Brigadoon: Appearing on a canal near you soon!

by Your Canal Boat C.I.C in London, England, United Kingdom


£28,000 target 8 days left
19% 67 supporters
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 19th May 2021 at 6:39pm

To demonstrate the under-utilised potential of London's canals for performance, commerce and public gathering.

by Your Canal Boat C.I.C in London, England, United Kingdom


Your Canal Boat's first slogan was a wry "everyone needs more canal in their life."  Call us zealots.  Cite the Law of the Hammer ("When your only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like nails"), we really believe London's canals, its peculiarly elongate boats and this particular canal community, are resources to incentivise physical activity, energise history lessons, and learn new ways to live, off-grid, in the middle of the world's most interesting city. Fun stuff.  And since the pandemic, important stuff too.  

Because with live venues shuttered, the world's greatest entertainers need performance spaces and London audiences need places to enjoy them.  Preferably outdoors, in Covid-19 secure surroundings.  Places like Mary Seacole Park in Harlesden, where last September -- the same week that pubs were being forced to close an hour early -- we debuted "the world's smallest canal boat festival," in a place that hadn't seen performance in 220 years. 


We know dozens of places like that.  Many are scattered along 13 miles of the Paddington Arm connecting Central London to Southall and Hays. Add a boat for musicians and each one become a venue. We want to add up to 20.  Three kitted out as stages, to support music and talks; and seventeen "roving traders"who live full-time selling goods and services on the water.  Moving as one, in accordance with Canal and River Trust requirements for continuous cruising, our Brigadoon-like village will appear in a new spot every two weeks, like its mythical namesake, (on caffeine) as we traverse the whole of West London, gradually morphing into an Indian-flavoured gala.   

Indeed, each weekend program is intended to reflect the surrounding community, with outreach to local schools, and support from local business.  And each two-week residency concludes with residents meeting CRT and municipal officials to discuss maintenance of the site, and begin planning next year's event.  

Brigadoon will pull back the curtain on the event planning process as well, giving residents access to our library of site-specific risk assessments and Covid-19 protocols to facilitate replicating the event, and helping the procession become an annual affair. 

We've got great rewards for those who contribute: £5 gets you a pint with the Captain, for £50 you can join the crew when we move.   Need a venue for your wedding reception?  We can provide that too, with a singer-songwriter singing indie tunes.  Whatever your need, we know how to fix it.  With a canal boat.


WEEKEND FESTIVALS (free to everyone!) 

  • a flotilla of 12 boats including a circus boat, 3 stage boats, book boat, bicycle repair boat, radio boat and more!
  • well-being (yoga, cycling and running) 
  • live music
  • open stage
  • theatre
  • nautical skills (knot-tying, mooring, canal history, rescue)
  • talking panels / community discussions: environment, writing, canal life
  • writer's Q&A and book signing including Cleo Sylvestre (pictured below with HER backup singers in 1964)  
  • workshops for kids and youths: nautical skills, vlogging, history, sea shanties
  • well-being: running, cycling, yoga and fitness
  • competitions: Canal's Got Talent (Historical poster competitions (schools / community group)1616411049_45fafe34-1ee8-4f18-86a1-e312cf290437.jpg


Mary Seacole Gardens: May 29-31

Westway:  June 12-13 

Ladbroke Grove: June 26-27 

Mary Seacole Gardens: July 10-11 

Abbey Road: July 24-25 

Atlip Road:  Aug 7-8 

Paradise Fields:  Aug 21-22 

Willow Tree Open Space: August 28-29 

Bulls Bridge: Sept 4-5



Obviously putting this together will cost money. These are some of the costs we need to cover: 

1 FTE staff over 7 months to plan events, book artists and engage with community groups - £9,107 

Boat rental for 14 days - £7,000

Music acts - £2,100

Performers: Circus, puppeteers, actors 14 days - £2,100

Workshop facilitator leading children's activities - £1,750

Event Marshall/Cleaning staff to maintain Covid-safe practice - £1,500

Business Skills for Boaters trainer - £1,400

Event promotion- £1,000

Materials to create additional stage boats for event and future use - £850

Portaloo for 7 weekends - £700

Other - £4,63


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

3 of 30 claimed

Canal cruise for 6

A leisurely cruise along the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal on a canal boat. Book your time via [email protected] from 29th of March.

£5 or more

3 of 200 claimed

Festival badge

A Brigadoon festival badge -

£8 or more

A Beer with the Captain

Hop on to the roof of the Molly Anna for a beer, cuppa or home-made kombucha with our Captain Eric. Special offer: £10 to have your beer or 'buch in peace :)

£10 or more

Imagine the Impossible Walking Tour

Guided tour of Paddington Basin's heritage with our guides in costume. Contact [email protected] to book.

£20 or more

5 of 30 claimed

Invitation to a Secret Pop-Up Gig

Be a VIP at a secret outdoor pop-up with music from some of our favourite musicians :)

£25 or more

2 of 50 claimed

Operate a Lock!

Learn how to operate the locks at Camden Locks. We provide the windlass. You do the work, filling and flushing 50,000 gallons of water to raise and lower canal boats travelling in either direction. In front of hundreds of onlookers at what may be the world's greatest tourist trap.

£50 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Festival Crew for a Day!

Come on board our flotilla for our moving days from site to site - perk includes you and a friend. Contact us on [email protected]

£75 or more

1 of 5 claimed

High Tea on the Low Seas

Cream tea for you plus one on the Molly Anna.

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Celebrate wedding (or anything else) on board

Book the Molly Anna for your meeting, special date, or event - perk includes 5 hours hire. Contact [email protected] for booking.

£2,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Bring the festival to you!

Bring the Molly Anna (on the canal!) and performers to your place of business, home or boat for a private event. Your business name will be added as an official sponsor. Contact [email protected] to book.

Let's make 'Brigadoon: Appearing on a canal near you soon!' happen

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