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Thornton Heath Festival 2018 Hits the Spot

Thornton Heath Festival 2018 was spectacular as it was successful, made possible by the hard work of a small team of organising volunteers: Tony Rowland, Cllr. Callton Young, Hon Alderman Adrian Dennis, Cllr. Pat Clouder, Agnes Forbes,  Cllr. Karen Jewitt and Neil Athron.

One The Band played out Thornton Heath Festival 2018 in what turned out to be a live Soca-fest of a-grand-finale featuring international Soca artists, Ms Desire, DJ Frisco and S Rise!

Ms Desire sang hits like ‘Doing Me’ and ‘Do Whu You Want’ – along with champion, DJ Frisco. Thornton Heath was spoilt for talent as S Rise took to the stage to sing hit song ‘I am Winning’.

As the crowd demanded more, Ms Desire sang ‘ My Team’, another of her Soca sensations, as a parting gift. Working the crowd, she got everyone singing, hands over hearts, that they ‘are the best’; ‘Thornton Heath is the Best’. We all left bursting with pride for our community. What a perfect end to a perfect day!

It was great to have Triniboi Joocie, the national Soca Champion who tore up the stage two years ago, back at Thornton Heath Festival. Performing his latest release, ‘More Hose’, he left the crowd literally wet and delighted to be so, as he sang out ‘Wata, Wata, Wata’.

Sporting a Tee-shirt emblazoned with ‘Born With Attitude’ this artist has it all – and gave his all. The crowd responded to his magic, to his ‘Obeyah’, in dance, in voice and in pure adulation. No one stood still. Who can when this accomplished performer is in full flow? This was Soca brilliance, in its fullest expression, live in Thornton Heath!

Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell was a newcomer to Thornton Heath Festival.  She is an accomplished singer and performer with an extensive recording career. Given her pedigree we were so lucky to have her.  Whether reggae, soul or other genres of music she can nail it – and she did for Thornton Heath, with big songs like Louisa Marks’ Six Sixth Street. Beautiful!

Flagz, Flagz, Flagz! What a great Mas Band they are! No Thornton Heath Festival would be complete with out them and this year, as ever, they did not disappoint. Flagz Mas Band’s adult routine was on point. Edgy, engaging and enchanting!  The colours of this year’s costumes were as striking as they were beautiful. By the way, if anyone thought they were seeing double, they could be forgiven because ‘The Flagz Twins’ led out the dancing this year!

Flagz Mas Band ‘Afrolantis Kids’ were not going to be out done! Their dance routine was just as captivating as the adult one, their coordination excellent and their costumes exceptionally creative.  Everyone welcomes the huge contribution Flagz makes to Thornton Heath Festival year-on-year.  We cannot wait to see the Band’s theme for next year’s costumes, the individual artistic creations that emerge and the new dance routines.

To reggae lovers, particularly of Lovers Rock, Gregory Issacs is a legend! Thornton Heath Festival was privileged this year to have with us Frederica Tibbs, an international reggae star who recorded music with the great man himself, as she carved out her own successful career in a very competitive industry. Big up Frederica!

Frederica got Thornton Heath Festival goers singing along to well known reggae songs like ‘Sweet Sensation’, ‘If you Knew’ and ‘Tears on My Pillow’.  This singalong was a first for the Festival and must be repeated!  The crowd loved it.  Frederica also sang ‘You are So Beautiful’ in tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.

Frederica and Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell later combined to sing their new cover version of ‘Up Town Top Rankin’. ‘Winne and Freddie’, as they call themselves, also had the crowd singing and dancing to this well-known tune – and drinking in their incredible talent. We were blessed to have them both at our Festival!

Natz, another Thornton Heath Festival newcomer, smashed it!  This versatile singer, songwriter and DJ, is a great new talent who is at ease with or without backing music. Proud of her Punjabi-Jamaican roots, she brought an incredible Caribbean authenticity to Thornton Heath Festival. The crowd loved it – and her.

Aim High Dance Academy showed why it is it going from strength to strength as the ‘go to’ place locally for learning street and other modern dance techniques. Academy Principal, Haley Rae, introduced ‘Intensity’ one of her teams, to Thornton Heath Festival goers.  This dance trio immediately lived up to their name. Their high energy routine showed off well exactly what Aim High Academy is all about.

Festival goers then switched from being ‘viewers to doers’ in a dance lesson led by Aim High teacher, Miss Cate, ranging from the Baby Shark dance for the children and the Candy Dance for the grown ups!  It was fantastic. A big shout out goes to Aim High!

Taylor-Leigh Sandiford rapped her way into the hearts of Thornton Heath Festival goers with songs like ‘Optimistic, her soon be released single. By the time she finished her routine the search was on for an ‘Addison Lee’ taxi to jump into, as this fabulous tune and her performance stuck in the minds of revellers.  Taylor-Leigh commanded her stage and gave a star performance for real. The only way is up for this talented performer.

Earlier in the day, Thumping vibes from New Era Sound System had kicked off the Festival (thanks Samuel Killiman Jago); aptly followed by Skillosophi, a live reggae band with roots, both musically and local. Positive vibrations were felt for sure. We love this band.

Next up was rapper, Kingdom Kid, who got the crowd interacting with his fantastic brand of gospel music. Thornton Heath seems to be blessed with people that can hold a tune!

Newcomer, Sandie Sinclair, showed off her amazing talent for both singing and dancing. Tina Turner would have been proud of her cover version of ‘Simply the Best’. We were.

Festival regulars, Salsa Naturally, shared their salsa dancing skills and quickly had everyone gyrating. This local dance company has been coming to the Festival for ten years.  Hats off to Ruth Ferguson, its Director and her team of dancers.

Newcomer, Marshel Walker supported by her delightful child star, added to the good reggae vibrations at the Festival singing songs like ‘The Devil is a Lier’. What a fantastic duo! Go little man!

Thornton Heath Festival 2018 was pleased to welcome Suzie Jay and the Cool Breeze Band, bringing a soulful touch to our event. Great work guys!

Thornton Heath Festival 2018 was a resounding success.  Thanks go to everyone involved, from members of the Management Committee, to our SIA accredited security team led by Renford, volunteer paramedics from Brigstock Medical Practice, Croydon Council’s team and Croydon MPS who policed it sensitively right to the end.

Thanks also go to our army of volunteers, our stall holders and performers, our stage and fun-fair providers, Croydon’s Deputy Mayor and, not least, festival goers for whom this great community day out was organised. The Scout climbing wall featured in the next video resulted in the highest number of recruits from any Croydon Festival ever.  Well done to our kids.

We look forward to seeing everyone next year.  Follow this site for announcement of the date.

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