Brent becomes London's Borough of Culture in 2020 — bringing a cornucopia of cultural happenings to the northern neighbourhood. Here are some of our picks from the line-up.
RISE: Opening Celebration, 18 January
Southpaw Dance Company curate an explosive opening to 2020 titled RISE — with a cast of hundreds of locals singing and dancing their way down Olympic Way at Wembley Park. Large scale projections and a thundering soundtrack whelp tell the Story of Brent. Sounds very Danny Boyle.
The Kilburn High: A mile-long street party celebrating the Kilburn High Road, 11 July
The street party has made a comeback in recent times — and this one promises to be a doozy. A mile-long blowout along Kilburn High Road will witness booming sound systems and tables heaving with food — all of it, a celebration of Kilburn's diverse population. Just don't try to drive there — the road will be closed to traffic.
A new anthem for London, told by Brent, July
We're all for London having an anthem — and Brent-born singer-songwriter Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne and Young People's Poet Laureate for London Momtaza Mehri are the perfect people to create it. Enlisting the help of 4,000 local school children and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a recording of their anthem will be played at Wembley Stadium in July.
Bass Weekender, 3-4 October
Brent has produced a multitude of reggae and bass pioneers — and many of them will perform in their home borough for No Bass Like Home. Artists on the docket include Don Letts, Big Zeeks, Carla Marie Williams & Girls I Rate, General Levy and Janet Kay. They'll share the limelight with some of the borough's emerging talent. Your head will throb for weeks after. In a good way.
Zadie Smith: The Wife of Willesden, December
White Teeth author Zadie Smith is giving a present to her home borough, in the form of a new work. The Wife of Willesden is a retelling of Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale — and will discuss the place of women in society. Smith's work will be performed at the Kiln Theatre.
For full details, visit the Brent 2020 website.
The Borough of culture baton is passed on from Waltham Forest — London's first Borough of Culture that still has a feast of events leading up to the end of 2019.