The most unlikely music event of the season might just be the Chingford Big Weekender, happening this Saturday and Sunday. This obscure bit of north east London is possibly best known as the place where the Kray twins are buried, but at the weekend, Ridgeway Park (where David Beckham first played football, don’t you know) hosts disco legends Sister Sledge, along with Gwen Dickie of Rose Royce (and Car Wash fame) and soul veteran Alexander O’Neal [Update: we’ve just heard that Alexander O’Neal has been forced to pull out and will be replaced by Soul II Soul].
After last year’s event was successfully headlined by Billy Ocean, it seems Chingford is now on the map for the big American stars. While here, O’Neal and co. can ride the miniature railway that skirts around one edge of the park. There’s also a funfair with inflatable human table football, a bungee run, boxing, a kids’ play zone, a 75ft medieval run (whatever that is), crazy bikes, peddle carts and not one, but two bouncy castles.
It’s all free and everyone’s welcome — unless you make the ultimate faux pas of asking “Isn’t this where Birds of a Feather was set?” The answer is no — that was Chigwell (in Essex).
The big acts take to the stage on Saturday August 9 from 2-7pm with local performers on Sunday 10 from 1-6pm. Waltham Forest Council is organising the event. Buses run from Chingford rail station and Walthamstow Central. Entry is free, just turn up.