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!

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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.

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Flagz Mas Band dancer!

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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!

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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!!

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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’.

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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.

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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.  https://www.gvnfundraising.org/fundraise?fcid=415108

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!

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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.

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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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Carnival 04s

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!!!

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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.

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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.

Thornton Heath Festival 2015

Thornton Heath Festival 2015 will be an awesome spectacle of rhythmic sounds, splashes of colour, sizzling songs and global dance.

Do not miss out on this fun-filled spectacular starting at noon on 6 September on Thornton Heath’s High Street!

Rhythmic sounds will be provided in the form of thunderous Japanese Taiko Drums played at one end of Thornton Heath High Street at the start of the Festival by Tamashii Taiko, a drumming troupe.   At the same time the calypso beats of the Caribbean will ring out on steel drums played at the opposite end of the High Street by Endurance Steel Orchestra.   Revellers can take their pick or move between the two to enjoy a bit of both!

Splashes of colour will come in abundance from Flagz Mas Band of Notting Hill Carnival fame, bedecked in full carnival regalia and brought to life by pumped up by Samba beats.  Colour will also come from local Thornton Heath arts projects that have made an amazing array of large scale processional displays such as moving peacocks and a replica of Thornton Heath’s Clock Tower.  There will be an African dimension in the form of Djembe Drummers too and a Slavic one with carnival participants in traditional Folk dress – not to mention a pipe band in Scottish tartan.

Sizzling songs will be performed live on stage by a variety of artists covering a range of genres.  There will be Soca performed by Triniboi Joocie, reggae by artists like Dan-I, Eccleton Jarrett, Suzie Jay and Dillon Wyte.  Not to mention R&B by Kimberley SK and Felicity Triner – and ballads sung by Shanai Williams accompanied by Suzanne Jellow  on guitar, and by Yohanah Abraham.

Dance will be delivered live on stage with artists ‘throwing shapes’ from across the Globe.  Belly dancing will be showcased by Hipsinc – and modern dance demonstrated by Perfect Circle and Aim High Academy.  Asian dance will be shared by the Tamil Cultural Dancers and Salsa dancing by Salsa Naturally.  Slavic dance will feature too in the form of Slav-yaa-nee and we are hopeful that Street Dance crew, Scariofunk Collective, will also give a performance.

Furthermore there will be great fairground rides for the children – with a few suitable for adults too!  There will also be a variety of stalls such as arts & crafts and face painting, not least a diverse range of food and drink.

So if you like Japanese Taiko Drummers, steel bands, splashes of bright colours in carnival costumes brought to life by pumped up by Samba beats, live songs, live stage dance routines, fairground rides and a wide variety of food and other stalls – come to Thornton Heath Festival 2015!

The Festival will be formally opened at noon on Sunday 6 September by the Mayor of Croydon on Thornton Heath High Street.

Thornton Heath Festival 2014

The Thornton Heath Festival 2014 took place on 7 September. It was an fun-filled day, packed with live music, dance and a variety of stalls and activities.  There were about 6,000 revellers over the course of the day.

The Festival was formally opened by the Deputy Mayor of Croydon who spoke of the rich ethnic diversity in Thornton Heath and welcomed that the Festival would have something in it for everyone. She toured the stalls and amusements with Tony Rowland, Festival Organising Committee Chairman, staying for several hours to speak to revellers. She received a warm welcome from all.

American Dillon Wyte kicked of the live show with brilliant performances from his new reggae album VisionIrie and blew his audience away with his awesome Hendrixesque guitar solos.  At times he played his electric guitar holding it behind the back of his head and even played it with his teeth.

Suzie Jay, Thornton Heath’s very own reggae queen performed ‘What goes around comes around’ among other songs.  Thornton Heath R&B diva, the stunning Kimberley SK, sang songs like ‘Speechless’ and ‘Love on Cloud 9’.  She was rushed at the end of her performance by one star struck fan asking for a shirt signing!

International artists Andrae Melody and Dan-I drew in the crowds with silky R&B performances from the former and some brilliant dancehall lyrics and vibes from the latter.  They then surprised everyone with an impromptu reggae collaboration which drove the crowd wild.  Tkayy Stanna added to the party atmosphere with his brilliant new dance hall tune ‘Wine and Kotch’.

The music genre was broadened further by performances from the Acts Church and Community Choir, Nathaniel’s Beat Box and Thornton Heath’s very own Russian Folk Band dressed in full ethnic costume. Adam Hughes and Affinity D closed the day performing one of their own songs and a brilliant cover version of Lego House.

Long before the Festival ended however, revellers enjoyed an equally awesome dance feist.  The Flagz Mas Band, dressed in hand-made carnival costumes and straight from the Notting Hill Carnival, got the crowd pulsating with soca vibes.  Thornton Heath got a first hand taste of how to party hard.

Not to be out done, the equally vibrant Tamil Cultural Dancers wowed the crowd with a riveting demonstration of Asian dance.  Chantel with Hipsinc, a local belly dancing troupe, then showed the crowd how to pelvic rock, pelvic tilt and make pelvic circles in a master class of the middle eastern art.  Both dancers and crowd alike were left breathless!  Salsa-Naturally brought audience participation up on to the stage with a combination of irresistible Samba beats, swaying hips and rhythmic footwork.

Thornton Heath’s youngsters were not to be outdone!  Children from April Christie’s Dance Studio,Crystal Palace, showed off their dance range with exquisite performances of modern dance, street dance and ballet.

The day was topped of with a carnival parade led by a bag pipe band – and a prize draw with local MP, Steve Reed OBE, doing the honours handing out gifts provided by Festival sponsors such as The Rotary Club Croydon, Jamaican National Money Transfer, Subway and Mayday Plant Hire.

Callton Young OBE was MC for the day; and Cassy M the DJ.

The crowd showed its appreciation with a rousing round of applause for members of the Thornton Heath Festival organising committee who put in so much hard work to deliver what was a splendid community event – not least Cllr. Pat Clouder, Hon. Alderman Adrian Dennis, Debbie Lehane, Andrea Cornwall, Everton Brown, Karen Barnett and Agnes Forbes.

One reveller left the event saying ‘roll on Thornton Heath Festival 2015!’  Here’s till then.