Thousands enjoy weekend of Pleasure as Gardens open for business

See our gallery for a full picture of the day’s festivities

More than 40,000 people flocked to the Paradise Festival in the Docklands for a memorable weekend packed with free music and entertainment.

The festivities marked the start of the London Paradise Gardens and the end of a transformation of a former derelict Potoon Dock site.

With less than one month to go, organisers hope it will prove a taste of things to come for Newham during the Olympics.

Jerry Dammers and the Boxettes were among those to make appearances on the impressive Main Stage. Various acts, including DJ Switch and Jazzsteppa, played the after show party.

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Playing homage to its Georgian roots, families were also treated to a vintage fairground, while comedy acts performed to the Dome.

And the night was rounded off by a spectacular pyrotechnic display which lit up the sky.

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Some visitors did have to put up with a torrent of sand, blown up from the ground because of sharp breeze from the Royal Victoria Dock.

A spokesman for the Pleasure Gardens said: “We are so happy that it is now open, and that our first event was a free celebration which everyone could enjoy.

“This is an evolving project, so with each new happening at London Pleasure Gardens there’ll be more to see.

“We hope everyone who liked this weekend’s festivities keeps an eye out for forthcoming announcements about The Last Mile Festival, our rolling programme of events over the Olympic period.”

The gardens will be open every weekend from now until the Olympics, when it will stay open - and free to enter - for the duration of the Games.

It will then open intermittently for special weekend events for the rest of year.

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