LIVE BLOG: Thousands gather for annual Lewisham People’s Day festival

Thousands of people are attending today’s Lewisham People’s Day, the largest free festival in south-east London. EastLondonLines will be reporting on the events throughout the day, bringing you all the action from Mountsfield Park, in Hither Green.

Our team at the event are Christina Adamidou, Koos Couvee, Milly Dawson and Penny Permal. Milly will be performing onstage with her band Shiva and will be bringing all the news and gossip from back stage.

The festival, now in its 27th year is aimed at showcasing the best the borough has to offer, whether it is music, theatre, dance, magic, cabaret, sport or the spoken word.

A total of eight themed stages will feature an estimated 1,000 different performers in every field from rock to cabaret to circus.

One of the highlights of the day will be  a performance by the legendary rude boy hero Neville Staples of the Specials. As well as Shiva, other local bands taking part include Edit Select and the Real Bad Habits.

In addition to the performers, there will be craft displays, rides, children’s activities and many stalls selling food and drink from around the world. Visitors will be able to strut their dance moves at Electro Swing, join the BBC singers at Sing Out!, learn circus skills, or relax like a true Brit with a cup of tea or a pint of ale.

Full details of the programme can be downloaded here

Around the park there will be many representatives of community groups, public services and businesses who are being given a platform to tell the borough what they do and how you can get involved. Representatives from Goldsmiths, where the EastLondonLines website is based will be among those present.

7:57pm: Shiva singer, Camille Dawson says, “What a wonderful day out in Lewisham! I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came down to support Shiva and celebrate our last gig. Highlights of the day were the real Bad Habits, the dance groups, playing our last gig and the general vibe of our creative community. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did!”

Shiva in concert Pic: Penniana Permal

7:20pm: Lorna Kembale, 40, PA in Catford says, “I definitely had a good time; I went on a few rides too, the food was good… I will be coming next year!

7:18pm: Wilfred Heart, 46, a council worker, says, “It’s been a lovely day. We’ve been coming here since Day one and we never get tired of it. The kids enjoyed it and we’re definitely coming back for more!

7:10pm: Shiva have just finished their last gig ever and went out with a bang!  Great supportive crowd filled with loved ones. Spot a couple of tears from a proud mum too. Fantastic show!

6:19pm: Shiva just about to go on stage. Camille tells us how she feels very excited and sad. “An end to an era is an understatement,”she says.

6:06pm: ELL’s very own reporter-rocker, Camille Dawson, about to go on stage. Sitting with the rest of her band, Shiva, cherishing their last moments as a band together. Set list is written, can’t wait to see them live!

6:00pm: Lewisham people are thoroughly enjoying this kick off to the summer holidays!

Pic: Camille Dawson

5:55pm: Just at the stage bus watching the Dre Zone. The musicianship here is just insane. So much talent in Lewisham today!

5:42pm: A great selection of stall stands here today: Hughes Syndrome Foundation, Deaf Self and Casa Alianza (international non profit child care organziation.)

5:30pm: Liz Fowler, 32, council worker from Greenwich says, “I’m here today as part of a safer neighbourhoods crew for Lewisham People’s Day. I think it’s a really good event; family orientated with a lot of things for older kids to do this year. I’ve been coming for a couple years now, and I especially like the music.”

5:26pm: Performing at the big top : Swing Patrol (made up of five boys and five girls.)

5:25pm: Just watching a great indie rock band right now called the Floodliners performing on Rocklands. Five strong, three ladies, two on the guitar and one on the bass. One lad on the keyboard and another on the drums. The singer sounds like M.I.A meets Lilly Allen. She has a very mature stage presence. Man, can she hit those high notes! Think our reporter, Koos Couvee has a little crush…!

The Floodliners Pic: Koos Couvee

5:15pm: Some crazy dance moves here for Bad Habits!

Looks like fun! Pic: Camille Dawson


Take a look at how the giant ball game turned out :

4:33pm: Quick pit stop for some ‘fine chips.’

