Barking and Dagenham dancers and musicians and 60 were from the UK, Spain, France and Belgium.

The Colour of Time

25th July 2015

This Holi-influenced show from Artonik was the spectacular finale of the One Borough Show.

Thamesfest2016_AnitaAdeshina_Bloc clocktower.JPG


26th AUGUST 2016, 3PM - 8PM

No Fit State Circus returned to Barking Riverside with Motionhouse Dance to perform BLOCK. Alongside a packed programme of dance, theatre, a roller disco and arts and circus family workshops.       



1st & 2nd August 2015

Over 1500 people joined No Fit State circus for their exciting Open House performances and fun workshops at Barking Riverside.


11th July 2015

The debut summer festival! Local residents brought the best in home grown talent and international performers to Dagenham Village for the day.

Photo credits: Anita Adeshina, Jaybright Photography, Dabuju Media, Georgia M Whyte, Mark Sepple.