SouthWestFest is looking for a new Festival Director:

Since 2004, SouthWestFest has brought the SW1 community together in the first weeks of July to celebrate the cultural and community work taking place in this unique part of the capital.  Now the Board of Trustees is seeking an experienced freelance Festival Director to lead this dynamic annual community festival, sustain past success and take it into a new phase of development.

The successful candidate will work with the Board and partner organisations to link local people to cultural and community opportunities through fun activities and engaging events for all ages.

Role – Freelance Festival Director

Contract value – £10,400

Contract period – January 2022-December 2022, renewable annually

Time commitment – One day per week on average, but weighted towards the festival events

and immediate preparation for them in early summer

Place of work – Primarily home-based/flexible with attendance at meetings in Westminster

needed on a regular basis

Reporting to – Chair and Board of Trustees

Supervising – Festival Producer and freelance staff, as required

Enhanced DBS check required

For an application pack and any queries please contact Chair of Trustees Dr Catherine Drake Wilkes on

We plan to hold interviews on 23rd November.

Dear Friends of the Festival,

After 6 fantastic and fun-filled years at the helm of SouthWestFest it is time for me to move on from my role of Festival Director. This decision was not made easily, as I have absolutely loved my time working for SouthWestFest, getting to know the incredible communities, groups, organisations and people who make south Westminster such a vibrant place to live and work.

I feel honoured and privileged to have been able to work with you all to create amazing and inspiring cultural and community events and projects, which showcase and celebrate the area. From determinedly dancing and singing in the rain at the Pimlico Proms, to pop up planetariums, outdoor theatre shows, incredible community art installations, our parades and performances in the streets of Westminster, and my absolute favourite- our Festival Day in St. Georges square! I have so many happy memories to take with me.

I’m also pleased to have been able to work with our amazing trustees, our fantastic producer Dodie, our freelance staff and volunteers, to see the Festival and charity through the challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic. We launched a Digital festival in 2020, and a reimagined hybrid festival for 2021, out of which our Art Trail and other exciting new initiatives were born and now is an opportune time for the festival to continue to develop and grow under new leadership. 

Although I am departing as Festival Director, I promise this is not a goodbye, just a farewell for now as I will definitely be popping back in the future as an audience member, to enjoy all the fantastic future events the festival has to offer!

See you all soon,

Jo Goodey


May has been a mega month and we’re excited to announce the full Festival Programme online!

Over 100 free and low-cost events for you to enjoy in July; take a look, and get booking the ones that peak your interest – there’s something for everyone…

Events Partners

Coco Sato | Westminster City Council | Westminster Adult Education Service | Grosvenor | Chocolate Films | City Lions | Iris Theatre | Step Change Studios | Open Age | Hoop and Glory | Silvia Mercurliali | St. Andrew’s Club | Westminster Guides | Susan Furber | St. James the Less | St. Saviour’s Music | Musicus | Pimlico Picassos | Westminster Music Library | Emmanuel Church | Citizen’s Art Market | Westminster Abbey | Millbank Creative Works | Tate Britain | Dodie Finamore | Westminster Community Gospel Choir | The Pimlico Million | FinnFitness | Jan Timms | Lillington and Longmore Gardens  Residents Association | Westminster Talking Therapies | Queen Mother Sports Centre | Change4Life | One You | The Abbey Centre | Sketch Appeal | Pimlico Musical Foundation | Maxine Jones | Brian Richmond PT | Dr. Bike | Pimlico Toy Library

      Head to our What’s On Page for the full Festival Diary

SouthWestFest Returns for Summer 2021

We are pleased to announce that we will be bringing SouthWestFest back for summer 2021. This year we are ‘Reimagining’ what our community festival looks like and plan to take SouthWestFest to the Streets of south Westminster with a 3 week programme including pop up performances, creative activations, Art Trails, Health Trails and more.

SouthWestFest is a community led event, and there are plenty of ways for local organisations, groups and members of the community to take part.

 Open Access Event Programme

Host your own event, workshops or activity as part of our part of our 3 week celebratory cultural community festival programme which is SouthWestFest. This year the festival will be running from the 2nd to the 23rd July 2021.

