Award-winning UK Black Pride – Europe’s largest not-for-profit event for African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean-heritage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people – is thrilled to announce our line-up for our 2018 festival, which takes place on Sunday 8 July in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
Recruited from across the diasporas we represent, the UK Black Pride team has curated performances by performers that represent the ever-growing and influential creativity and innovation that keeps Black LGBT+ people at the forefront of music, dance, and art.
As a Black LGBT+ community we understand that lodged in our body is a collective trauma, from daily microaggressions, marginalisation to historical erasure that we carry with us, on our shoulders and faces. So, for Black LGBT+ artists, the UK Black Pride stage is hallowed ground. Here, we not only have an opportunity to relieve the tension of survival, but to realise the potential of our bodies, too.
Leading the UK Black Pride entertainment team is Mwice-Margaret Kavindele, founder of Cocoa Butter Club, and a vocal performance powerhouse in her own right. Mwice-Margaret said: “I have undertaken the task of curating the UK Black Pride stage personally and seriously because it is an opportunity for us all to see what bodies of colour are capable of and, in the current climate, understanding that we can be what we want is really cemented within us when we do this for ourselves. When an organisation as groundbreaking and important as UK Black Pride curates performances for the community it matters. The line-up has been chosen not only because each performer is talented, inspiring and captivating, but also because each reveals to us who we can be.”
Headlining the UK Black Pride 2018 stage are performers from across the diaspora, including Alicai Harley, who said: “I feel that society’s attitude towards homosexuality has come a long way. However, there are still many barriers to be broken down in the Black and LGBT+ community. UK Black Pride is important in helping to eliminate many of the barriers that are still in place.
“Being a Jamaican girl that sings Dancehall music when Dancehall is associated with homophobia. I’m extremely excited to perform at UK Black Pride because it allows me to do my part to challenge that misconception, so I’m all for it!”
Joining Alicai Harley, as co-headliner, is rap artist Roxxxvn, and throughout the day, some of the best our community has to offer will take the stage to showcase their talent, including poet Staceyann Chin and drag performance artist FKA.
However, curating the UK Black Pride stage line up is not just about performances, it’s about providing space for the vanguard and creative agitators of our movements and allies, to amplify the work being done to help bring Black LGBT+ people forward and into the light. From the Labour Party’s Rt. Hon. Dawn Butler MP, who won DIVA magazine’s Ally of the Year, to Jason Jones, the appellant who brought the landmark legal challenge that forced the Government of Trinidad to decriminalise homosexuality, the UK Black Pride stage promises to be a celebration of the sounds and activism that underpin the richness of the Black LGBT+ community, and those fights which continue for our acceptance and equality in society in Britain and abroad.
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, UK Black Pride Executive Director, said: “I am really confident that the line up we have assembled for UK Black Pride pulls together some incredible talent, some of which may be a new or discovery for people. What I really hope is that people get chills listening to our speakers, hearing their story and identifying with their struggle. I hope people pound their feet on the ground, let out everything they’ve bottled up, and see the possibility and potential of our lives. I hope people are awestruck and inspired, liberated in the knowledge that they don’t need to be boxed into someone else’s idea of who we are and can be. That, in our experience is a glory that we continue to rise up and celebrate against every conceivable odd. We are beautiful. We are loved.”
The full line-up of performers and speakers is set out below.
12:00 DJ Gen
12:45 DJ Kaspa
13:15 DJ G (Exilio)
13:45 DJ Kartel Brown
14:45 Guest Speakers
15:00 DJ Kartel Brown / DJ Sensi
15:45 One Minute Silence and choir
15:50 Nawi Collective
16:00 DJ Traxx & Smoochie
16:45 King Dee
17:00 StaceyAnn Chin
17:30 DJ Big John
18:00 Afro Swagg
18:10 Jessbelle Thunder
18:15 PJ Samuels
18:30 Toya Delazy
19:10 Alicai Harley
19:50 UK Black Pride Team
20:00 DJ Biggy C