"One autumn evening in 2005, a friend and I lost patience waiting for a bus and on a whim decided to walk the bus’s route. Six hours later we’d drifted across London from Battersea to Chelsea, Victoria, Vauxhall, the west end into the small hours of the morning. Surprised at how fresh and energised we felt, marvelling at the deserted streets of the city, without its hustle and bustle: the peace and tranquility of a deserted Oxford street, being able to glance up without fear of hitting or being hit by something, discovering beautiful side streets, small courtyards, parks, I recreated it in summer the following year, for 12 hours, from 6pm to 6 am and The Midnight Run was born.
Those who come on Midnight Runs search from things outside the mainstream. They tend to have a healthy sense of adventure. The ‘Run’ is adaptable; it can be shortened and themed to festivals or celebrations. It is inspired by The Situationists - a political & artistic movement between 1957 & 1972 in France. The Situationists were tired of the commercialism of art & consumerism so they wandered city streets seeking REAL experiences. The Midnight Run seeks to sidestep the hype & hysteria of mass media, pop culture and reality television for ACTUAL reality: the simplicity walking and talking. We reclaim the streets of cities, dispel the idea of ‘danger after dark’ and try to discover after dark. We try to inhabit the confines of glass, concrete, steel and structure, as a child does a maze; with as much innocence and wonderment as is natural.
More than half the world’s population live in town or cities. Poverty is growing faster in urban areas than in rural ones. Despite the dense population loneliness and alienation grows. The Midnight Run is perfectly poised to explore these issues: how we think of ourselves, how we relate to one another. Those who come ‘running’ leave with a new way of thinking about these things. They build closer, personal relationships with and are often surprised by how connected and close everything really is. Interactive exercises are also played during the ‘run’: from poetry writing workshops in the middle of courtyards, to theatre exercises on roof top gardens, from mini football or basketball matches to late night clubbing and gardening; the focus is on play and community."