Festival Review: Let’s twist again

Silver Social
Ministry of Sound, London

Star rating: 5/5

Normally the preserve of young ravers, the Ministry of Sound proved an unusual setting for “Silver Social”, the finale to a month-long festival for older people in Southwark, south London.

While the club’s usual clientele are partial to the odd vodka Redbull, the only fluid imbibed by these more senior clubbers was water to wash down the prescription medication for their ailments.

I’d managed to get an invitation through working with some pensioners recently, and it was cheering to see the Ministry packed with senior citizens. The more nimble danced energetically to golden oldies, such as Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock, and put me to shame as I skulked around the sidelines of the dance floor.

This quirky happening was dreamed up by the pensioners’ centre and the young whippersnappers at Southwark Council’s events team.

The media-savvy south London borough is never known to shy away from a publicity opportunity, and the choice of venue was considered by some to be another in a long list of recent council stunts that includes planting palm trees in Peckham and decorating bin lorries with modern art.

There were other complaints from some club-goers that the venue was too dark and the music too loud. But, criticisms aside, I think we need more innovative events like this.Without being creative and taking risks, we’d end up with the same dull old local authority services.

I’m only halfway to pensionable age, so I wasn’t really the target audience. Though for a pleasant change, I was the youngest in a nightclub and not the oldest.

Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in Southwark, south London



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