AFROPUNK, the festival that celebrates blackness and everything alternative has returned to London and where else would be better than Brixton to host this culture filled extravaganza. The Afropunk takeover will span over a week from 1st to 8th September with a week of panels, workshops, talks, club nights and live shows!
The prodigious lineup includes Akala, Bakar, Laura Mvula, DJ Spoony and more. Afropunk will also orchestrate a headline show at Brixton Academy from US Hip-hop supergroup – AUGUST GREENE (Common, Robert Glasper & Karriem Riggins). If that’s not enough, there will be a series of talks exploring colonialism, gender, redefining masculinity, a poetry slam, Battle of the Bands competition and art exhibitions WITH more all in store, it’s set to be AFROPUNK’s biggest London event yet!
AFROPUNK is known and recognised as a platform for black artists to celebrate diversity, multiculturalism and heritage in the music world for over 14 years. AFROPUNK has graced NEW YORK, ATLANTA, JOHANNESBURG and PARIS! Can I just add that I myself went to AFROPUNK in Paris as well as London and it was amazing! The vibe was electric and the people there were so friendly. The event gave me a chance to meet people from far and wide and connect with them on a cultural level where I was able to celebrate my presence as a black woman unapologetically. Now entering its third year, AFROPUNK London has expanded and will adopt a community front. Embrace, discover and explore the plethora of arts, culture and music offerings, plus mind-expanding talks, food, fashion and the return of Battle of the Bands. More info here.
BRIXTON will also showcase budding, local breakthrough artists and collectives, alongside global artists. The three music-filled nights are set to be breath-taking, definitely moments you’ll want to capture for your Snapchat story! POP Brixton’s Battle of the Bands Final celebrates zealous local talent. Battle of the Bands is live and accepting submissions!
If you are ready to showcase your talent.
Friday 7th September is a must for party animals. Expect to hear classic hip-hop, house, rap, soul, jazz, afro beats and more. DJ SPOONY, veteran of Old Skool, House and Garage and resident of Ibiza’s household venues (I just saw his set in Ibiza and it was amazing!) will be bringing the renowned London sound to Electric Brixton, alongside AFROPUNK mainstay, Soul II Soul founder and legendary Africa Centre party maven, JAZZIE B. A real community gathering, local superstars (and our personal favourites) BBZ, and party crew, BORN N BREAD (NTS)will grace the Electric booth. A slew of good tunes and vibes are guaranteed.
Saturday 8th September will combine jazz, hip-hop, R&B, rap, poetry and grime! Now that is a tall order, one that is sure to be delivered. Headlining the show is US hip-hop supergroup August Greene (Robert Glasper, Common, Karriem Riggins) which will surely be a time for conscientious and empowering words and thinking at O2 Academy Brixton.
If that wasn’t enough, AFROPUNK will also be catering to those who wish to witness alternative creatives and exhibitions. Monday 3rd September marks the beginning of a week-long Art Exhibition in the 198 Gallery. Thursday 6th September will house Apples and Snakes at the Ritzy as they host some of the best Black British poets and spoken word artists on the scene for a night of intoxicating poetry, spoken word and music.
Moreover, the festival’s Black in the Day exhibition will explore and delve into the history of AFROPUNK in Black Cultural Archives; a unique venue dedicated to preserving, collecting and celebrating Black heritage. This venue is a personal favourite of mine as it serves to educate and empower black people of all ages and it has also become one of Brixton’s landmarks and testimony to influential people throughout the years. Also expect to hear talks about what it means to be black, radical self-care, the stigma around mental health in the black community from guest speakers, mental health professionals, activists and advocates. Michaela Angela Davis will also be touching on issues related to Identity, colourism, feminism with a dialogue on Kinks, Colorism and Colonialism.
Finally, dynamic duo and advocates of uplifting and empowering women of colour BBZ, as well as host Kuchenga will discuss all things LGBTQIA with a post-discussion dinner on Wednesday 5th September. Throughout the week there will also be a talk with the theme, ‘Black to the Future’ which will be dedicated to exploring creative entrepreneurship and business, and the narratives built through a black lens, led by marketers, journalists, and other creatives. There will also be a final talk on redefining masculinity with a discussion on disassembling systemic racial stereotypes to empower communities. I personally think this is a critical topic of discussion as it will assist us with healing past traumas and inner-conflicts surrounding self-imagine and help us re-define self to lead to self and social acceptance.
On a final note, I am personally excited for AFROPUNK’s week-long extravaganza in Brixton. Brixton has been home to Caribbean and African communities for generations and oozes sensational, cultural and historical vibes for all to enjoy. I believe this is the right location for AFROPUNK as it will pay homage to black people who have helped establish Brixton, past, present and future. I can definitely say this is an event that is going to be thought-provoking, inspirational, fun and overall absolutely mind-blowing!