UK premiere of SPARK - Thousands of biodegradable light sparks will organically float through the air


This year’s award-winning festival of FREE outdoor arts and theatre takes place across 18 days in London from the 26th August – 11th September. The eclectic 2022 programme welcomes a record number of international artists from countries including Spain, Germany, Flanders, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Ukraine and The United States and includes a total of 25 premieres (12 UK premieres and 13 new to London).

This year’s Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF) opens with the spectacular UK premiere of SPARK, the creation of Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, who takes inspiration from the natural phenomenon of fireflies, to create a reimagined and environmentally responsible public celebration, which updates the ritual of fireworks. The result is a poetic performance which will be presented over 2 nights in Greenwich after-dark on 26th and 27th August. Thousands of biodegradable light sparks will organically float through the air, inspiring visitors to wonder and reflect.

The festival theme of COMMON GROUND sets out to remind us of the importance of shared values, rituals and togetherness. Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings MBE said today: “As we emerge from the pandemic, with growing economic challenges at home and terrifying events on our doorstep in Europe, I hope that this year’s festival will offer audiences a moment of sanctuary from the anxious times that we’ve been living through. It’s heartening that many of the incredible artists we’re working with this year are using the outdoors to offer us a glimpse of collective possibility and purpose.”

Alongside SPARK are several spectacular and immersive art installations including: Peter Hudson’s 32ft high zoetrope Charon, originally created for Burning Man Festival recreated at Royal Docks; Stephanie  Lüning’s environmentally-friendly foam fantasy Island of Foam: Version XVIII, Oliver MacDonald’s circular willow arena, This Woven O and Arjan Kreidhof’s mindful fairground ride, Relaxerette. 

Performances from leading theatre companies include original new work as well as touring productions from Graeae, Common Wealth, Speakers Corner and Fuel, Gobbledegook Theatre, Fevered Sleep, Chris Green, Tara Theatre, Middle Child Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company. GDIF’s annual ‘festival within a festival’, the Greenwich Fair returns to the Old Royal Naval College and Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich, Dancing City, a two day feast of outdoor dance at Canary Wharf is also back for a 2022 edition. On Your Doorstep, a hyper-local family-friendly street arts programme, will also be delivered in neighbourhoods across Greenwich and East London.

Programme schedule:
Discover Ukraine: Bits Destroyed - 26th to 29th August
Venue: Lower Grand Square

On Your Doorstep - 26th August to 10th September 
- B.V Natuur (28th August)
Venue: Avery Hill Park

- Out of the Deep Blue (28th August)
Venue: Avery Hill Park 

- Scrum (28th August) 
Venue: Glyndon Estate Basketball Court

- Follow Me (28th and 29th August)
Venue: Thamesmead

- The Tide (3rd September)
Venue: Rathbone Market, Canning Town, Royal Docks

- CROWD_CTRL (3rd September)
Venue: Rathbone Market, Canning Town, Royal Docks

- There Should Be Unicorns (3rd September)
Venue: Deptford, Twinkle Park 

- Roll Play (9th and 10th September)
Venue: Globe Town Market Square, Bethnal Green

Greenwich Fair - 27th August
Venue: Old Royal Naval College & Cutty Sark Gardens

House of Oak and Iron - 27th August
Venue: Old Royal Naval College

SPARK - 26th and 27th August
Venue: The Queen's House Lawns

The Sky is Filled with Thunder - 27th and 28th August
Venue: Thamesmead

Charon - 1st to 10th September
Venue: Canning Town

This Woven O - 2nd to 4th September
Venue: Dial Arch Square, Woolwich

En Route to Common Ground - 2nd to 4th September
Venue: Woolwich Common to Royal Arsenal Riverside

Island of Foam: Version XVIII - 3rd and 4th September
Venue: Greenwich Peninsula

Geophonic - 3rd and 4th September 2022
Venue: The Jetty, Olympian Way

Peaceophobia - 7th to 10th September
Venue: Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Multi-Storey Car Park

Unfurl - 9th and 10th September
Venue: Bethnal Green Gardens

Relaxerette - 9th to 10th September
Venue: Rathbone Market, Royal Docks

Final Farewell - 10th and 11th September
Venue: Island Gardens

Dancing City - 10th and 11th September
Venue: Canary Wharf

Sleepwalker - 10th and 11th September
Venue: Canary Wharf

Migrare - 10th and 11th September
Venue: Canary Wharf

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

GDIF is FREE for everyone to enjoy. Typically, a handful of performances are partially ticketed each year because of capacity constraints but even at these there are some free tickets to those with limited access to the arts.

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  • Free Entry


  • Children welcome

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  • Smoking not allowed

Map & Directions

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Type:Summer highlights

Various locations around the borough, Greenwich, London
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Tel+44 (0)20 8305 1818

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