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Barbican, Create London and Waltham Forest Council announce fifth Walthamstow Garden Party

Walthamstow Garden Party 2017

Today, the Barbican, Create London and Waltham Forest Council announce the initial line-up for the fifth Walthamstow Garden Party in July 2018

  • Barbican Music Stage will include performances from international artists such as Fatoumata Diawara, Cero39, Adrian Sherwood + Creation Rebel, 47 Soul, Dona Onete and the London African Gospel Choir.
  • News From Nowhere Stage will showcase local dance groups MovE17 and X7eaven Academy, as well as welcoming back Walthamstow Youth Circus.
  • Glittering Plains dance tent returns this year celebrating local DJ talent; Fellowship Island explores ways of cultivating a closer connection with nature and community in the city; the Blackhorse Workshop will take over the Useful & Beautiful Makers Marquee providing people with the opportunity to learn new skills and create something useful and beautiful; and the Earthly Paradise Tent highlights local talent, including choirs, poetry and samba.

The announcement follows news of Waltham Forest becoming the Mayor’s first London Borough of Culture for 2019, meaning the area will receive £1.35m in funding across the year.

Louise Jeffreys, Artistic Director at the Barbican, said: “We are delighted to be working with Create and Waltham Forest Council to deliver the fifth Walthamstow Garden Party, mixing performances by artists from across the globe with the best local talent in Waltham Forest. Whether you’re looking to see the internationally-renowned musician Fatoumata Diawara live on stage or want to find out more about some of the incredible creatives based in the borough, there’s something for everyone at this year’s Walthamstow Garden Party.”

Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “Walthamstow Garden Party is a fantastic celebration of Waltham Forest’s thriving culture and communities. We are excited to see such an excellent line-up for the fifth edition, in particular some of the areas curated by artists living and working in the borough, which demonstrate why the Mayor of London chose Waltham Forest to be the first ever London Borough of Culture.

“As we launched our bid to become the Borough of Culture at last year’s Garden Party we will be giving a taster of our plans for our year of culture at the event this summer.”


The festival’s music programme will feature international musicians from across the globe, performing on the Barbican Music stage. The line-up on Saturday 14 July includes Cero39, blending influences from Latin pop culture, indie, reggaeton, hip hop and dembow; and the London African Gospel Choir performing their own powerful twist on Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Adrian Sherwood + Creation Rebel also perform on Saturday 14 July. Adrian Sherwood has worked with world-renowned artists such as Lee Scratch Perry, Primal Scream, Depeche Mode, Asian Dub Foundation, Little Axe and Sinéad O'Connor in a career spanning over 30 years. Creation Rebel, originally the backing group for reggae great Prince Far-I, reunite with Adrian Sherwood after working with him from 1978–1982.

Sunday 15 July sees performances from Fatoumata Diawara, who has previously worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary music including Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock; 47 Soul, originally from Jordan, who have amassed a fan base across the Middle East and Europe; and Dona Onete, from northern Brazil, mixing electric guitar and bass with indigenous drums.


The News From Nowhere Stage includes performances, demos and workshops for everyone to get involved in. MovE17, a dance group for people of all ages and abilities from Waltham Forest, will be performing a work inspired by RAIN by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, set to the original score by Steve Reich.

Local performing arts school X7eaven Academy will present a showcase of local young people’s dance, and Walthamstow Youth Circus will be performing on trapezes, ropes and hoops.

The Glittering Plains dance tent returns, showcasing local DJ talent. Joining Electronic 17 and Soul Picnic will be newcomers at the festival You Should Be Dancing and We Can Be Heroes, as well as headliners Faze Action, the Nu Disco pioneers.


This year, Create London and William Morris Gallery are teaming up with local makerspace Blackhorse Workshop, who will take over the Useful & Beautiful Maker’s Marquee presenting Body Builders: an experimental workshop for local makers to learn new skills and create some ‘festival fashion’, activated by the wearer’s body movement. For the fourth year, the area is supported by local business The Stow Brothers.

Fellowship Island brings together local food and drink producers, urban growers and people from the local community to explore ways of cultivating a closer connection with nature and community in the city. This area is supported by the National Lottery’s Awards for All.

The Earthly Paradise Tent highlights local talent with performances from local choirs Natural Voices and Choir 17, plus choirs from Frederick Brenner Secondary School, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Barn Croft Primary School, and Greenleaf Primary School who will also be bringing along their samba group.

Barbican Young Poets will perform a selection of poems related to the Barbican’s 2018 season, The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Stephen Vitkovitch of Byrd Out presents Danalogue, one half of duo Soccer96 and a third of acclaimed jazz-dance trio, the Comet is Coming; and Philou Louzolo, Pan-African sounds from urbanised cities, the Sahara and Africa’s many jungles.

And, on Saturday 14 July, an evening for young people includes the Urban Flames Choir run by Urban Development, the winner of the borough’s Battle of the Bands competition, plus a performance from Drum Works.


This year, Walthamstow Garden Party again encourages people to donate through Keep It Free, a fundraising campaign asking people who enjoy the festival to give what they can to help invest in local artists and organisations, attract the best talent from around the globe and to keep the festival free for all.


Walthamstow Garden Party is part of the Beyond Barbican programme which aims to inspire new and diverse audiences to discover and love the arts. The programme uses the expertise and knowledge of the Barbican to embed ambitious programming into events and support local communities to develop and deliver their own work.

Walthamstow Garden Party is a Waltham Forest Council festival, produced by the Barbican and Create London in partnership with key local organisations in Waltham Forest.


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About Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest is an innovative borough leading the way in improving residents' quality of life through arts and culture. It will be the first Mayor’s London Borough of Culture in 2019.