LONDON.- On Saturday 9th January 2010, 7-8.30pm, the London Fields Lido will open for a one off unique event that brings to life the history of this remarkable London Lido - a unique night of art installations, performances, music and magic.
Lido Love celebrates the alternative history of this Lido . For 18 years the pool was closed, but far from empty, hosting screenings, discussions, festivals, community events, raves, and even squatters, not to metion continous campaigning to have the lido re-opended. It is this alternative life and bohemian history that Lido Love will bring back to life for all to see and celebrate the love from the local community that saved the pool from demolition.
Confirmed programme to date includes: Tracey Emin's early film "Why I Never Became a Dancer" which will be screened in the boys changing rooms, DJ Lion Man takes up residence in the girls changing rooms spinning some old tunes from the 90s rave era (whistles provided), performance artist H Plewis takes us through the ages of swimming costumes as she dips in and out of the changing rooms sporting a different costume from each era the pool was open, a string quartet and socialist magician Ian Saville entertain us on the poolside, along with a range of installations in the lockers and an Eygiptian goddess fire dance by performer Rebecca Horrax. And a screening of found footage and images from the lido's past which we are collecting from local residents and anyone who was involved in the pools history will be the focal point of the evening projected on the outside poolside patio. Hot food and drink will be available from the Poolside cafe.
The background: First opened in 1932, the London Fields Lido enjoyed years of swimming, both pre and post war, until it was closed like many other lidos across London due to funding cuts in 1988. However, the London Fields Lido proved to have a community love for it like no other Lido in London . For 18 years local people campaigned to have it reopened, experiencing a close call with the bulldozers in 1989 where they managed to halt the planned demolition and followed this with a series of petitions and more campaigning, working closely with the council to save the swimming pool.
Thanks to a number of successful clean up days in 1997, which saw hundreds of people clear rubbish from the empty pool, the pool was transformed by 1998 into an alternative community space, hosting a number of events, from discussions by the poolside with food and drink to the Carnival of the Dispossed, and a number of Make a Difference Days, one attended by TV celebrity Annabel Croft.
The team producing the event, led by public art curator Adriana Marques, are inviting existing campaigners to get in touch and share their stories and their love of the lido. A number of avid swimmers have already been in touch through the London Fields Lido User group with photos and stories which will be hidden in the lockers for visitors to discover as they arrive.
Lido Love provides the unique opportunity for campaigners and the local community to come together and celebrate the achievements of their work - now is one of the most used outdoor swimming pools in Greater London, and a unique chance to show London the London Fields Lido is more than just a sporting facility.