BlackFest returns for its third year to Liverpool - The Guide Liverpool

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BlackFest returns for its third year to Liverpool


Liverpool’s Black Arts festival, BlackFest, returns to Liverpool on Monday 21st September for a week long programme of diverse and thought provoking entertainment and events.

After two highly successful festivals in 2018 and 2019, BlackFest returns for 2020 with an exciting line up of music, poetry, discussions and book launches. All events are free to attend, with donations welcomed, and most can be attended online – with a socially distanced event planned for Saturday 26th September.

The festival opens on Monday 21st September with Locks: a fascinating talk about prison systems and racial profiling, featuring writer, rapper and founder of RiseUpCIC, Ashleigh Nugent, international performer Tayo Aluko, and writer and social worker D.Hunter, in partnership with UNITY Theatre. Free tickets can be found HERE.

Tuesday 22nd September is Art Practice & Protest, welcoming artist and historian, Susan Goligher, to lead a conversation on grass roots arts practice and protest alongside artist, Ekua Bayanu, and Manchester School of Architecture’s Ola Uduku, as they discuss their work and the impact of Black Lives Matter. This is followed by Children Authors: a talk on lack of diversity in the publishing industry, notably amongst child authors. Free tickets for both can be found HERE.

On Wednesday 23rd September, BlackFest presents Spoken Word & Poetry: a poetry evening with an electric line up of talented poets, including special guest poet, Zita Holbourne. Free tickets can be found HERE.

Thursday 24th September consists of Black LGBTQi Matters: a talk about LGBTQi and Black Lives Matter, featuring a number of special guest speakers, in partnership with Homotopia. Free tickets can be found HERE.

Saturday 26th September sees the festival’s ever popular music event (venue TBC) return to Liverpool – this time called Old Skool New Skool — showcasing some of the most talented black music artists in the region. Performing on the night will be: Tabitha Jade, Sub-Blue, LeeTz and Shak Omar, followed by DJ sets from DJ 2Kind and Hannah Lynch & Gaia and including a discussion with the artists from hosts Jennifer John and Yaw Owusu. Free tickets can be found HERE.

Sub Blue

The festival concludes on Sunday 27th September with Diversity Dialogues: an explorative talk on Liverpool’s slave trade history, featuring a panel of special guests including Dr. Leona Vaughn, Zita Holbourne, Ellis Eyo Thompson, Lawrence Westgaph and Stephen Nze. Free tickets can be found HERE.

With the aim of educating people, encouraging diversity and promoting Black Arts, BlackFest aims to educate, empower and improve equality in the arts. The festival answers a crucial need in the city’s cultural offering, celebrating Black Arts and bridging the gap between institutions and the marginalised communities they represent.

BlackFest’s Artistic Director, Jubeda Khatun, said:

“We’re really excited and proud to host BlackFest 2020. Despite the restrictions of Covid19, we’ve decided to go ahead anyway as we feel our message is even more important in light of Black Lives Matter and everything that’s happened this year. We have some incredible special guests this year and we’re looking forward to a thought provoking and inspiring week.”

For tickets and more information visit the BlackFest website.

For updates and live stream events follow BlackFest on Facebook.


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