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.

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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!

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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’.

20180909_183552As 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’.

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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.

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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.

Thornton Heath Festival 2018 Performers

Every year Thornton Heath Festival aims to deliver good stage entertainment alongside a funfair, a good mix of stalls and, not least, a great range of food and drink. This year will be no different.
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Triniboi Wild Ting IMG-20180806-WA0011[23857]Triniboi Joocie will top the Bill. Thornton Heath is so lucky.  Regular goers will recall that he blew the roof of the Festival two years ago with hits that made him the UK’s national Soca Champion 2016.

Triniboi Joocie will be singing earlier hits and more, including his latest release ‘More Hose – Wild Ting Riddim‘.

Frederica and Michelle IMG-20180819-WA0008Newcomers to the Festival include Frederica Tibbs a brilliant reggae artist who has a performed with the legendary Gregory Issacs! I get goose bumps just typing his name – and am delighted that Federica has agreed to join us.

Frederica will also be performing a duet with fellow reggae star Winsome Moncreiffe-Mitchell.  You have got to come to the Festival to avoid missing Winne and Freddie.

Taylor-Leigh Sandiford IMG-20180831-WA0015[24087] croppedTo mix things up we are proud to introduce another Festival newcomer, rapper Taylor-Leigh Sandiford. She will be performing her official remix of ‘Addison Lee‘. You had better jump in!

Other newcomers include Natz and Marshel Walker out of the stable of artists at Artistic Jam.  We also welcome Suzie J and the Cool Breeze Band and Sandie Sinclair.

Soca giants Flagz Mas Band and One The Band, featuring Ms Desire, will be back at the Festival.  They will bring even more Caribbean dance and rhythmic beats to Thornton Heath High Street which, as usual, will be closed to traffic for the day.

Festival regulars, Aim High Academy and Salsa Naturally will be joining us too.  You can expect some audience participation with them, so best be prepared!  We will also have Poet’s Point again, led by Well Versed Ink, given its popularity with revellers last year.

Please come along and both support and enjoy this fun-filled community day. Among the Funfair, Face-painting, Food and Festival-fun, there will be someone for everyone.

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Thornton Heath Festival 2018: Date announced

The date of Thornton Heath Festival 2018 has been announced.  It’s Sunday,  9 September 2018. Please put it in your diary.

Speaking today, Festival Chairman Tony Rowland said ‘as usual the event will take place on Thornton Heath High Street and run from noon until 6pm. The road will be closed off for the day to fit in as many attractions as possible and to allow Festival goers to fully enjoy themselves without interruption’.

Vice Chairman, Callton Young, said ‘Thornton Heath Festival has evolved to become an awesome spectacle of sounds, colour, dance and food and is a ‘must go’. There is something for everyone to enjoy regardless of age, gender or ethnic background.’  He is urging Festival regulars to block 9 September 2018 off in their diaries and to spread the word about what is now undoubtedly Croydon’s premier annual street festival.

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Together with other key Management Committee members, Adrian Dennis, Pat Clouder, Agnes Forbes, Karen Jewitt, Tony and Callton are working to make Thornton Heath Festival 2018 the best one in its eleven year history.

Thornton Heath Festival 2016 date announced

The date of Thornton Heath Festival 2016 has been announced!!

Speaking today Festival Chairman Tony Rowland said ‘the Management Committee is planning another fun-filled day for the whole community to take place on 4 September 2016!

It will be bigger and better than ever said Festival Vice Chairman Councillor Callton Young. ‘Last year was good but we will surpass it this year because of solid community support and growing interest among top quality local performers.’  ‘Our local community has much of which to be proud’ he added.


Triniboi Joocie performing at THF 2o15

Another Festival organiser, Councillor Pat Clouder, was just as upbeat about the event.

She said ‘I am so pleased to help produce such an enjoyable day out for the whole community’  Each year the event gets better and better’.

Artists like national Soca champion Triniboi Joocie are being lined up to make the day memorable.  Regular festival goers will remember Triniboi’s truly stunning performance last year when he got the whole of Thornton Heath dancing Soca!!

Ben Brown IMAG2504And then there is Dani-I our home grown international reggae star.  Not to mention Thornton Heath’s own contestant from The Voice UK, Ben Brown; and Thornton Heath songstress, Kimberley SK.

The entertainment will be as diverse as ever.  There will be something for all sections of Thornton Heath’s community!!