The festival is open access and we encourage local community groups, organisations, artists, creatives and individuals to host their own events and activities as part of this community celebration.

Events registered should be either free or very low cost. The aim of the festival is to get local community members out into the area to try new activities and learn about local groups, services and venues in an accessible manner.

This year you can register both online and physical/live events (ensuring they are Covid secure)

This year we are theming our programme…

2nd – 9th July : Health & Wellbeing

10th – 16th July: Arts & Culture

17th – 23rd July: Celebrate Community

It is FREE to register your events in our festival programme! By registering your event or activity as part of our Open Access Programme, you will be included in our printed brochure and on our website in the run up to and during the festival. In return, we ask you to co-promote your event along with the festival, and on registering we will send you our Partner’s Pack which includes a guide on how to co-promote your event as part of the festival.

CLICK HERE to register your event or activity.

Take part in our Online & On Foot Art Trail

Building on our inaugural Art Trail last Summer,  we are aiming to create south Westminster’s biggest community Art Trail to date!

Are you a local artist that lives or works in south Westminster? Then we want you to get involved! The aim of our art trail is to feature  artwork that is created by local artists; bringing art into the community by the community.

The Art Trail will run from Saturday 10th to Friday 16th July 2021:

Online Trail: hosted on our website so that those that are not able to walk around the local area easily can still easily access the art

On Foot Trail: taking place in local venues/residential windows or gardens/public facing spaces so that those who can, can walk around the local area, discover your work, new spaces and be out in the community

the Art Trail Launch Day on Saturday 10th July, will include extra special celebratory pop-up performances and guided tours of sections of the trail.

CLICK HERE to submit your artwork for the Art Trail

Other Ways to Get Involved

There are plenty of other ways to get involved in year’s festival, just head over to our Take Part page to find out more…

2020 marked SouthWestFest’s 16th year working in south Westminster, and has provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our work, and reimagine the future of the festival. 

It can often be hard to quantify the intangible ‘feel good’ benefits of community events and talk about why a cultural community festival such as SouthWestFest deserves public support and funding. However, from the knowledge and experiences gained over the last 16 years of event delivery, we are keen to show how our festival offers important benefits and long-term impacts to residents of south Westminster. 

To support this reflection we have conducted research and produced the following report ‘SouthWestFest 16 Years Strong’ within which we have chosen to analyse the work of our festival, its impacts and benefits including wider research to support our understanding of what community festivals have to offer the people they serve. You can read the report as a PDF here or online here .

Objectives of this report are to:

1) Review our work over the past 16 years, drawing on case studies from the festival, plus feedback and evaluation, to understand where we are today.

2) Review and understand our audiences, the makeup of our community and some of the challenges that they may currently face.

3) Investigate and understand the benefits and wider impact our festival can offer, looking specifically at the areas of health and wellbeing, community engagement and education, volunteering and participation, placemaking and the local economy.

In producing this report, we have used feedback, case studies and data collected by SouthWestFest over the years, in addition to conducting desk based research and analysing evidence from statutory, industry and academic sources.

We hope it offers some deeper understanding of the long term impact of our work and our collaborative activities with community partners, as well as inspiring you to think about how you might like to ‘reimagine’ the festival with us for 2021 and beyond.

SouthWestFest has just launched its first ever crowdfund campaign, and is asking it’s supporters to help fund a reimagined safe and socially distanced festival for 2021.

Check out the page here:

The crowdfund campaign hosted on Spacehive, is part of the #crowdfundwestminster initiative. This pairs large grant givers with crowdfund projects, however these funders will only consider pledging to projects if they can see it has the community’s support – this is shown through small donations from local community members.

SouthWestFest is looking to raise just over £12,000 by January, however the first hurdle comes at the end of November, when the large grant givers will consider the festival’s campaign and decide if they are going to donate. To help the festival show that they have the support of the local community they are asking for the public to pledge, comment and like their campaign page on Spacehive to raise awareness.

The hope is between small local donations, and larger donations from the initiative’s funding pots in November, that the festival can reach its target by the end of January 2021.

Funding will help the organisation organise a 3 week Festival Programme between June and July 2021, offering fun, free, accessible and entertaining socially distanced events held in outdoor spaces, indoor venues and online with partner organisations from across the area.

