Three-day Back2Black festival arrives in London
The three-day Back2Black festival arrives in London this summer as part of the London 2012 Festival, in the first ever iteration outside Brazil, hosted by and featuring Gilberto Gil and produced by the Barbican, Zoocom Events and Serious.
The line-up of artists now includes (29 June); Roots Manuva, Hugh Masekela, Femi Kuti, Fatou Diawara, Criolo, Tono, and Renegado (30 Jun); and Gilberto Gil + special guest, Amadou & Mariam, Toumani Diabaté + Arnaldo, Antunes + Edgard Scandurra, Mart’nália + Lura, Natasha Llerena + Aline Frazão (1 Jul).
Launched in Rio de Janeiro in 2009, the annual Back2Black festival has quickly established itself as one of the foremost cultural events in Brazil attracting over 35,000 visitors to date. A pioneer in promoting global appreciation for black culture in Brazil, this curated festival explores new ways of presenting music and art and aims to entertain, raise awareness, further cultural exchange and rebuild bridges, bringing Brazil back in touch with its African Heritage.
Since its inaugural edition, the Back2Black festival has taken place in the beautiful setting of the disused Leopoldina railway station close to downtown Rio de Janeiro. To recreate a similar setting, the London festival will be held at Old Billingsgate in East London, with three different stages and an extensive offering of concerts, talks, debates, exhibitions, and drumming displays and workshops involving young musicians from East London and the Pracatum School from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. A large-scale exhibition by Brazilian artist and director Bia Lessa forms the backdrop of the festival.
This first London Back2Black festival features a strong emphasis on UK-African connections and communities including Afro-Caribbean artists and brings together a heady mix of different traditions and musical genres, including Samba, Jazz, Funk, R’n’B, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Dub and Hip Hop – all of which have been heavily informed by Africa. London audiences will be able to sample the rhythms, flavours, colours, sounds and styles of our contemporary society which originate from Africa, with African and Brazilian food and drink complementing the festival experience.
Three-day Weekend Pass £120 / £70 (Under 16s accompanied by an adult)
Friday £35/£20 under 16s
Saturday £45/£25 under 16s
Sunday £45/£25 under 16s
Barbican Box Office: 0845 120 7550
Word provided by Barbican
Photography: João Wainer