Hackney Festival of Fitness – 12 Hidden Gems

Psst…What does an 18-metre-length pop-up paddleboard inflatable pool, 36 exercise bikes, a dance floor, a yoga class with a live orchestra and an open-air cinema all have in common? The Hackney Festival of Fitness! Plan you weekend by exploring the full schedule here, and read on to discover all the hidden gems from the weekend, we won’t tell if you don’t!

1. Sweat & Sound

Casting your eye across the opening scenes, keep your ticket firmly in hand as the Festival kicks off Friday 17 May. Expect to find sweeping views of fitness, stretch & mobility activities; reimagining fitness, Sweat & Sound, bring a yoga experience immersed in music & spoken word art.

2. Stand Up Paddleboarding

Also capturing your eye, splashes of have-a-go stand up paddle boarding yoga sessions in the longest inflatable pool you’ve ever seen. Additionally if you’d like to follow you eco-conscious side then join leading activist Lizzie Carr and founder of on the Lea Plastic Patrol giving you the opportunity to experience the wonders of the Lea Navigation, but also take part in a fun paddle and clean up the waterways in the process.

3. DJ Pax + festival music

Simultaneously, the festival spirit will come alive sonically as DJ Pax (the creative force behind Hackney One Carnival) hits the Hackney Marshes decks, both Friday and Sunday, just another reason to rally up your friends, secure a ticket and create memories in the marshes!

4. Open Air Cinema

By nightfall, gather your festival friends, family and a picnic blanket for a cinematic experience on Friday with Fit Films Open Air Cinema.

Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up, it’s Hackney Festival of Fitness time! We’re very excited to announce the movie showing will be Cool Runnings!

5. 5K

Grab a ticket for Saturday 18 May and run the (free!) 5K, soak up the lush green perimeter views around the Hackney Marshes and cross that line to take home a stunning medal you’ll be proudly flashing around the Festival!

6. Grid Class

Sprint your way over to the Grid Arena where everyone can take on a Grid Class; Bend. Row. Squat. Lunge. Press. Burn off that extra piece of cake (or was it the second serve last night?!) and HIIT calorie burning Grid Lean, we’ll show you the ropes! Have a go at testing your body strength for a tough circuit with Grid Fit, channel your inner professional athlete to lift Olympic standard equipment and try a Grid Strong workout.

7. Grid Games Final

On Sunday 19 May, cheer on 86 competitors advancing from 43 VA clubs around the country at the UK Grid Games Final where the male and female champions will be crowned and flown to the June 1st Global #GridGames Final in Cape Town to compete against Virgin Active countries from across the world!

8. Revolution by Virgin Active

If you prefer a set of wheels, join the Revolution by Virgin Active in a pop-up black-out studio where Cycling meets clubbing in a full immersive cycling experience with your motivating and inspiring coach as a DJ, sprint to the beat and leave feeling sky-high! 

9. Motivate the masses with KIND

Be sure to visit ‘Powered by KIND’ this weekend for some truly energetic exercise classes. Amazingly every bit of energy exerted here will be collected and converted into real power that allows everyone to send motivational messages to the runners throughout the race. KIND’s aim is to make the world a little kinder, one snack and act at a time, so just think, the more shapes you throw the further runners will be pushed to go.

10. Hackney Playbus

Bringing the kids? We can almost promise you’ll be going home with a camera roll full of moments captured at the colourfully creative Hackney Playbus, a family & kids favourite for immersive and fun learning activities.

11. Climbing Wall

Plus, the unmissable Climbing Wall (aka your best meeting point for friends) is back for the third year and open to all ages. A highlight for kids (even adult kids!) and offers a great display of focus and determination.

12. Markets on the Marshes

If you’re just here for the food and drink, we hear you. We’re also celebrating some of Hackney’s most exciting markets, breweries and start-ups in one big pop-up market.

The Market on the Marshes will showcase the best of local Hackney traders, including Sapling Spirits who are planting a tree for each bottle of vodka sold, and ChicP which began in London by a young chef turning surplus vegetables (and fruit!) into delicious hummus.

Explore the schedule and plan your day! Your Hackney Festival of Fitness line-up is a platform of opportunity so challenge yourself to try something new and share the experience with family and friends!