Image: Oval Night Market

Oval Night Market returns

As the Oval Night Market returns to Bethnal Green, organisers are confident of the long-term future of the event, despite major redevelopment in the area.

This weekend will see the return of Oval Night Market to Bethnal Green. This is the first time the event has taken place this year. 

The event is inspired by New York’s night markets, and will feature street food vendors, cocktails and unique products on offer from stallholders. The event is free and runs on Friday the 25th from 5pm to 11pm, and Saturday the 26th from 12pm to 11pm.

The food on offer includes the original filled Yorkshire pudding wrap from Yorkshire Burrito, Indonesian curry from Makatcha, and hot donuts from Treats Club. Visitors to the market can also pick up some unique items for gifts or others, items on offer include jewellery from Beho Bookshop, and quirky character t-shirts, mugs and tea-towels from Fascist Panties.

Market-goers can also treat themselves to a cocktail or pint while enjoying music from the DJs on site.

The market is set against the distinctive backdrop of Bethnal Green’s gasholders. However, these gasholders and the wider Oval area are set to see a great deal of redevelopment in the next few years. 

Many of the buildings that were around the Oval area have fallen into disrepair. There are plans to redevelop the area. Among the redevelopment proposals are plans to turn the gasholders into housing. 

The pair cylindrical structures were used to store gas from nearby Shoreditch Gasworks (now Haggerston Park). The gasholders were decommissioned in 2012. 

In September 2020 St William Property Developers won approval to turn the gas cylinders into 550 homes. Five cylindrical buildings ranging from six to 13 storeys will be built at the former Marian Place gas storage site.  The developers have pledged that the new homes will be 35 percent affordable housing. There are also set to be some commercial units in the development.

Over two thousand people signed a petition objecting to the development. The petition was started by the East End Waterway Group who say the development may “risk damage” and “result in a serious and unnecessary loss of authenticity”. 

Despite objections raised, the planned redevelopment is set to go ahead. 

The organisers of the Oval Night Market say that redevelopment in the vicinity will not affect the long-term future of the event. 

FACE Events, the live events agency responsible for organising the night market, said,

“We are confident that even with the continued redevelopment of the area that the Night Market will continue to provide a platform for the local creative community, and which is enjoyed by those who live and work in the area.”

In recent times the market has suffered some setbacks with coronavirus restrictions. It was scheduled to go ahead in late December last year just before Christmas, but it had to be cancelled after the Government introduced Tier 4 restrictions in London. 

It is hoped that this weekend’s event will mark a return to a regular Night Market in the Oval despite the changes in the area. 

If you liked this article, check out this piece on things to do in Bethnal Green.

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