Let’s Do London aims to bring Londoners and tourists alike out to play.
Sadiq Khan has wasted very little time since being re-elected as Mayor a couple of weeks ago, and his biggest move thus far has been to announce London’s biggest-ever tourism campaign, in order to attract visitors back to the city. Love ’em or hate ’em, tourists are a vital part of ensuring the capital remains the greatest city on Earth, with the excitement and (let’s be honest here) the money they bring helping to fuel our city. The new campaign, called ‘Let’s Do London‘ is a whirlwind of culture, food, and art, and will run for the next year.
The campaign has been backed up by £6 million in funding, and aims to “unite the capital’s world-leading hospitality, culture, nightlife and retail venues to promote all that London has to offer.” A lofty goal, and whilst it got off to a slightly rocky start with the less-than-enthusiastic response to David Hockney’s takeover of Piccadilly Circus, it still represents exciting times for our city.
Promising “cultural calendar moments” aplenty, Let’s Do London aims to bring back people to central London, and all the galleries, museums, restaurants, bars, shops, and other amenities one can find there. Aside from Hockney Circus, which ran throughout last week, award-winning artist Yinka Ilori has been let loose on the city to create colourful ‘Asphalt Art’ streetscapes and turn the city centre into a massive outdoor gallery.
Though it started with art, Let’s Do London is continuing with food; the latest addition is ‘London Eats’, which has seen chefs and foodies sharing their favourite eateries in town, including the likes of Loyle Carner and Bimini Bon Boulash sharing their tips during Tube announcements. This part of the campaign also features Borough Market‘s first-ever Sunday openings this summer, and Covent Garden’s rosé festival, which began yesterday.
Other events already in the calendar are being used as a springboard for Let’s Do London; for instance, as the Euros hit Wembley this summer, the campaign will unveil family-friendly events to run alongside. Meanwhile, expect ‘London Lates’, such as outdoor film screenings curated by BAFTA and the BFI, and extended opening hours for museums and galleries, including the Royal Opera House ‘Unlocked’ taking over the Covent Garden piazza, and the return of The Globe’s popular ‘Midnight Matinees’. Come autumn, London Fashion Week, Frieze London, and London Design Festival are all likely to inspire surrounding events.
It’ll be fun to watch unfold, but there’s no denying Let’s Do London is necessary. City Hall has reported that consumer spending in central London was £7.4 billion lower than expected in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The campaign aims to reinvigorate the city’s culture and economy, and bring some much-needed enjoyment back to a town that’s tired of lockdowns. As always, Secret London will be here to cover it all!
In the meantime, here are five top events we’re looking forward to this year:
😍 The incredible immersive Van Gogh show hitting town in the autumn
🌲 Somerset House transforming with a futuristic fairground and pop-up forest
🍻 The biggest beer garden in London, opening on the South Bank
👑 Buckingham Palace opening up the gardens for a huge summer picnic
✨ Yayoi Kusama’s new Infinity Rooms at Tate Modern (open now)
Also published on Medium.