Festivals to go ahead despite London Pleasure Gardens closure

Two events that were threatened with cancellation after the closure of the London Pleasure Gardens have been salvaged.

Eastside Community Heritage has stepped in to host the full Together! 2012 disability-themed festival at its newly-opened Peoples Museum and Gallery of Newham in Stratford High Street.

And the Carnaval del Pueblo Latin festival will now be staged - on a smaller scale - at the Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle on August 18.

Together! 2012, organised by the UK Disabled People’s Council, was due to take place at the Silvertown site next month to coincide with the Paralympics.

The attraction closed last week after failing to attract the required footfall to make it financially viable. This was despite a �3.3m loan from Newham Council.

It is now in administration, owing thousands of pounds to angry staff, performers, and traders.

Claire Days, project officer at Eastside, said they had always planned to display some of the Together! 2012 artwork from the festival at their pop-up museum.

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She said: “What has happened has been absolutely devastating.

“What we are hoping to do is definitely hold the exhibition. Of course we can’t replace everything because of the It’s a real shame and it’s really upsetting for a lot of local people, especially with the Paralympics.”

Its remaining events are being spread over Disability History Month, including exhibitions, a conference, the Disability Film Festival, and poetry workshops.

Julie Newham, acting chairman of the UKDPC, said: “Together! has attracted a huge amount of support from across the disabled world.

“It has been embraced by disabled people who wanted to come together to celebrate disability sport and art as well as raise awareness of (their) lives in all our rich diversity.”

She added: “We would also like to thank the artists behind London Pleasure Gardens for their support, and wish them well in the future.”

Tickets to the Carnaval del Pueblo cost �3. For more information visit www.carnavaldelpueblo.com or www.coronettheatre.co.uk.