Brockley Max – The festival championing community spirit in Lewisham

Brockley Overground. Pic: Creative Commons 

The Brockley Max festival will return this June to celebrate community spirt in Lewisham with nine days of arts and cultural events at venues in Ladywell, Catford and Brockley.

This year’s highlights include a unique cartoon drawing workshop hosted by the resident Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson, the Goldsmith Showoff – a chance for local academics to discuss recent research – as well as three nights of locally made original cinema (focusing on the area).

The festival is opened and closed with parties boasting six hours of live music, food and drink.  

Moira Tait, founder and organiser of Brockley Max Festival,  told ELL:  “An essential ethos of Brockley Max has always been to bring the community together to celebrate what’s great about living in this part of south-east London.  Because everything is organised by local people, it creates a sense of pride and ownership of their area. 

“Local businesses sponsor us and hold events and in return receive support from the community helping generate a vibrant, sustainable local economy.  We’ve always strived to keep the majority of events free, so that all sections of our community can enjoy the best of what this area has to offer. 

“The team has worked really hard this year to develop relationships between event organisers and venues and I think it shows in the range and calibre of events – everything from live music, poetry nights, theatre productions and comedy to talks, to children’s events, film nights and cabaret.” 

Despite remaining a non-profit community event, the arts and culture festival has grown dramatically in size since 2001 when Tait founded it.

Earlier in the year, locals were encouraged to pitch potential events to the festival organisers for the chance to be included in the festivities.

This year over 75 events have been added to the programme – from bring your own vinyl at the Ladywell Tavern to folk duos on Hilly Fields. 

Organisers have also teamed up with local radio station One Harmony to offer a daily live broadcast of the celebrations.  


The opening of Brockley Max will take place at 4.30pm at Brockley station on June 1 and will host 13 live music acts from across the borough.  

Helled Owen, Brockley local and drummer in the band Prima Queen, told ELL:  “I’m really excited to play the festival and see other local talent. Brockley seems to be a very cultural and up and coming place”  

Other highly anticipated events at this year’s festival include: Poetry in the Brewery, Botanical illustration and the Brockley Max Lego Challenge.  

The Brockley Max is run partially by a range of volunteers and locals aged 14 and over. The festival encourages locals to volunteer to run the festival and the deadline is May 24.   

You can find the full Brockley Max programme as well as news updates and information on volunteering at the festival online here.

Here is ELL’s map of the most popular venues featured across the festival.  

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