Somers Town has a long history of street festivals and we were pleased to celebrate their return after a two-year break.
This year’s – coincided with EID celebration – saw a number of live performances from local groups and bands and activities along Chalton Street, the British Library Stage, the Pearly stage, and local resident and festival stalwart Bengali Chandon Miah put on his band Paraguay Shilpi.
Of course, we, the People’s Museum Somers Town put on a special display: we held a photography exhibition of past Somers Town Festival photos and posters- thanks to volunteer Tajin who helped us curate. We hosted a bookstall – Esther Leslie and Ben Watson’s Militant Esthetix/AMM All-Stars – which included the Psychedelic Bolsheviks. They donated: ‘Art, Class and Cleavage’ to our museum library.
Our Mural Project continued over the weekend with Nicki Deux, Ben Wesley Clarke, Oliver Chung and Bryony Benge-Abbott.
The museum had a huge influx of visitors, taking in our display, home made cakes, radical screen prints, posters and t-shirts. Singer Tonia Thorne, after her performance on the British Library stage, dropped in for an impromptu live performance at the museum, and made good use of the piano. And the grandson of Tattershall, the coal merchant Basil Jellicoe was familiar with in the 1930s, dropped by.
On the Main stage, by the Cock Tavern, the Festival organisers Jackie Casey and Paul presented the ‘Keys to Somers Town‘ to honour the work of our ex-Councillor Roger Robinson and Steve Denholm, founder of the START Somers Town Festival of Cultures.
We also made good use of our new parklet – the result of a co-design with local children and Central Saint Martins architect MA students.
For a history of the START Festival of cultures see Breaking barriers.