Highgate Festival 2020 programme

Mark Nevin and children from Highgate

Mark Nevin and children from Highgate - Credit: Archant

Here are all the details you need to enjoy this year’s online community festival with more than 50 events, exhibitions and walks

Phyllis Harper with her pink plaque. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Phyllis Harper with her pink plaque. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Highgate Festival comes to you online this year but we are still celebrating all the amazing things that happen in our community!

With over 50 events, exhibitions and walks to enjoy from June 20-28 we send a huge thank you to everyone helping to make the Festival happen.


Sacred Gin blending night at The Star, Chester Road, Highgate on 18.07.18. Blending night starts off

Sacred Gin blending night at The Star, Chester Road, Highgate on 18.07.18. Blending night starts off with a classic Gin & Tonic - Credit: Archant

How’s it been for you?

To capture a sense of what we are living through in Highgate in words or pictures. share with us what you’re seeing, thinking or making during lockdown.

Send your;

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View from my window – photo, drawing or painting

Gatherers Exhibition at OmVed Gardens in Highgate can be viewed virtually in a 360 degree film

Gatherers Exhibition at OmVed Gardens in Highgate can be viewed virtually in a 360 degree film - Credit: Archant

A poem, haiku or limerick

Hidden Highgate – something new or secret you have discovered.

I made this – baking, craft projects, jigsaw puzzles, ice cream, boats,

Silver lining: If something positive has come from lockdown, we want to hear about it.

And teens - let us know how it has been stuck in with parents and relatives for three months, Send photos thoughts or TikTok films.


Tune in to hear Highgate’s rich musical talent for the Festival with live gigs and mini-concerts from over 25 musicians and groups.

Music @ 6pm – from June 20-25 we have live music including The Handlers, John Landau & The Giants, Clio and Lily Harwood, students from Highgate School and Southwood Sessions with Will and Eddie.

Also; Lockdown Lauderdale Lunchtime piano recital

June 23 at 1.15pm lauderdalehouse.org.uk

Village Raw presents Lockdown Live Sessions

June 24 at 7.30pm Tune in on @villageraw

Highgate House Party on Boogaloo Radio.

June 25 5 - 7pm

Interviews and music DJ’d by Dan Carrier.


The Nevin Family

Mark, Louise, Gabriel, Stanley and Rufus.

June 27 at 7.30pm

Mark Nevin is the founding member, guitarist and songwriter of Fairground Attraction, including the number 1 ‘Perfect’ and multi-platinum album, ‘First of a Million Kisses’. During lockdown he has forced his family to be his band and this is their first live show!



Highgate is full of artists and creatives - hear from them and see their amazing work. Have a go at something yourself for #LockdownLife – painting, photography, poetry, ceramics, literature, cakes, or cocktails.

Throughout the festival local distillery Sacred Gin will be running Cocktail Masterclasses and Gin Tasting Sessions to ease us through lockdown.

Inside/ Outside

In the Window @ Highgate Art School

June 20 - 28

Artists from Halfadozen Studio exhibit work in the window based on the momentary interactions and chance encounters of material and process.

highgateartschool.com halfadozenstudio.co.uk

Other on-line exhibitions by local artists, many inspired by the places and people of Highgate. include potter, illustrator and people watcher Helen Beard who features the locals in her sketchbooks and pots - from ponds swimmers to market traders. throwncontemporary.co.uk

Local artist Helen Brough’s paintings of the Heath and photographer Jeff Duckett’s views of local landmarks, sunsets, sunrise and the night skies during lockdown.

Ruth Corney’s short firm celebrating the Ladies Pond 2000 – 2020 and a photographic exhibition called two metres of local people in lockdown.

The Lost Spring by Peter Gallagher who has hung his works in the gallery at Lauderdale House where he lives.

Nature Portraits by Fraser Lawson at Avivson Gallery in Highgate High Street, focuses on colourful and symmetrically arranged plants from our local parks using a special computer program. avivsongallery.com

Artist and photographer Alan Marriot, shows images of dens from our local woods.

Alicia Pivaro shares Pond Postcards from swimmers with over 50 reasons why the Ladies Pond is so special. Rob Sanders presents photographs of surfaces, textures and forms, and Highgate artist Tom Scase presents his New Horizons 3D Virtual Show of joyful, yet darkly strange landscapes where cloned sheep, menacing bees and warplanes are juxtaposed with abstract shapes of brilliant colour.

June 1-July 31. hlsi.net


Hear from local potter and illustrator Helen Beard.

June 20 7.30pm throwncontemporary.co.uk

John Plews – Life Upstairs at the Gatehouse

June 20 at 7.30pm

Hear the backstage stories and highlights of 30 years at the fringe theatre.

HLSI One-to-One Interviews

Michael de Swiet interviews Catherine Budgett-Meakin

June 31 at 3.00pm

A chance to learn more about HSLI members as one interviews another. Retired professor of medicine Michael de Swiet talks to Catherine Budgett-Meakin who grew up in Highgate and has campaigned on climate change for more than 30 years.

Register by noon on June 19 and Zoom invitations will be sent on the day. hlsi.net

Book launch The Shell Collector

Local author Robert Lyons talks about his latest, a fictionalised acount of a real 70s financial scandal on June 22 at 7pm. All royalties to NHS Charities Together. highgatesociety.com

The Pen Demics Live

June 23

AKA The Highgate Society Poetry Group and friends look back on the Pandemic.

