The Afropunk Festival: London – saw hundreds of people amass at Alexandra Palace, London for the international festival of multiculturalism, expression and freedom.
Afropunk, an event that has been held previously in New York, Atlanta and Paris over the past 10 years; has shown the world that it is possible to unite through music and the celebration of people and their differences.
A day long experience featuring artists from across the UK such as newcomer Jorja Smith and her hit ‘Blue Lights’, Mikel Ameen with his #WorldChanger movement and Loyle Carner.
The day itself truly harnessed the Afropunk message and mantra of No Sexism, No Racism, No Ableism, No Ageism, No Homophobia, No Fatphobia, No Transphobia and No Hatefulness – everyone in attendance came dressed to the nines laced with freedom of expression while unapologetically creating ancestral fashion statements.
Warming up the event we saw MNEK shut it down with his flawless vocals with DJ’s gracing the Soulection stage and forcing the conscious crowd to be free and let loose; an impromptu dance battle also took place during the festivities – with the energy flowing, Afropunk started off with plenty sass, pride and enthusiasm.
As the sun set across the London horizon, Afropunk amped up to become an event of true eclectic sounds, limitless lyrics and an experience unlike no other.
While performing a yet to be released track from his upcoming album, British artist and activist Akala was supported by hula-hooping-rhythmic dancers amongst the crowd that truly added to the beauty and creativity of the event and the spiritual experience it offered.
Nothing could top the performance by Scottish Hip Hop/ Pop trio ‘Young Fathers’, the mercury award winning group stole the attention from any other performer and tore the stage apart with high energy, raw talent, hip thrusting moves winning over a crowd of admirers.
To end the day Grace Jones performed effortlessly some of her greatest hits including “Pull Up To The Bumper” and “I Need A Man”.
Although iconic; her performance saw many millennials make their way towards the exit. It’s not their fault Grace Jones’ greatest hits were way before their time.
Nevertheless, the Jamaican born model and singer tore it down as she has for over thirty years.
Afropunk came to London and showed the UK a taste of what we’ve been missing out on over the past decade.
A festival that celebrates the beauty of freedom and being who the hell you want to be; anything that embraces and encourages these qualities deserves to be propelled in to the global arena.
To keep up to date with Afropunk and its calendar of international events visit www.afropunkfest.com
Words by: @TherryiJay