Pic: Camille Dawson


This is the rock soul group called Vall. It is their second  time performing. Vall says “Lewisham People’s Day is great, theres a great mix of people everyone is very open and it has a great family vibe.”

4:30pm: This is a dance group called Captive.  It’s their 4th time performing at lewisham peoples day. Aaron the teacher and chorographer for captive has been coming to peoples day for 4 years. Aaron says’lewisham peoples day has been very inspring because of the community atmosphere, all the dance groups come together once a year’ the age group of captive is 8-16.

Pic: Camille Dawson

4:25pm: Gave in and got that Jerk chicken after all !

jerk chicken Pic: Koos Couve

4:25pm: Where has the sun disappeared ? Let’s hope it doesn’t start raining !

Pic: Camille Dawson4:20pm: Waiting for the real Bad Habits to go on the stage bus. Yay ! The sun has come out! Catching some rays till then. Still can't believe how many people are here!

4:12pm: Here are some snapshots of the day so far. Credits to Camille Dawson:

We are spoilt for choice!

Clearly the police in Lewisham take their roles very seriously!

4:10pm: Got talking to Andre from Rolling Sound, a company that tutors kids in music and video production and DJing. “It is a great opportunity for the kids. Rolling Sound is particularly active in Lewisham. Youths can also get qualifications to put on their CVs,” says Andre.


Andre from Rolling Sound Pic: Koos Couve

4:00pm: Helen Ferguso, 27, and Joe Gilliam, 28, project managers for Lewisham council do projects for Forest Hill. Latest project of theirs includes the new leisure centre. “It is a new controversial project but will create a very high profile for the borough.”
3:55pm: Family man, George Cummils, 35, says, “It’s great. We come here with the kids every year. There’s always loads for the kids to do, with many rides and stalls and useful information.”
1:45pm: J’s Dance Factory – after school dance class for kids in London – are now on stage. What a big crowd!
3:50pm: I am starving but the Jerk chicken here is £7.50. What a rip off!
3:20pm: Raymond Thomas, 24, security guard from Walthamstow says, “It’s all for the kids. I really want to see Rick Ross perform.”
3:38pm: Just heard a great poetry recital about Lewisham from 39 year old Sophia Wilson. She is part of the Spoken Inspired Word collective  based in Lewisham. The poem is about what it was like for her growing up in the 80’s in the borough and how Lewisham has changed. She stressed the beauty of diversity in the borough of Lewisham.
[excerpt from her poem]: “What an amazing opportunity to take an interest in each other’s ancestry. We are benefiting here from green wide open spaces, an emerging arts scene and interesting historical places…And if the dockyard could tell their own story, they would speak of love, lost hope and much glory.”
3:13pm: Inspire Youth dance company are at the Dance for Life stage. The lead dancer was really impressive. Trying to get an interview.
Pic: Camille Dawson 3:01pm: Olympic stand run by Kas Darley. Darley, 31, works for a theatre company in Lewisham and runs a judo and arts club. Let’s encourage little kids to take part ! Check out these judo kids preparing for a fight. The olympic village has officially started!

2:55pm: The drummer of Edit Select is wearing a Durex T-shirt. Good advertising for the public !

2:43pm: Take a look at this giant white ball. They are planning on a long queue of people to line up and roll the ball over them!

2:32pm: Waiting for Edit Select to come on. Feeling good vibes from The Rocklands stage. Everyone is on hay stakcs and their picnic blankets. I am loving this Lewisham feel.

2:18pm: Just met Princess Amy and Isabelle. They told ELL the princess palace is just up the M1. I can’t wait to get hold of those outfits!

princess Amy and Isabelle Pic: Camille Dawson

1:45pm: J’s Dance Factory – after school dance class for kids in London – are now on stage. What a big crowd!

12:59pm: Good afternoon. Lots of traffic on the way to Mountsfield Park and summery people walking down. How exciting!

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