Joanna Goodey, Festival Director said “Although we may not be able to bring back our big outdoor community festival weekend events in St Georges Square, we still plan on creating a festival celebrating the area for all the community to enjoy. We have some great plans for socially distanced performances, art trails and workshops as well as digital events which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. 2020 has been an incredibly hard year for so many and we want to offer the public something to look forward to and a way to bring our community together again.”

There are two easy ways to support the festival’s campaign:

1) To pledge financial support to the project page – please pledge here:

Any amount from £2 upwards is a fantastic help, 100 people donating £2 shows more local support to the large funders than 1 person donating £100 (but if you want to donate big don’t let us stop you – we really need all the help we can get!).

2) To share the project through your networks, social media and marketing to help us raise awareness across the area.

We want to thank you in advance for your ongoing support and commitment to the festival!

Team SWF


In light of the global pandemic, our actions moving forward must shift. Be part of the plans and help us shape our future!

If you are a Resident/Community Member/Participant click here
If you are a Partner/Organisation click here

We want to hear your thoughts and needs to guide our delivery of the Festival for 2021…

Many thanks and please share!

We have been looking at all the generous feedback from participants and organisations about their experiences of our Digital Festival and have collated this all into our Impact Report!

Take a look at the full document online here


Our Digital Festival took place between the 6th – 12th of July, with an amazing programme 70+ events and activities which took place online, over 7 days.

We were overwhelmed by the incredible response from local organisations and groups, who we want to thank, for getting involved and adding their own exciting and inspiring events to the open access programme.

We also want to thank all the artists and practitioners who took part in our commissioned programme and helped us create some special event highlights through out the week.

We must also mention our thanks to Karen Turner and cave, for curating our first ever online and on foot Art Trail, which was an incredible success and we are grateful to the 20 local artists who participated and presented their artwork in a socially distanced, fun and safe way!

Finally, we want to thank The Pimlico Million  who co-funded the Digital Festival with us and made this fantastic week of online events possible.

If you took part in one of our online events or activities, we would love to get your feedback for our evaluation. You can fill our our short feedback form here.


The Full Programme for our Digital Festival is here, with the ticket links to our specially commissioned events now live!

Specially Commissioned Events:

Get Crafty with Pimlico Picassos | 25 June(!) – 12 JulyA series of easy follow along videos, where you can learn how to make your own Happiness bunting to string up at home!No registration necessary!

Origami Workshop with Coco Sato | Monday 6 July, 11amLearn how to make an Origami Star which you can hang up in your window at home ready to celebrate Tanabata – known as the Star Festival!
Ticket link:

Happy Body with Brian Richmond PT | Tuesday 7 July, 11.30am
A fun dynamic and energising total body exercise session designed for the entire family!
Ticket link:

Grow-a-Story with Arkem | Tuesday 7 July, 1-2pm & 4-5pm
Create a story of your own, make collaboratively together, and add your own creative clip to a group story growing across the week!


The Social Sketch Up with Sketch Appeal | Wednesday 8 July, 8pm
Unleash your creativity at this fun portrait-sketching session for grown-ups – not a ‘serious’ drawing class!


Move to Happy with Brian Richmond PT | Thursday 9 July, 11.30am
Sitting or standing this fun energising mobility and movement class aims to free up the body, engage the mind and have you feeling happy!


Comedy Workshop with City Lions and ComedyClub4Kids | Friday 10 July, 5pm
Award-winning Ben Target will help find the funny in your own experiences & turn it into confidently-delivered stand-up!


Comedy Gig with City Lions and ComedyClub4Kids| Friday 10 July, 6.40pm
Award-winning Australian comedian Alice Fraser will deliver a short sharp set!


Cook and Eat Happy & Competition with Community Champions | Saturday 11 July, 11am
Learn how to cook Mexican Chicken Fajitas with sides, drink and desert – prize for best looking dish sent in!
No registration necessary!


Instruction to Happiness with | Sunday 12 July, 5pm
Working with SW1 locals we’ve created a live art performance – join us for this exploration and celebration of happiness!
No registration necessary!