The Brick Lane Festival

The festival is held every year around the start of September and is completely free!

The two-day festival sees the local bars and venues, such as the Vibe Bar, 93 Feet East and the Rhythm factory unite as one and host music from performers such as David Rodigan, Fat Boy Slim and more artists than I can name here.

History

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.

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.

Alternative to Notting Hill carnival

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.

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.

Previous festivals

60,000 visitors descend upon London’s Brick Lane in early September for the highly acclaimed global mix of music, food, history and culture that make up the Brick Lane Festival. Hailed as one of the biggest and most important cross cultural street parties, the Brick Lane Festival promises to be bigger and better every year with a contemporary line up of events including:

Music

Music takes centre stage at the event every year as a raft of UK musical talents join the fun-loving festival crowds. Previously bursting onto the main stage with some of their latest tracks were the undisputed kings of Indian pop and international superstars Jay Sean and Juggy D. They were joined by music producer and pop sensation of the moment, the Rishi Rich Project, who presented their unique brand of Fusion music.

Every year the more traditional music lovers are also catered for, crowds can also expect to see some of Britain’s best Asian R&B and Bhangra groups, whose range of smash hit singles are bound to get the people moving on their feet.

Add to this some of Bangladesh’s most famous folk and pop singers, stage dancers, MC and DJ showcase, and it looks like the latest Brick Lane festival is shaping up to be the best one so far. Off stage in Brick Lane, check out the delightful range of street entertainers, dhol players, string bands and so much more.

The Vibe Bar

The Vibe bar courtyard stage has previously hosted THE PRINTS OF WHALES (15 piece Country/Skiffle/Banjo Band) SON OF DAVE (One Man Blues Band) PETRA JEAN PHILLIPSON (Smokey Blues Rock Chanteuse) VINCENT, VINCENT & THE VILLAINS (Bethnal Green Rockabilly)

Vibe bar straight from the fridge indoor stage have previously hosted NEIL’S CHILDREN (Spikey Punk from Alan McGee’s Poptones label), SELFISH CNT (“The best live act in Britain” NME) BEASTELLABEAST (Acid Hot Blues Punk), BATTANT (Edgy Electro Motor Bass)

And DJS GLADDY WAX, CRASH&BURN, GARETH CHERRYSTONES,MY LITTLE HOMIE, MISTAH BROWN, RAMON SANTANA, and AKI (CAFE ZUNZUN) played across the board from original Ska, Funk 45s, Northern Soul, Rocksteady, Dub, Latin Boogaloo, Cosmic Rock, and Twisted Disco.

The main stage show finishes at 6.00pm but visitors are welcome to carry on enjoying themselves at selected local venues including the renowned Vibe Bar, 93 Feet East and Rhythm Factory until late into the night.

Food

Good food has always been one of the lynch-pins of the Brick lane festival. The Lane’s numerous curry houses showcase their wares with personal food stalls to give passing visitors a taste of the real Banglatown. For those that don’t like curry, take heart, the Festival Food Village in Dray Walk provide a range of foods to suit every taste.

Fashion

Fashion is not overlooked, previously the stage was set for the SEW-EAST fashion show. A stylish display of cutting edge ethnic fashion from the east end’s leading designers.

Kids

Fun fair rides, kids workshops, make up stands, stilt walking workshops, a climbing wall, Spitalfields City Farm, clowns and jugglers make an appearance at every Brick lane festival.

Something for everyone

The festival aims to have something to suit everyone, street theatre, magicians and entertainers, stilt walkers, slap stick comedy, free history tours and open historic houses will ensure that every visitor leaves the festival with a smile on their face.

Events programme

Find out who is playing at the Brick Lane Festival…
More details will be confirmed soon!

Allen Gardens Stage Programme

The Bays: 5:30 pm
Z-Star: 4:20 pm
Cheenah: 3:10 pm
Grand Union Bangla Band: 2:00 pm
Sitar Fusion: 12:30 pm

DJ Michael Cook + others throughout the day

Other acts on Allen Gardens

Street Theatre (to be confirmed)
Club Mum (to be confirmed)

Entertainment at the Brick Lane Festival includes:

  • A world music and dance stage;
  • Pavement cafés serving curry alfresco and an international food court;
  • The launch of the popular Banglatown International Curry Festival 2005;
  • Street entertainment including theatre, jugglers, stilt walkers, rickshaw rides and more;
  • An arts and craft market;
  • Children’s entertainment including bouncy castles, stilt walking workshops and face painting;
  • A fun fair;
  • History tours and open houses. Visit 19
  • Princelet Street a rarely open Huguenot silk merchants home and historic synagogue (www.19princeletstreet.org.uk);
  • Shopping: Bollywood style music, bangles sarees and artefacts located alongside top designer lifestyle, furniture and fashion boutiques.

The Vibe Bar

vibe bar courtyard stage:
THE PRINTS OF WHALES (15 piece Country/Skiffle/Banjo Band)
SON OF DAVE (One Man Blues Band)
PETRA JEAN PHILLIPSON (Smokey Blues Rock Chanteuse)
VINCENT, VINCENT & THE VILLAINS (Bethnal Green Rockabilly)

vibe bar straight from the fridge indoor stage
NEIL’S CHILDREN (Spikey Punk from Alan McGee’s Poptones label)
SELFISH CNT (“The best live act in Britain” NME)
BEASTELLABEAST (Acid Hot Blues Punk)
BATTANT (Edgy Electro Motor Bass)

And DJS GLADDY WAX, CRASH&BURN, GARETH CHERRYSTONES,MY LITTLE HOMIE,
MISTAH BROWN, RAMON SANTANA, and AKI (CAFE ZUNZUN)
playing across the board from original Ska, Funk 45s, Northern Soul,
Rocksteady, Dub, Latin Boogaloo, Cosmic Rock, and Twisted Disco.

From 7pm the Festival continues at selected local venues including

• The Vibe – Inside @ Brick Lane
7.30pm Live music, DJ’s and more 10.30 – FINISH
• Banglatown International Curry Festival – Brick Lane Curry Houses continue to cook up specialities.
• East End Welcome & Knees Up. Real Pub- Real Ales & Pie & MashThe Pride of Spitalfields (Heneage Street off Brick Lane) The Golden Heart (Commercial Street – opp Old Spitlafields Mkt)
• Cabaret and Live Music at the Rhythm Factory, 16-18 Whitechapel Road