As part of our place promotion strategy, the BID team looks at strategic event and sponsorship opportunities to bring new footfall and different audiences into South Bank across the year.
VAULT Festival is London’s biggest independent arts festival, with over 500 shows across 13 different venues in South Bank and Waterloo. With an unmissable programme of live performance, featuring the best and boldest in theatre, comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, and late night entertainment from leading artists, the festival is often a crucial beginning step in many performers careers, alongside featuring performances from a range of established artists.
Happening across the traditionally quieter months of January to March, the festival is a great opportunity to both support young and independent performers, while also helping supplement footfall to local businesses in the post-Christmas period.
2023's festival brought 81,000 visitors over the 8 weeks, with 4,000+ artists performing in 553 shows: this included 94 professional debuts.
The BID first sponsored the festival in 2020, and then again in 2023 (due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 and 2022's iterations of the festival could not be held). 2024 will see the first 'Pinch of Vault' festival - this work-in-progress version of the festival will take place in The Glitch and additional venues in the Waterloo and South Bank area.
MIRACLE ON LEAKE STREET
Leake Street is London’s longest legal graffiti tunnel, located in the old Eurostar taxi drop off under Waterloo Station. Home to a range of great independent restaurants and venues, the tunnel is an important connecting point between Waterloo and South Bank – to celebrate that, South Bank BID partners with neighbouring BID We Are Waterloo to host the ultimate Christmas party, Miracle on Leake Street.
Taking place in December, for one night the tunnel is transformed into a Festive Wonderland, complete with wreath-making workshops, skateboarding lessons, festive face-painting, street food, a mulled wine bar, and market stalls run by local crafters. Each year also sees a free outdoor screening of a festive classic, to keep the whole family entertained.
The event works to both drive footfall to Leake Street but also raise money for local charities – 2022’s Miracle on Leake Street raised £500 for the Waterloo Food Bank, who provide crucial support for local families in need.
In 2018, Lumiere festival came to South Bank for the first time, thanks to South Bank BID’s sponsorship. The festival attracted over 150,000 visitors during period of the year in South Bank which typically receives less footfall. Launched in South Bank by the Mayor of London, the event created an estimated economic impact of £2.3 million for the area.