Opening from today, here’s an idea of what to expect from the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival this year.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival is back for 2020, running in locations across Royal Greenwich and
East London.

Given the ongoing pandemic, the festival has been adapted the programme and prioritise the safety of artists and audiences, the Festival offers events
with capacities from 50 up to 250, including durational installations, site-responsive theatre and dance and a touring programme of street arts, delivered on people’s doorsteps.

It is the first festival to take place in the UK since lockdown began in March and the programme has been curated in response to this. Highlights include Luke Jerram’s new installation In Memoriam created as a temporary memorial to those we have lost during the Covid- 19 pandemic and also in tribute to NHS staff and key workers; 846 Live, a co-production with
Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Royal Docks Team in response to the murder of George Floyd; and The Weavers of Woolwich, an epic new prose/poem from Booker Prize-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo.

All events will have free, allocated access for local residents, with further free and paid ticketing arrangements to help manage more limited event capacities for this year and ensure that everyone who attends can have an enjoyable and safe experience.

GDIF’s Artistic Director, Bradley Hemmings said: “This year’s Festival takes place inunprecedented times. The recent hard months have shown in sharp relief our need for equality and community, whilst reminding us of the resilience that comes from looking after each other. As a free outdoor festival, GDIF has always tried to play an active role in local civic life, and as we start to reimagine the future, this 25th anniversary Festival has been designed with artists, local partners and participants to offer an inclusive moment for reflection, whilst hopefully providing something we all desperately need – a time to celebrate and smile together again.The safety and wellbeing of our artists and audiences is our number one priority and we have worked hard to put in place extensive measures to ensure a safe festival for everyone.”

Following detailed advice from leading safety consultants Blue Yonder Events, and drawing on the Festival’s 25 year track record of producing outdoor theatre and performing arts in Greenwich and East London, there will be many special measures put in place this year – including controlled entry to sites to allow for socially distanced audiences of 50-250 depending on the event, seating for most performances and ticketing to manage capacities, plus localised pop up performances. Staff and volunteers will be wearing face coverings and adhering to 1m+ social distancing. All audience seating and distancing will be at 2m.

Sites will offer hand sanitation stations at ingress, egress, and at all touch points, which will be disinfected regularly, including between performances where applicable. There will also be increased signage and announcements to guide audiences. Additional access arrangements will be
put in place for d/Deaf and disabled audiences and those with access requirements, and manyFestival events will also be available to enjoy online through a new live streaming service.

The Greenwich + Docklands Festival will run until the 12th September. For more information on the programme visit: https://festival.org/gdif/whatson/