A Reimagined ‘Frost Fair’ With Interactive Art Has Taken Over Bankside

Hundreds of years ago, during terribly cold winters, the River Thames was known to freeze over completely. In fact, between c.1605 and 1814 it’s thought to have done so a total of 24 times.

When this happened, the people of London would create a “Frost Fair” scene of pleasure, hosting markets and games along the frozen surface. There is even a legend which states that, when the Thames froze over in 1814, an elephant walked over the ice.

Fast forward over 200 years, and Bankside have launched a multimedia reimagining of the scenes that went down on the Thames back in the day. And yes, an elephant (of sorts) does make an appearance! Until January 31, you can expect a vast reinvention of these occurrences, using both modern powers (Augmented Reality) and timeless classics (providing a good feed).

Yes, Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities may have come to a close, but there’s still plenty of cold-weather fun to enjoy here. Waltz around the space inhabited by AR installations, street art murals, animations, AI collaborative digital art, events, workshops and plenty of food & drink markets to warm up your soul and kick those January blues.

Between gazing at the art and learning about the old chilly winters along the Thames, you can head to Bankside’s many bars and restaurants to enjoy a plethora of tasty promotions, as well as themed clubs, music nights, and workshops. Proceeds from these pop-ups will all go towards local homeless charity The Manna Society.

Take in the trail depicting historical and modern imaginings of Frost Fair by street artists including Mr Cenz and Dreph, before experiencing art in through digital animation and cinematic film. There’s even guided tours throughout the month, where participants can learn all about the games and events that took place on the frozen banks of the Thames.

Frost Fair runs at Bankside until January 31. Find out more about the event here.