West End star Kerry Ellis among big names to headline Summer of Festivals

West End actress and singer Kerry Ellis is among a number of big name musicians who will be headlining this year’s annual Summer of Festivals programme.

Ellis has taken the London stage by storm following her superb performances in a number of top shows including Wicked, We Will Rock You, Oliver and Cats.

Having been recognised as the First Lady of West End musicals, Ellis has also worked in film and television and has been a major success as a solo artist releasing three studio albums including the well-known ‘Anthems’ which she worked on with rock musician and legendary guitarist Brian May.

Ellis is looking forward to performing in front of thousands of people when she headlines the musical themed One Borough Festival at Parsloes Park on Saturday 21 July.

The Barking Folk Festival will take place over two days on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June at Abbey Green and Abbey Ruins.

English folk group The Unthanks, who celebrated success at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2016 with their album Mount the Air, will headline the Sunday that will be a female led concert exploring the ‘art of protest’.

The Unthanks said: “We are thrilled to be invited. It’s great to be on this female led line up in this momentous year which marks the 100th anniversary of women finally beginning to get the vote in 1918! We look forward to sharing our music at this free London folk festival!”

High energy punk folk act Ferocious Dog have also been signed up for the Saturday of Barking Folk Festival.

‘This promises to be another memorable summer of fun-filled activity and music for everyone to enjoy’


The popular Roundhouse Music Festival will be taking place at Central Park on Sunday 27 August as music lovers get to enjoy a unique retro rock concert.

There is an added incentive this year with the newly branded Roundhouse Unsigned competition where acts get the chance to appear at the main festival with semi-finals for singers and groups taking place on Wednesday 8 August and bands on Thursday 9 August.

The competition opens on Friday 8 June and you can send your video links to roundhouseunsigned@outlook.com

This promises to be another summer to remember in the borough with The Valence Time Tunnel kicking off proceedings on Saturday 27 and Sunday 27 May at Valence House and park.

We will be taken back in time as actors recreate the lives of the people of Barking and Dagenham from the Stone Age through to the Second World War.

The rest of your favourite family events will return including the Eastbrookend Country Fair on Sunday 24 June, The Steam and Cider Fair at Old Dagenham Park on Saturday 30 June and the Youth Parade on Sunday 16 September going from Barking Park to Abbey Green.

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, said: “This promises to be another memorable summer of fun-filled activity and music for everyone to enjoy.

“Thousands of people attended our events last year and it proved to be a major success. We have been working even harder to ensure the concerts this summer are just as good.

“The atmosphere is always unique when our borough comes together to celebrate events like the Barking Folk Festival and One Borough Festival and I would urge everyone to come along once again and make it another summer to remember for Barking and Dagenham.”