Underwater sounds at the Lido

London Fields Lido in Hackney was the location on Sunday (6 July) for the launch of the UK’s first underwater sound festival, Wet Sounds 2008.

Over 150 swimmers braved the overcast and showery weather to take a dip in London’s only outdoor Olympic-sized pool and were treated to a two-hour underwater sound installation, assembled by local artist Joel Cahen from Newtoy Ltd, supported by Hackney Council’s Cultural Development Team.

Swimmers were supplied with brightly coloured tubular floats, enabling them to relax and submerge their heads to hear and feel the sounds pulsating through water.

Councillor Nargis Khan, Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “As we prepare for the launch of the Cultural Olympiad in Hackney we are pleased to support and promote events that encourage people to visit our cultural and leisure facilities. We also want to get our borough active and it will be great to see even more visitors at the Lido when the Wet Sounds tour closes later in this month.”

The event started with a musical piece accompanied by a synchronised swimming demonstration from a lady in a silver lamé cap. This was followed by an array of hypnotic rhythm, electronic sounds and music from around the world, piped through three marine speakers that provided clarity of sound underwater.

Wet Sounds will visit nine pools in 10 cities over the next two weeks. The underwater sound festival returns to London Fields Lido on 19 July, where it will end with a special live performance by Nurse With Wound and Andrew Liles. Tickets for the closing event are available from

For more information about Wet Sounds in Hackney contact the Council’s Cultural Development Team on 020 8356 7209.