Brent is the next London Borough of Culture, following Waltham Forest's programme in 2019. As to be expected from the home of Wembley Arena, its rich reggae heritage, and Kilburn's 'Music Mile', the 2020 celebration will be enriched with sound and song.
Highlights announced so far include:
- 18 January – RISE by Southpaw Dance Company
- 11 July – The Kilburn High: A mile-long street party celebrating Kilburn High Road with live music and street food.
- 5 September – Arena Takeover: The SSE Arena, Wembley, will host a massive showcase of new London artists curated by the Brent Blueprint Collective and Metropolis Music, with a competition leading up to the event to give local acts the opportunity to perform at the show.
- 3–4 Oct – No Bass Like Home / The Bass Weekender: Throughout the year, No Bass Like Home will tell the story of Brent's contribution to UK music via it's connection to Jamaica and reggae including Trojan Records inviting Brent-based DJs and producers to remix a track from their catalogue; objects, images and stories from Brent locals building an online archive of Brent's musical story; and 'Bass Invaders' seeing the stories and performances being taken to Central London venues. The Bass Weekender will takeover Harlesden showcasing performances from reggae and bass pioneers including Janet Kay, Don Letts, General Levy and Carla Marie Williams / Girls I Rate and Big Zeeks.
- The Anthem – A new 'song for London, as told by Brent', has been commissioned and will be performed throughout the year at live events including a special performance at SSE Arena, Wembley in July 2020.
Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture is adding the programme now to the Culture Diary.
Other elements to the year of activity include Zadie Smith writing a new reimagining of Chaucer's 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' called 'The Wife of Willesden'; local memories, stories and myths comprising 'The Museum of All Brent Life'; a new audio project collaboration, 'VENT', between young people in Brent and VICE detailing the experiences of those growing up in the area; and Art + Brent = Culture, the Brent 2020 Education Resource, supporting children and teachers to get involved in the culture programme in 2020 and encourage creativity in schools within the borough.
For more information, go to the Brent 2020 website.