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, Cllr. Karen Jewitt, Neil Athron and Agnes Forbes.
One The Band played out Thornton Heath Festival 2018 in what turned out to be a live Soca fest of a grand finale!
International Soca artist Ms Desire sang hits like ‘Doing Me’ and ‘Do Whu You Want’ – along with champion DJ Frisco. Thornton Heath was spoilt for talent, as another leading Soca artist, 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 performer has it all – and gave his all. The crowd responded to his magic, to his lyrics of ‘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 brought live to Thornton Heath!
Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell was another newcomer to Thornton Heath Festival. Given her pedigree we were so lucky to have her as she is an accomplished singer and performer with an extensive recording career. Whether reggae, soul or other genres of music she can nail it – and she did this year 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 ever as they were beautiful. If anyone thought they were seeing double, they could be forgiven because ‘The Twins’ led out this year!
Flagz Mas Band ‘Afrolantis Kids’ were not going to be out done! Their dance routine was just as captivating as the adults, their coordination excellent and their costumes exceptionally creative. Everyone loves the huge contribution Flagz makes to Thornton Heath Festival year on year. Thornton Heath Festival would not be the same without them.
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 Freddie!
Frederica and Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell later combined to sing their recently released cover version of Up Town Top Rankin. ‘Winne and Freddie’, as they are called, had the crowd singing and dancing to this well-known tune – and drinking in their incredible talent. We were blessed to have them both!
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” to Thornton Heath Festival goers and the 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 ‘viewers to doers’ in a dance lesson led by Aim High’s Miss Cate, ranging from the Baby Shark dance for the children and 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 the search was on for an ‘Addison Lee’ taxi to jump 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 for sure. I 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.
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 a resounding success. Thanks go to everyone involved in it, from members of the Management Committee, to our accredited security team led by Renford, to the Croydon MPS who policed it so well, to an army of volunteers from Croydon’s Soldiers, Sailors & Airmens’ Family Association (SSFA), our stall holders and performers, the Deputy Mayor, our stage and fun-fair providers and, not least, festival goers for whom this great community day out is organised.