This is a global festival made locally, celebrating and powered by the incredible creativity of Waltham Forest, the Mayor’s first ever London Borough of Culture.
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 including Zara McFarlane, La-33,Carleen Anderson, Tássia Reis, Mayra Andrade, Orquesta Akokán and Renegade Brass Band.
Further acts are to be announced soon.
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.’
BARBICAN MUSIC STAGE
The Barbican Music Stage will feature musicians from across the globe.
La-33, a salsa band from Colombia, will bring their distinctive blend of salsa dura, classic cumbia, ska, Latin jazz and old school New York boogaloo to E17.
Carleen Anderson will 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. The group will perform tracks inspired by iconic songs from the civil rights era to the present day.
Zara McFarlane, a jazz vocalist from the UK, blends multiple influences from reggae to pop, folk and blues. Her latest single,Peace Begins Within, explores the musical possibilities of her British-Jamaican identity.
Mayra Andrade’s music spans Western romanticism to Southern sensuality, and domestic reggae to African 3/4 time, sang in Cape Verdean creole, English and Portuguese.
Renegade Brass Band, from Sheffield, combine eight horns, two percussionists, a scratch DJ and live MC to form a mix of jazz, hip hop and funk.
Reflecting the festival’s commitment to gender equality, Walthamstow Garden Party has signed up to PRS Foundation’sKeychange, an international campaign encouraging festivals, conferences and music industry events to pledge a 50:50 gender balance by 2022.
A COMMUNITY-POWERED FESTIVAL
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 fromX7eaven 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 actUrban Flames choir, a collective of young singer songwriters who write and perform their own original music, and KOG, who brings high energy rap and unmistakeable African rhythms.
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.
Plus, pop-up performances and sports activities will take place around the park throughout the weekend.
In addition to Walthamstow Garden Party’s continued commitment to involving residents at all levels of decision making and creating a platform for local arts, the festival is committing to several pledges and initiatives relating to the environment and sustainability.
Festival Vision 2025 commits the festival to achieve a 50% reduction in festival-related annual GHG emissions by 2025, and A Greener Festival is a sustainability accreditation scheme which helps to monitor environmental performance.
Because we choose to work with so many local artists, producers and traders and encourage our audiences to walk, cycle or use public transport, our impact on the environment is kept to a minimum.
Last year we initiated a reusable cup scheme which saved 26,828 single use plastic cups from going into landfill and recycled 74.6% of the waste from the site. This was such a success that the scheme will be offered at the festival again this year.
We are still on a journey to being as sustainable as possible and hope audiences will help by bringing a reusable bottle, choosing to walk or cycle and recycling their waste responsibly over the weekend.