A two month programme of installations, exhibitions, music, poetry, performance, talks and events is in place leading up to the Big Wedding Weekend, when couples will tie the knot en masse at Royal Festival Hall.
Look out for Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan’s Temple of Agape, an eight-metre installation made up of hundreds of brightly coloured, hand-painted flag-like signs displaying words of love.
Agape, meaning love of humanity, is the central theme of the piece and shows the power of love to conquer hate.
To this end it will also feature the following quote by Martin Luther King:
‘And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking emotional bosh when I talk about love: I’m talking about a strong, demanding love.’
Meanwhile, Love Flags by Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner will feature the seven colours of the rainbow signifying both peace and gay pride movements.
Sliding Gate is a piece comprised of five slides played by architect Sean Griffiths symbolising the ups and downs of family life.
Disability arts organisation Heart n Soul, has created the rather cheeky Tunnel of Love – a multi-media and sensory installation with vibrating floors, mirrors, and love-songs soundtrack.
There are many more installations to see but you’ll most likely arrive at the exhibition What Love Is, which will provide an introduction to the festival and introduce the different facets of human love including the love of humanity, romantic love, erotic love, the breakdown of relationships, and the love for close family and friends.
It will also be a chance to see how the whole season has been inspired by the seven types of love as identified by the Greeks and Romans who recognised Agape – the love of humanity; Eros – romantic and erotic love; Ludus – flirting, playful affection; Storge – love of family; Philautia – self-love; Philia – shared experience; and Pragma – love which endures.
The Festival of Love runs from 28 June – 31 August at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX