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Boris sends out a search party

In the old days, when you had a festival or a fun-day, your Council told you when and where it was and what was going on and you went their and did it. Now, under Boris Johnson’s free-market London, you get told there is a festival – and then you have to go and find it. The very act of going to find what is supposed to be going on becomes the “search” party – almost an event in itself.

Only 4,000 Londoners are being invited to join the “Search Party”: there is no information on who they are. The “Search Party” itself will take the form of a treasure hunt – except rather than just call it a “treasure hunt”, it is described as “a unique immersive odyssey where people of all ages hunt for clues and take part in a series of quirky tasks on their journey through the streets to find the location of a huge free party with live music, swing dancing, food, drink and surprises.”

The “immersive odyssey” will take place on 20th March, through a series of “pocket parks, squares and high streets”. There are “four unique two mile trails” leading to the secret party. Searchers (searchers? “odyssists”, surely?) have to solve “fun riddles and clues” to find the secret location. It gets worse: “tasks may include joining in dance routines, taking taste tests and even herding sheep! Clues will reveal themselves in surprising ways: perhaps  a message in a bottle, or an actor in disguise, with  every clue leading people one step closer to the party address.”

If there are 4,000 people wandering through London asking passers by if they are really an actor with a clue, it sounds more like a recipe for getting arrested than having a fun Sunday out.

This bizarre escapade has been organised by Sing London and apparently it is one of the many highlights of the Find Your London festival, taking place from 18th to 28th March which aims to get Londoners out and exploring London. It’s all been organised by Boris and he has taken 44 partners to help him.

Festival events have been labelled to indicate which of five festival moods you need to be in to enjoy them: Active, Curious, Playful, Relaxed, or Inspired. Perhaps a festival fringe could be organised under the label “aghast”, “what a waste of money” and “hang on, is this an April Fool?”

Boris “two jobs” Johnson MP, said: “There are a smorgasbord of festival events from searching for clues to locate secret parties, launches of new markets to historical tours of our river sides. London is without a doubt one of the most fascinating cities on earth and Find your London is the perfect excuse to get out and explore the fantastic things to see and do in our glorious city.”


Some of the Festival events will be held in East London. Perhaps you can try getting to them through the traffic chaos caused by Boris’s roadworks on Whitechapel Road through Mile End Road to Bow Road. After the year of misery we’ve had, there should be some compensation.

Here are some specific East London events which have revealed their details. Don’t all rush at once.

Bowl of Chalk London Walking Tours
Mood: Curious
11am, 20th March; 10am, 27th March
Admission by voluntary donation
Take a Sunday morning meander through some of east London’s most popular sites like Columbia Road flower market, Brick Lane market and Old Spitalfields market.
The meeting point will be revealed when you book.
Booking required: www.bowlofchalk.net/contact

Playful Hackney: Discovering Hidden Play Spaces of Hackney
Mood: Play
3:30-6pm, 18th March; noon-4pm, 19th March.
Cost: Free
Enjoy an afternoon of den building, gardening, arts and crafts, marshmallows over the fire and rope climbing. Plus screening of short film Project Wild Thing.
Venue: Homerton Grove Adventure Playground and locations in Hackney, Wardle Street London E9 6BX.
No booking required

City is my playground
Mood: Active
12 noon and 2pm, 27th March (assemble 15 minutes before start time)
Cost: Free
Boost your fitness and strengthen your core. Learn how you can use city furniture – lampposts, doorways, posts and walls – in your workouts. Suitable for all.
Meet outside Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 3HB
Booking required:  hello@cityismyplayground.com

Trees & Treats
Mood: Active
11am-4pm, 19th March
Cost: Free
Visit this stunning garden and help plant small trees, flowering shrubs and perennials and sow wildflower seeds in the grounds. Plus afternoon tea at 3pm.
Venue: Community Centre and Community Food Garden, Cranbrook Estate, Bethnal Green Mace Street, London E2 0QT.
No booking required

Roman Road Yard Market Launch Party
Mood: Curious
11am-5pm, 19th March
Cost: Free
Buy things such as hot food and goods on sale ono market stalls such as handcrafted goods. Street music and guided walks around the area.
Roman Road car park, Ford Road, E3 5LX.
No booking required

Get Lost – creative walk led by Anna B. Sexton
Mood: Curious
1-3.30pm, 19th March
Cost: Free
Artist Anna B. Sexton leads this family friendly walk. Whatever the weather, bring your stamina, sketch book and camera. Let your curiosity be your guide.
Venue: Mile End Ecological Park, The Regent’s Canal, Victoria Park
Meeting point: Mile End Tube, Mile End Road, London E3 4DH.
Booking required: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/get-lost-creative-artist-walk-led-by-anna-b-sexton-19th-march-2016-tickets-20607368193

Wild Play Day
Mood: Active
11.30-3.30pm, 20th March
Cost: Free
Pick up a map from the Soanes Centre. Then follow the trail for scavenger hunts, wild art, assault courses, pond dipping and much, much, more! Suitable for any age (all children must be accompanied by an adult).
Venue: Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park The Soanes Centre, Southern Grove, Mile End, E3 4PX
No booking required

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