There will be dancers, a carnival procession,  a fun-fair and street stalls selling delicious food and arts and crafts.

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Chantel Phillips will be gyrating her ‘Hips-inc’ sync for us too.  Way to go!


Chantel of Hipsinc

We are also hopeful of having something tantalizing  from the Tamil Cultural Dancers and a serenely Slavic performance from Slav-Ya-Nee.  Watch this space!!


Thanus, a Tamil Cultural Dancer

Moreover, there will be a chance for Thornton Heath’s children to show off their mass dancing skills again!!!


Mass dance to Watch me Whip Nae Nae

Why not put this ‘must do’ date in your diary to avoid missing out?

Spread the word that THF 2016 will take place on Sunday 4 September on Thornton Heath High Street from noon ’til 6pm.

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Children love THF!  Adults love THF!   Our whole community loves THF!  Come and join in the fun!!

Thornton Heath Festival Xmas Lights: “That’s the Christmas spirit”

Thornton Heath Festival’s Christmas light event took place as planned on Saturday 21 November 2015.

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Acts Christian Church Choir under Thornton Heath’s historic Clock Tower before lights are turned on!

The event was opened by Acts Christian Church Choir! It sang beautifully, applying well practised harmonies to a range of Christmas carol favorites to bring Christmas cheer to Thornton Heath!  Locals quickly got into the festive spirit, with some joining in the carol singing as the Choir got into full swing! It’s just not Christmas without a great choir singing well known and loved carols!!!  Thornton Heath owes a debt of thanks to the Acts Christian Church.

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Acts Christian Church choir bring Tidings of Good Joy to Thornton Heath’s residents and shoppers

Thornton Heath Festival Vice-Chairman, Callton Young OBE wished the gathered Thornton Heath crowd a merry Christmas. He said the Thornton Heath Festival, held in the summer, was the best ever and thanked locals for their support.

Callton explained that funds generated at the Festival had been invested in new lights for the large tree by Thornton Heath’s Clock Tower and on lampposts along the High Street!!!.  He saw this as community action at its very best!!!!

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Thornton Heath’s Santa Baby Kimberley SK conjuers up Xmas spirit

Festival Chairman, Tony Rowland welcomed special guest Kimberley SK to the stage.  ‘Santa Baby’ Kimberley SK told the gathered crowd that she is a local singer pursuing her dream. She had just come second in ‘Croydon with Talent’ a fiercely contested local competition. Thornton Heath responded with loud cheers for this talented local star!!!!!

Kimberley SK turned on Thornton Heath’s new Christmas lights with a countdown at 5.30pm.  A child was heard to call out “that’s the Christmas spirit”!!!   That about summed up the event!!!  This was Christmas at its best – “thanks to the organisational commitment and determination of the Thornton Heath Festival Management Team!!!” says Callton.  He gave special mention to Thornton Heath Ward Councillor, Pat Clouder for her part in this event.

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Lights on! “That’s the Christmas spirit”!

With Thornton Heath’s historic clock tower as her backdrop, Kimberley SK sang her heart out to a diverse audience!!Kimberley Singing cropped DSC_6857

Kimberley and fansDrawing from her ever expanding repertoire, she sang a number of songs not least Christmas numbers.  Listen to the clip below!!  At the end of the performance fans came forward to show their appreciation, some asking for selfies with the Thornton Heath star!!!

The Thornton Heath Festival Management Team, together with Xmas special guest Kimberley SK, wish Thornton Heath a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

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From L-R: Cllr. Pat Clouder, Callton Young OBE, special guest ‘Santa Baby’ Kimberley SK, Tony Rowland and Hon. Alderman and Freeman Adrian Dennis

Thornton Heath Festival 2015 a Local Success Story

Thornton Heath Festival 2015 was a huge success because of a mixture of brilliant music, colour, dance – and not least our children says Festival MC, Callton Young OBE.

National soca star, Triniboi Joocie, got Thornton Heath on its feet with a breathtaking performance that epitomised carnival.  He first sang Beautiful, Go Down, Mawd and then Las Wuk.

Triniboi Stage shot THF 2015 Photos 183Thornton Heath heard Soca at its very best!

It witnessed a first class performance, from a first class artist.

If any revellers had not heard of Triniboi Joocie before, they had now!! The crowd’s response was unequivocal!  It called loudly and in unison for ‘more, more more!’

So they got more, until the Festival had to close – with Triniboi Joocie held to a promise by the throng to return to Thornton Heath next year with more of his Soca genius!


