East London has welcomed waves of immigrants for over 2000 years, who then have gone onto become prosperous Londoners through hard work and enterprise, making the area England’s Ellis Island. Today, Brick Lane is famous for the Sunday Market, numerous Anglo-Asian ‘curry houses’ and the burgeoning art and fashion scene clustered around the Old Truman Brewery and its environs.
Since it’s inception in the summer of 1996, as part of East London City side Regeneration Programme, the Brick Lane Festival has continued over the past 10 years to showcase this unique multicultural street and Banglatown (named after the newest community to make its home here) as a microcosm of cosmopolitan Europe. Boutique fashion, arts and crafts and ethnic cuisine jostle with bars, clubs and cultural centres making Brick Lane unforgettable. No wonder it’s one of the most popular tourist sites in London.
Brick Lane Festival is becoming recognised as the alternative to Notting Hill Carnival, an event it shares much with, combining the razzmatazz and buzz of a street festival with a relaxed atmosphere of an outdoor music concert and also hosts a respected fashion show for upcoming designers. This year Brick Lane Festival hosts it’s very own film festival, The Chili Film Festival.
Last year the Festival attracted over 60,000 people from every corner of the globe. 65% of festival goers were non-locals, which is an indication of Brick Lane Festival’s world status and a true reflection of London’s multicultural and cosmopolitan community.
The Brick Lane Festival is a success story for the local regeneration programme, attracting tourism, capital and renewal. The Festival provides opportunities for fostering ‘community pride’ as well as a showcase for local talent.
All this has an enormously positive impact on local businesses, as well as demonstrating providing a fabulous day out for all the family.