Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Shoreditch Festival '10

World in Motion Day

The Shoreditch Festival 2010

The summer of 2010 seems to be guaranteed a glittering sunshine and a heat so hot that all you really want to do is doze off into the dreamland of cool. However, on Sunday 18th July, with a 30°C heat, crowds of people crammed into the once silent patch of land at the Shoreditch Park to join in on all the revelry of the Shoreditch Festival, and I volunteered to help. It’s renowned for highlighting London’s multicultural society and it promised to have something for everyone with creative and dance workshops, dramatic and musical performances on a main stage and a separate dance stage.

The main stage hosted an array of performances from London’s up and coming young stars like hip hop dance group, Boy Blue Entertainment who took to the stage with an awe-inspiring performance. With the beat of the music and their moves well in sync, audiences eagerly anticipated the next one. Eyes were gazing up onto the stage whilst a casual number of flashes flickered from camera phones which captured a shot of the group. After numerous flexes, defined moves, flips and vigour only accomplished from the professionals, they soon came to centre stage for the finale where they broke down into more various moves that ended their already astonishing performance.
Furthermore, music from the Grand Union Youth Orchestra promised a taste of Reggae joie de vivre with a special Roots of Reggae at Shoreditch Festival programme, which included Caribbean artists like, Gilzene and the Blue Light Mento and The Viceroys, a Reggae band formed in the 1970s, who allowed a serene atmosphere with their smooth vocals as the crowds below soaked in the sun and listened. Other acts such as, Bomba EsterĂ©o, a Columbian band with their own unique sound of tropical folk music from the Caribbean Coast mixed in with Electronica, reggae and hip-hop are designed for today’s young audiences and also for those who just want to have a good time.

Aside from the commotions of the main stage was an interesting range of workshops and displays dotted around the park including a ‘Spoken and Word Tent’ which hosted an array of performances like readings, folk music and soliloquies, combining Music, Drama and English from young bands and acclaimed artist and writer Ed Hillyer.

Moreover, The Anne Frank Trust was ready and raring to go on this sunny day at the Shoreditch Festival. With their choices of a Manga illustration workshop with Ed Hillyer himself, the tent promptly became filled with young visitors wanting to have a go. Concentration was in the air and with some help from Ed, many successful drawing were completed. Additional drawing and mask decorating activities were set up for youngsters to get their hands into, allowing creative freedom for all. The table was covered in glue and glitter, the disorder was stunning, but the aim was trying to keep the children happy by making sure they had the correct colouring sheet or a felt tip pen of the right colour.  All donated masterpieces were pegged up in the tent on display alongside the Anne Frank Exhibition and a Hope tree, where visitors could write their aspirations and wishes on luggage tags and tie them on the tree. It really was an all round fun atmosphere for kids, parents, and curious wanderers. 

Alongside all this entertainment and the high temperatures that accompanied the day, a selection of food and drink stalls offering Caribbean favourites like sizzling Jerk chicken, a Middle Eastern, vegetarian option of Falafel scrumptiously wrapped with humus and fresh salad were on offer. The food was prepared fresh in front of your eyes and the smell from the numerous barbeques overwhelmed my nostrils, adding to the summery ambience of the festival. But if any of these didn’t take your fancy, a jacket potato with a filling of your choice amongst other foods were just some of the various options that were available to choose from. I soon ordered a marinated chicken wrap kindly complemented with salad to settle my appetite.

Walking down and along through the park as I was attempting to grab the attention of a wandering by-passer were many stalls. Some set up to appeal to the public about some current crises in our world today with petitions, readily waiting to inform, whilst others were so beautifully arranged in order appeal and sell. Jamaican fashion stalls with vibrant coloured garments, small sculptures carved from wood and other items illustrating the British-Jamaican culture deeply rooted here in London.

My role as a volunteer for the Anne Frank Trust was to aid in preparation and to make sure, with my peers, the activities in the tent ran smoothly. Helping parents and children with their activities helped me achieve this and it really was an enjoyable task. Additionally, as an event assistant for the Shoreditch Trust, I was given a task to carry out a questionnaire to members of the public which was a good opportunity to gain insight on what people thought of the event and talk to some people from the Shoreditch area.
Overall, all feedback was generally quite positive.When I first heard about this festival, I didn’t think it was going to offer as much as it did. I thought it was going to be one of those ‘small do’s’ where not very many people turn up because there isn’t much going on because there has never been much going on. I’ve definitely learnt not to prejudge anymore. It was really a delight to be a part of and there was just so much to do and to see that it actually is a festival that is not to be missed.

The Shoreditch Festival 2010 was well good!