Thousands came together to celebrate unity and community at the Becontree Weekender festivals
After a year off due to the global pandemic, festivals came back in style to Barking and Dagenham last weekend, and over 18,000 residents came to enjoy the fun and excitement.
The Becontree Forever Weekender took place at Parsloes Park, Dagenham with the Becontree 100 Festival on Saturday 14 August, followed by the Roundhouse Music Festival on Sunday 15 August.
There was something for everyone over the course of the two days which started on the Saturday (14 August), with the Becontree 100 Festival in partnership with Love Music Hate Racism to promote unity through music and celebrate the centenary of the Becontree – the biggest housing estate in the UK. Festival goers delighted in performances from MOBO award winner YolanDa Brown, London rock duo the Nova Twins, a DJ set from IDLES frontman Joe Talbot, and a headlining performance from singer-songwriter Frank Turner.
They also enjoyed DJ sets from Tina Edwards, Dennis Bovell, and Donn Letts, as well as performances by the Love Music Hate Racism Collective.
We saw such incredible music talent across the whole weekend and Love Music Hate Racism brought positivity and unity to the borough at the Becontree 100 Festival, which was one of the main highlights for the weekend
There was not only music, but there was also a whole host of family friendly entertainment to enjoy with monster trucks on display, magicians, fairground rides, craft stalls, dance routines and parades, and children even had the opportunity to meet CBeebies famous pooch, Hey Duggee.
On Sunday (15 August), gig-goers enjoyed another free day of music and fun with the return of the Roundhouse Music Festival, which this year focused on rock and ska bands from the 60s and 70s.
Household names such as The Boomtown Rats with Sir Bob Geldof, Neville Staple from The Specials and John Coghlan’s Quo took to the stage as well as a host of new musicians, who played at the final of the Roundhouse Unsigned Competition, held in partnership with Studio 3 Arts. East London four-piece rock band Outland were victorious and came away the worthy winners with a £500 prize, a slot at next year’s Roundhouse Festival, We Are festival and a headline slot at what will be the brand-new Studio 3 Arts centre.
Once again, away from the music there was still plenty to see and do with festival goers able to see classic cars and a vintage horse drawn fire engine, as well as enjoy an adrenaline packed quad bike display.
Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “We’re delighted we have been able to carry on our tradition of providing free, exciting family entertainment right here in Barking and Dagenham.
“It’s been a tough year and a half for everyone, so this was a wonderful opportunity for us all to get out and enjoy things how they used to be with our friends and family and creating some new memories that will last a lifetime.
“We saw such incredible music talent across the whole weekend and Love Music Hate Racism brought positivity and unity to the borough at the Becontree 100 Festival, which was one of the main highlights for the weekend.
“Thank you to everyone who came, thank you to all our sponsors for making this possible and thank you especially to the teams in the council, that made this whole weekend possible.”
Love Music Hate Racism National Organiser, Alex Losardo said: “Love Music Hate Racism are thrilled to celebrate the achievement of Becontree’s 100th year with the vibrant local community by doing what we enjoy most, bringing people together with music. We have so much more in common than we do different, and nothing demonstrates that better than the music we all listen too. We refuse to accept division, racism, and hate while we continue to absolutely Love Music.”
Programming to commemorate the centenary of the Becontree Estate continues in the coming months, including the borough’s participation in Open House London events in September and the EFG London Jazz Festival in November. For more information and updates continue to look on www.becontreeforever.uk