On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July 2019, Walthamstow Garden Party returns to Lloyd Park for a sixth year running, presented by the Barbican, Create London, Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and local residents.
Over the weekend more than 70 local groups, organisations and businesses will present music, theatre, dance, circus, spoken word, crafts and food and drink alongside an international line-up on the Barbican Music Stage.
Artists confirmed to appear so far include UK jazz vocalist Zara McFarlane, Columbia salsa band La-33, Tássia Reis, Mayra Andrade, Orquesta Akokán and Sheffield's Renegade Brass Band who combine eight horns, two percussionists, a scratch DJ and live MC to form a mix of jazz, hip hop and funk. Carleen Anderson will also perform alongside Nikki Yeoh, Camilla George and rising UK rapper Lady Sanity to explore how musicians and writers have used their art to highlight issues of inequality in A Change Is Gonna Come, a name inspired by the Sam Cooke classic. Headliners are still to be announced.
Commenting on the first line-up announcement, Louise Jeffreys, Artistic Director at the Barbican, said: "This year’s Walthamstow Garden Party is a special and important one. Not only are we celebrating Waltham Forest as the first ever London Borough of Culture, but we celebrate six fabulous years working with the borough, supporting an inspiring network of local organisations and residents to work together to co-create this truly unique event. We are incredibly proud of what we have built together and can’t wait to share it with you again."
Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: "Walthamstow Garden Party platforms a diverse network of Waltham Forest artists, community groups, residents and businesses to deliver a weekend that truly celebrates the best that our borough has to offer. Across the weekend it is always incredible to see and experience the sense of pride and community spirit that shines through, and this year it marks an important contribution to our London Borough of Culture year."
The continued success of the weekend is underpinned by an incredible network of local organisations and residents who work together with support from Barbican, Create and London Borough of Culture 2019 teams to co-create a weekend that is truly unique to Waltham Forest.
This year, local charity Walthamstow Toy Library and Play Centre will bring together a panel of local families and children to decide which artists, makers, performers and musicians will make it through the open call process to be part of the festival’s Art For All family area.
Last year’s cohort of Creative Citizens, a professional development programme supporting eight local creatives, will deliberate who will be invited to perform on this year’s News From Nowhere stage, showcasing dance, circus and more alongside their own work, including a new commission from local contemporary dance group MovE17; dance performances and workshops from X7eaven Academy; and circus performances on trapezes, ropes and hoops from Walthamstow Youth Circus.
Young producers aged 15–19 from the borough will work closely with local music organisation Beatroots to shape the Earthly Paradise Tent and showcase a range of local and youth talent all of their choice. In addition this stage presents local choirs, bands, poets, MCs and writers from the borough including Blackhorse Arts, Waltham Forest Music Hub, Greenleaf Primary School with Boy Blue, Natural Voices and Choir 17. Earthly Paradise is also proud to present the London based new music act Urban Flames choir, a collective of young singer songwriters who write and perform their own original music.
Making and creating is once again at the heart of the Useful + Beautiful area. E17 Designers return showcasing local makers, whilst Create London have teamed up with Create Jobs inviting young people from east London to work with artists and lead family-focussed activities that will take over the whole marquee and surrounding area. Festival-goers will be able to explore illustration, fashion, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, child and adult fashion and more through workshops and demos.
The Glittering Plains dance tent returns this year curated by local DJ collective Electronic 17, presenting local and east London DJ talent with a focus on techno and disco over the weekend.
This year will see Fellowship Island transformed into Grandad’s Island as part of From Page to Pavement, a London Borough of Culture project being produced by local arts development organisation, Artillery. It will invite local residents to reimagine Lloyd Park in the image of Benji Davies’ book of the same name, by co-creating artworks and a programme of activities in the lead up to the festival. Grandad’s Island is an ambitious project about the process of creating together, sharing ideas and skills and making friends along the way.
The Waltham Forest Muslim Cultural Forum will also be curating a dedicated area with intimate performances celebrating local talent.
For more information and full details of the line-up announced so far, visit the Walthamstow Garden Party website.