Join the party as Mill Road celebrates the summer with a day of food, music and fun for all the family
Promising fantastic food, live music, art and family activities, the Mill Road Midsummer event returns on 2 July. Aiming to build on the success of the Midsummer Night Market, which debuted last year, the organisers are scaling things up for 2016 with the addition of exciting new venues, entertainment and attractions.
Taking place 5-10pm, the fun focuses on six key locations, where you’ll be able to get stuck into everything from a street food market to a mini music festival. In much the same spirit as the hugely popular annual Mill Road Winter Fair, this event is all about community spirit, celebrating the local area and giving people a great, family-friendly day out.
Foodies will be pleased to hear that the Gwydir Street car park will once again be the setting for a food festival, offering a smorgasbord of culinary delights. Munch your way around traders including Steak & Honour, Fired Up Pizza, Jalan Jalan, Guerrilla Kitchen, Rösti Strasse and Holy Schnitzels. There will also be sweet treats from Churros Bar, Martha Rosie Bakes and Jack’s Gelato.
To wash it all down, there will be a fully stocked bar, as well as DJs and performances from live bands including The Brass Funkeys.
Little ones will love the activities planned at Ditchburn Place, open 5-8pm. They can get their photo taken in the fancy-dress photo booth, then bounce across to the bouncy castle, or get crafty with the whole family, maybe helping with the collaborative sculpture project. Parents might well enjoy the fact that there will be nothing for sale in this area, a decision the organisers made to ensure the experience is as positive and stress free as possible for both parents and kids (though donations are welcome). Things will wind down at Ditchburn Place with rather adorable sounding bedtime stories sessions at 7pm and 7.30pm.
Catering for slightly bigger kids will be The Bath House, at the corner of Gwydir Street and Mill Road. For one evening only it’ll be transformed into a young peoples’ chill-out area, brought to us from a partnership between Dhiverse and the Centre for Computing History, which will offer old-school video games and a cool retro inspired decor.
Elsewhere, there will be entertainment and shopping at Argyle Street Co-op, as well an artisan craft market at Bharat Bhavan, the Indian Cultural Centre.
My Little Festival, who’ve recently put on events including Sunday Best and the Early Night Club May Ball, will be bringing their glittery good time vibes to the Lloyds Bank car park from 5.30pm. Getting everyone up and grooving will be Americana band Swamptruck, as well as a DJ set from the founder of the Secret Garden Party, aka the Head Gardener Freddie Fellowes, who’ll be spinning a lively retro set.
There will also be scrumptious street food and The Spirited Mare – a bar in a horsebox – will be serving up cocktails and Prosecco.
“Car park parties are all the rage in the cool parts of London at the moment, so we’re delighted to have this space, to bring a dose of festival feeling to Mill Road,” says Vicky Fenton, events director for My Little Festival. “Mill Road Winter Fair is such a great community event, and we jumped at the chance to be part of the summer version. Festivals without the fuss is our mission, so it’s great to do a mini version right in the centre of the city, a precursor to our bigger event planned for 17 September.”
Railway House, the young persons’ housing association, is celebrating its 30th birthday with a picnic in the front garden (accessible from Mill Road Bridge), whilst local favourites Garden Kitchen, Culinaris and Bacchanalia will all be open late and hosting special events.
Heading further down Mill Road, Perfect Pizza will be hosting a pizza-making workshop for children and Urban Larder will once again be opening late for a mini party, complete with food and a bar.
Finally, the Friends of Mill Road Cemetery will be commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme with a candlelit procession from the Mill Road gates, down the Avenue of Limes and into the cemetery. Beginning at 8.45pm, it will offer a solemn and beautiful counterpoint to much of the rest of the event.