Join the Pen Demics on Zoom. Contact r.downes@yahoo.co.uk

Tuesday Talks by the HLSI

Halle A man and His Orchestra

June 23 at 6pm

Sir Mark Elder, music director of the Halle? Orchestra, explores how Karl Hallé came to Manchester in the 1850s and founded the orchestra that bears his name.

Register by noon on 23rd to recieve your Zoom invitation. hlsi.net

Polly Hancock Live

June 22 7.30pm

Ham&High photographer Polly Hancock discusses her work documenting local life lauderdalehouse.org.uk

Gatherers Highgate June 23 at 7.30pm. A talk by ceramicist Joseph Ludkin on his recent project using wild clay foraged from OmVed Gardens, Highgate. He talks us through the challenges of the project and his research into the area.

Also Stephanie Buttle, ceramist and artist, discusses her final installation for the Gatherers exhibition at OmVed on June 27 at 6.30pm.


June 24 at 7.30pm. Local artist Jack Coleman talks about how his work explores the character of landscape and particular visual and historical features.



Explore Highgate’s people and places on foot or online via the Pink Plaques dedicated to Highgate’s Remarkable Women including Victoria Wood, Angela Burdett-Coutts, Barbara Castle and Elisabeth Siddall. View the Pink Plaques map at Virtual Tours and send nominations for this year’s recipients to info@highgatefestival.org

Take a virtual tour of Lauderdale House with director Katherine Ives and Highgate Cemetery with artists working with LUX.

Or watch a film of Peter Walton’s popular Jewish Highgate walking tour.

Take a walk through 500 years of English architecture via the Highgate Society’s

Highgate Architecture Walk or find details of Northern Heights ten self-guided walks around Hampstead, Highgate, Camden and Alexandra Palace.

Buy hard copy guides from local retailers or download from highgatesociety.com

Also Moselle River Self-Guided 5 mile Walk

Haringey’s hidden river runs the width of the borough from its source in Queen’s Wood, to the River Lea near Tottenham Hale. haringeyfriendsofparks.org.uk


#BuildBackBetter Highgate

A new campaign as part of the 2020 Festival to share ideas and work together on the changes we need to recover from Covid, whilst protecting the environment.

Great Trees of Highgate

Discover Highgate’s best 10 trees on this tour of our streets and local green and growing spaces. Send photos of your favourite trees to Instagram #highgatefestival/mytree.

Hampstead Heath – Three Walks

The City of London Corporation has created self-guided walks throughout London and one for Hampstead Heath gives three options of varying lengths.


BuildBackBetter Highgate Launch

June 20 5 – 6pm

Launch event of the #BuildBackBetter campaign driving action for climate, social and economic change in our post-COVID world. Local speakers will address themes from a global and local perspective.

Open Gardens Live

June 21 4 – 5pm

Virtually visit three beautiful gardens of Highgate residents who share their stories of how they created their green spaces.

And June 28 at 4pm. Virtually visit Highgate Allotments with guide Maggy Meade-King. Get tips and stories from allotmenteers for growing your own veggies!

Think&Do Catch-up

June 23 at 5pm

Join the team from Kentish Town to hear about their ideas for supporting community-based climate action. thinkanddocamden.org.uk.

Renewable Energy Workshop

June 24. 7 – 9pm

Hear about ideas for individual and community initiatives for renewable energy.

Born from Soil – A YouTube Film Premiere

June 27 – 5pm

Born from Highgate’s soil, in collaboration with OmVed Gardens, Where the Leaves Fall is an international magazine exploring humankind’s connection with nature. This short film reflects on the origins of the magazine and the construction of the OmVed Bowl which will be a crucial part of water management at the gardens.

Jackson’s Lane Circus Skills Workshops

Amaze your friends by coming out of lockdown knowing how to do handstands, juggle or acrobatics.


Highgate Art School workshops:

June 23 4:30 - 5:30pm. Drop-in online workshop. Experiment with mixed media collage and sculpture under the guidance of professional artists. You will need: Watercolour or acrylic paint, Oil pastel, Glossy magazines, White A4 paper, Pencil, Scissors, PVA or pritt stick.

Drop-in Ceramics Workshop

June 25 4:30 - 5:30pm

Experiment with sculpture techniques using the versatility of salt dough!

You will need: flour, salt and water (salt dough). highgateartschool.com halfadozenstudio.co.uk


Morning Coffee at 10A Highgate Society

June 20 and 27 11 – 12.30pm

The Highgate Society’s Saturday coffee morning is back - al fresco and safe distanced.

Lunch Club

June 22 and 26 12-1pm

£3.50 for a 3 course meal. All welcome.

Holly Lodge Community Centre, Makepeace Ave.

Origami Adults Workshop

June 23 June 4-5pm

Decoupage Family Workshop

June 24 at 4.30pm.

Local crafter Sujan Nandanwar shows you how to make things beautiful with these versatile techniques.


A Nice Cuppa - with homemade cakes and sandwiches

June 24 1 – 4pm, £3.

St Anne’s Church, Highgate West Hill

Simple Steps to Building a Robust Immune System June 25 at 7.30pm. Interactive chat with Monica Martini on simple hacks and debunking myths.

Further details on all events from highgatefestival.org