Rise Festival Return Quashed By Mayor

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 109 months ago
Rise Festival Return Quashed By Mayor

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Image by cakehole
When the Rise festival was cancelled earlier this year, many fans were quick to point accusing fingers in the direction of City Hall, citing Boris Johnson's decision last year to strip the event of its intrinsic anti-racism message. A group called UpRise formed a petition calling on the mayor to revive the festival, with that anti-racist message present and correct.

This week the group posted Boris' response, and it's not good news. In a rambling, freewheeling missive, the blond befuddles by boasting that the success of last year's festival — the most-visited in its history — was actually because of the scrubbed anti-racism angle. Lest anyone think he's courting some of the more malodorous elements of our body politic, the Mayor goes on to assure that he deplores racism, and urges Londoners to combat it at the ballot box.

There's clearly a lot more iceberg under the surface than this chilly peak shows, and blogger Tory Troll has some thought-provoking ideas on why it was really cancelled. Though the battle to re-instate the festival may be lost, UpRise organisers aren't yet admitting defeat: they're set to hold a Rise Festival picnic in Finsbury Park this Sunday, from 2pm. What it may lack in previous festival headliners like Kelis or De La Soul, it will (almost) make up for in the sweet smell of people-powered success (not to mention cupcakes and crust-free sandwiches).

Last Updated 07 July 2009