Triniboi Joocie turns on his Soca genius

Earlier in the day Flagz Mas Band brought an awesome display of colour to the High Street in the form of resplendent hand-made carnival costumes. They performed solo, joined in the Carnival Parade and supported Triniboi Joocie in his stage performance too.  It must be said, a great deal of the day’s success can be shared with them.  So a big shout goes out to Eon at Flagz Mas Band.


Flagz Mas Band dancer!


Flagz Mas Band in full swing, led by Eon

Scariofunk Collective gave an amazing display of street dance with an outstanding performance of choreographed dance moves.

The Collective is a Community Interest Group formed to bring diverse communities together through the medium of dance.  It is pretty unique. It turns out quality dancers and performances, as ably demonstrated at the Festival!


Scariofunk Collective in full street dance flow

Stunning reggae performances were provided by Kimberley SK and Suzie Jay.  Kimberley SK, captivated the crowd and then reeled it in!!  She held it in the palm of her hand for almost half an hour with a truly brilliant performance from her growing repertoire of songs!!


Kimberley SK aka ‘Special K’

Further variety came in the form of Felicity Triner and the Tamil Cultural Dancers. Thanus of the Tamil Cultural Dancers danced a Bharathanatya piece portraying the beauty of a peacock. This bird is used as Lord Muruga’s vehicle which is why she says ‘it is important to acknowledge it as well as the Hindu Deities’.


Thanus portraying the beauty of a peacock

Suruthi Shasheetharan, also of the Tamil Cultural Dancers, danced a semi classical Bharathanatya piece dedicated to Lord Krishna.  Although a fusion piece, it was choreographed to show the personalities of Lord Krishna.


Suruthi strikes a dance pose

Suruthi wants to change the World to make it a better place!

She has signed up to be a Youth Ambassador for the Global Volunteer Network.

If you want to help Suruthi fulfill her goal, take a look at her Youth Ambassador Page and take it from there.

Newcomers to the Festival – Yohanah Abrahams, King Arthur, and Shanai Williams accompanied by Suzanne Jellow and Ben – went down a storm too.

Then there was Benjamin Brown who auditioned for The Voice UK and who came to the Festival to share his exceptional vocal talents.  A shout of thanks goes out to Ben!!

Thunderous Japanese Taiko drums were played by Tamashii School of Taiko Do. While steel drums were play by the Endurance Steel Orchestra which brought a real carnival atmosphere to the Festival.

Tamashii Daiko drummers 27s

Hipsinc, a spectacular belly dancing troupe, showed why they are regulars at the Thornton Heath Festival and always among the crowd’s favorites!! Chantel paired up with one other dancer this year and put on a dazzling display of gyrations that left even the best dancers thinking about having lessons!


Hipsinc show belly dancing at its best!

And then there was Slav-Ya-Nee, a Slavic folk group in full ethnic dress – and Dillon Wyte, who revellers will all remember from last year’s Festival, playing some sizzling guitar rifts.


Slav-Ya-Nee performing in Slavic dress

Locally designed processional pieces were prominent again in our Carnival Parade and, not least, local pipe bands.  This year’s theme was peacocks. Local artist, Karen Barnett, should take a bow for delivering yet another spectacular display for us all.

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However, I have to say that the Festival’s surprise stars were Thornton Heath’s children! They gave unrehearsed mass dances on stage to songs like Watch me Whip, Watch me Nae Nae!

Seeing is believing!!!  So my biggest thanks of all go to them!  Well done kids!!!


Thornton Heath’s children lead the way!

About 6,000 people attended the Festival, their day made all the more enjoyable because of the glorious weather.


The children stole the show!

The feedback on Facebook and elsewhere has been amazing!  Everyone is saying it is ‘the best of the Festivals so far!’  I agree though I might be biased!

Credit goes to all the Festival organisers in particular Tony Rowland (Chairman), Debbie Lehane, Councillor Pat Clouder, Hon. Alderman Adrian Dennis, Karen Barnett, Andrea Cornwall, Agnes Forbes and Everton Brown.

Thanks go also also to DJ Cassy M for manning the set and to Steve Reed OBE MP for doing the Festival’s Prize Draw!

Check out Thornton Heath Festival 2015’s Facebook page for photos of the event!

Please send us your photos of the Festival too so we came add them to our fascinating pictorial record!!

See you next year at Thornton Heath Festival 2016.