From June 23 to July 17, the City of London Festival will draw visitors from around the world for a wide range of events and activities. This summer’s festival will include an inflatable bowler hat, a popular symbol of London’s history.
The inflatable bowler hat will be set up in Paternoster Square, next to the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral. It will stand over 10 meters (30 feet, or over three stories) high.
The bowler hat will be able to seat up to 212 people. It will be the site of over 100 public events, including children’s theater, cabaret, comedy, musical, and circus performances, as well as debates on themes related to justice, money, and power in London.
The inflatable structure is patterned after the design of the original bowler hat, which was created in 1849 by St. James Street’s Lock & Co., the world’s oldest hat shop. It was originally intended to protect a gamekeeper’s head from overhanging branches, but over time the bowler hat became a part of every City worker’s uniform. By the 1950s, the bowler hat had also become popular with businessmen. It has also been worn by characters in several famous movies, including “A Clockwork Orange” and James Bond films.
Festival organizers chose the inflatable bowler hat because of the hat’s status as a symbol of London’s history. They expect it to bring added fun to the festival and allow the public to enjoy artistic and cultural events in a unique venue.