For the second year in a row Walthamstow, our third favourite E-number (after Leyton and Leytonstone), will be hosting one of the UK’s most prominent arts festivals, HighTide (sic). And they’ve bagged a cracking line-up.
First off, some theatre. A handful of jewels come straight from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, with the likes of Songlines, a song-laced coming-of-age tale by Aldeburgh-based writer Tallulah Brown that features live folk music from the award-winning band Trills. Then there’s Sparks, Jessica Butcher’s brilliant two-hander musical about the brain’s response to grief. And Danusia Samal’s gig-theatre piece Busking It, drawing on a decade of busking on the tube.
HighTide is more than just theatre, though. This year they’re launching the first ever Stars Over the Forest, showcasing young artists making waves in the borough. Lil.MissLady will be bringing a rave-theatre hybrid in an exploration of British Grime music and female MCs; and there’ll be big guns from the world of comedy The Horse Section and Tim Key and very intimate gigs from, well the back of a vehicle, courtesy of Soul in the Van.
The free-to-enter festival hub (that’s the place to grab a pint, a bite to eat, peruse a programme and pick up tickets) will be in the pop-up site, Walthamstow Town Square Gardens (right by the station). They’re decking it out with furniture from the legendary God’s Own Junkyard, stocking the bar with beer from Pillars and The Real Ale Company, gin from Hunters and coffee from Perky Blenders.
And don’t get us started on the grub. Gorge on the likes of Walthamstow Dogs, Hanoi Câ Phè and Mexican street food from Wood Street’s Homies on Donkeys.
Let’s hope you won’t be drowning – culturally speaking – at the end of it.