Damon Albarn Among Stars To Celebrate Waltham Forest As London Borough Of Culture

Damon Albarn Among Stars To Celebrate Waltham Forest As London Borough Of Culture
Damon Albarn's Africa Express will perform on the day that the UK leaves the EU

Damon Albarn and his group Africa Express are one of the highlights of Waltham Forest's year as London's Borough of Culture in 2019.

The Blur and Gorillaz star — who grew up in Leytonstone — will perform an extravaganza called Togetherness with his band from 25-29 March next year, as part of London's first ever Borough of Culture celebrations. Musicians from across Africa, Europe, Britain and Waltham Forest will be involved, culminating in a five-hour headline show, taking place on the day that the UK leaves the EU.

Welcome to the Forest heralds the start of Waltham Forest's year as Borough of Culture

The Borough of Culture celebrations kick off on 11 January, with a three-day celebration of art, music and local culture, entitled Welcome to the Forest. It features a collaboration between Mercury Award-winning musician Talvin Singh, digital artists Greenaway and Greenaway, and students of Leyton Sixth Form College.

Molecules on the Marshes

Other events taking place in the borough throughout 2019 include:

  • Matthew Bourne's New Adventures: in which the stage director takes up residency at Roger Ascham Primary School, culminating in a performance by pupils at Walthamstow Assembly Hall (January-March)
  • Waltham Forest Jazz Festival, featuring Cream drummer Ginger Baker, Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth (16 February)
  • A Chingford Forest May Day Fayre, in which a procession of bicycles will parade through the borough to Chingford Plain — celebrating Walthamstow-born John Kemp Starley, inventor of the modern day cycle (6 May)
  • Duckie Loves Fanny, a late-night al fresco feast from Duckie, celebrating Leytonstone native Fanny Craddock (Summer)
  • Molecules on the Marshes, a large-scale outdoor illumination by Zarah Hussain, in which 50,000 'water molecules' made from recycled plastic and LED lights will be suspended in the borough's marshes, gently changing colour (October-November)
  • Bauhaus Centenary, a year-long celebration at the William Morris Gallery, about how the Victorian designer influenced the Bauhaus movement.

In a year when the UK becomes no longer eligible to compete for European Capital of Culture, it's heartening to know we at least have a Borough of Culture.

Plenty more is happening. More information can be found on the Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture website.

Last Updated 30 October 2018

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