This September London will see the first Afro Punk festival on UK shores which will see the likes of Lady Leshurr, Laura Mvula with special performances from London’s own Akala and the world renowned Grace Jones (if you don’t know get to know). For those that don’t yet know, Afro Punk was started in 2005 in Brooklyn NY as a festival that showcases and supports black alternative music and fans. With alumni such as Unlocking the Truth, EVE and Lenny Kravitz, the festival has gone from strength to strength with it growing each year and gaining the recognition it deserves. Over the past two years, Afro punk has expanded to include an Afro punk Paris and Atlanta which has boosted its popularity tenfold as well as the rise in international popularity due to the rise in social media.

Having first heard about Afropunk in 2005, I’ve been following its progress and hovering over the ‘buy flight’ button for over ten years. Knowing that there was a festival in the states that directly catered to me in a space where I doubt I’d stick out like a sore thumb has had me starry eyed from the age of fifteen.  When I first received the email stating Afro Punk would be coming to the UK this year I immediately hunted for every piece of information regarding the date, location and line up.

This year’s line-up features a slurry of UK and US performers that have been making head way in the music scene for years including Skinny Girl Diet who’s songs reminiscent of Bikini Kill and Splendora have me nostalgic of a time in music I was too young to appreciate.

 I caught up with Skinny Girl Diet, the London based trio who are performing at this years’ London show. When asked how they felt about laying this year’s Afropunk London they were more than excited

 “Really excited, we’ve been wanting to play since we first found out about it when it started in 2005 in Brooklyn and it’s amazing that it’s now come to London. We are honoured to be playing such a cool festival”

When asked about the importance of Afropunk…

Punk has mainly been dominated by white males over the years and unfortunately even still today. Its name is also genus as Afro hair has been shamed for so many years with anti-frizz adverts shoved down our necks on a daily basis. So to have a space that that is spreading the music of artist who may not have had as many opportunities due to society’s racial and patriarchal injustices is refreshing. We can’t wait to play with the ‘minority’ finally being the majority. Even the current issues in the world that are happening like police brutality and the black lives movement prove how festivals like these are so needed right now. A celebration in music as well as making those who are silenced have a voice”

This summer has been long in terms of events and social events in London and many friends and colleagues have all express the excitement for Afropunk’s first visit to London.

Asking at London’s Black Girl Picnic, founded by Chardine Taylor Stone (Big Joanie), Kayza Rose (BlackoutLondon) Munroe Bergdorf, Enam, Mia and Ashanty,  I asked attendees who had tickets why they were so excited about this years’ Afropunk…

‘I’m really excited, I’m really looking forward to see how London comes through this time, because obviously the Brooklyn one Atlanta, they’re really huge and a lot of people come together but I'?yola-link-is-coming=trueve always see Londoners at Afropunk Paris and there was a huge community of us there so it will be lovely to see them turn out for our own country and show them how we get down and celebrate Afropunk as a culture’

Anon –Black Girls Picnic London

‘With such a huge diverse line up for the day the team at Afropunk have even managed to put on a few extra events in London surrounding the dates including a special screening of Check It at the Ritzy Picture House Thursday 23rd at 18:30

As well as the screening there will an Afropunk pre-party at the Brixton Jamm which will see the party start with the likes of Brooklyn based rapper Jay Boogie perform live and Born and Bread  on the decks. See link below for details

 The founders of UK Black Pride have also teamed up with Afropunk to distribute tickets at a reduced rate. To purchase tickets please click the following link.


 See you there…



London’s Afropunk will be at The Alexandra Palace September 24th


Have a listen to the carefully curated mixtapes here

Photo credit, Scarlett Carlos-Clarke