City of London Festival: Edinburgh Fringe faces fresh rival from the Square Mile

Edith Hancock
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Get ready for a month of jazz, juggling and debates on justice across the Square Mile
Jealous of your rural friends festival-hopping their way around the British countryside? Don’t be; the City of London festival opens this week, bringing workers all the acrobatics and entertainment they can fit into their lunch break.

The 53rd edition of the City of London Festival starts this week. With over 200 events spanning three weeks, the Festival promises to bring life, vitality, and a little buzz of excitement to London’s commercial heart. Long lunchers will be treated to every entertainment genre out there until 10 July. How about some jazz music at the Shard in London Bridge on Friday? Or if you’re more into high-brow debate, head to the Bishopsgate Institute on Thursday to hear the battle to keep London’s nightclub scene afloat. Whether you like acrobats or orchestras, there’s something for everyone, and lunchtimes are always eclectic.

▀ Paul Anderson, creative director of ad agency Gravity Global and the man behind Investec’s zebra symbol, will take to the skies in a 900-mile, 14-hour flying challenge across the UK at the end of August. The flight, which raises funds for solar-light charity SolarAid, will also take Anderson across a scary 272-mile jaunt across open water, complete with plenty of fuel stops. Anderson said: “There is quite a bit of water to cross but the engine doesn’t know it’s over water.” Eeek!

▀ With almost half of London comprising of green space, it’s no wonder that you’ve been investing in alfresco decor. Comparison site Moneysupermarket says that Londoners spend four times as much money on their gardens as the rest of the UK.

Garden lovers in London have invested over £4,000 on maintenance, gnomes and knick-knacks, compared with the national average of £1,223, and are also most likely to own a hot tub. And don’t think we don’t know about the beers you’ve been hiding in the garage. With Britons stashing £1bn worth of alcohol in outbuildings, capital-dwellers have confessed to storing the most. Almost £495 worth of booze goes into each London garage every year. Fancy a drink, then?

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