The Thornton Heath Festival last Sunday was enjoyed by all who attended and acclaimed as a massive success. Here, the day’s Master of Ceremonies, CALLTON YOUNG OBE, pictured above with two of the young dancers who graced the main day, outlines the day’s events
As we were packing up and leaving last Sunday, I heard one reveller saying, “roll on the Thornton Heath Festival 2015!”
Last Sunday was an fun-filled day, packed with live music, dance and a variety of stalls and activities, and we estimate around 6,000 attended over the course of the day.
The festival was formally opened by the deputy mayor of Croydon, Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice, who spoke of the rich ethnic diversity in Thornton Heath and welcomed that the festival would have something in it for everyone. She toured the stalls and amusements with Tony Rowland, the festival organising committee chairman, and stayed for several hours, speaking to the people attending.
American Dillon Wyte kicked off the live show with brilliant performances from his new reggae album “VisionIrie” and blew his audience away with his awesome Hendrixesque guitar solos. At times he played his electric guitar holding it behind the back of his head and even playing it with his teeth.
Suzie Jay, Thornton Heath’s very own reggae queen performed “What goes around comes around”, among other songs. Thornton Heath R&B diva, the stunning Kimberley SK, sang songs like “Speechless” and “Love on Cloud 9”. She was rushed at the end of her performance by one star-struck fan asking for a shirt signing.
International artists Andrae Melody and Dan-I drew in the crowds with silky R&B performances from the former and some brilliant dance hall lyrics and vibes from the latter. They then surprised everyone with an impromptu reggae collaboration which drove the crowd wild. Tkayy Stanna added to the party atmosphere with his brilliant new dance hall tune “Wine and Kotch”.
There were also performances from the Acts Church and Community Choir, Nathaniel’s Beat Box and a Russian folk band – based in Thornton Heath – all dressed in full traditional costumes.
Adam Hughes and Affinity D closed the day performing one of their owns songs and a brilliant cover version of “Lego House”.
Long before the festival ended however, revellers enjoyed an equally awesome dance feast. The Flagz Mas Band, dressed in hand-made carnival costumes and straight from the Notting Hill Carnival, got the crowd pulsating with soca vibes. Thornton Heath got a first hand taste of how to party hard.
Not to be outdone, the equally vibrant Tamil Cultural Dancers wowed the crowd with a riveting demonstration of Asian dance. Chantel with Hipsinc, a local belly dancing troop, then showed the crowd how to pelvic rock, pelvic tilt and make pelvic circles in a masterclass of the Middle Eastern art. Both dancers and crowd alike were left breathless!
Salsa-Naturally brought audience participation up on to the stage with a combination of irresistible Samba beats, swaying hips and rhythmic footwork.
Children from April Christie’s Dance Studio at Crystal Palace, showed off their dance range with exquisite performances of modern dance, street dance and ballet.
The day was topped of with a carnival parade led by a bag pipe band – and a prize draw with local MP, Steve Reed OBE, doing the honours handing out gifts provided by festival sponsors such as the Croydon Rotary Club, Jamaican National Money Transfer, Subway and Mayday Plant Hire.
The crowd showed its appreciation with a rousing round of applause for members of the organising committee who put in so much hard work to deliver what was a splendid community event – not least Pat Clouder, Adrian Dennis, Debbie Lehane, Andrea Cornwall, Everton Brown, Karen Bennett and Agnes Forbes.
As the man said, here’s to the Thornton Heath Festival 2015.
Coming to Croydon
- Soul Symphony Community Choir sessions, Sep 16-Dec 23
- Police question time, LNK at Centrale, Sep 17
- David Lean Cinema: Chef, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Remembering the Great War, Sep 18
- The Complete History of the BBC – Abridged, Spread Eagle, Sep 19-20
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- South Croydon business breakfast, Sep 20
- Open House London weekend, Sep 20-21
- David Lean Cinema: A Night At The Cinema in 1914, Sep 22
- Activity to Work back-to-work workshops, Sep 23
- David Lean Cinema: Jimmy’s Hall, Sep 25
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Fancy dress family funday, Sep 28
- Ukrainian choir concert, St John’s Shirley, Sep 29
- Tree Sides, Spread Eagle Theatre, Oct 2-4
- The Goon Show, Spread Eagle Theatre, Oct 8-11
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Oct 18
- This Was The World and I Was King, Spread Eagle, Oct 23-25
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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