Chatsfest: Rain doesn’t stop thousands attending annual Hackney street party

Youngsters enjoying the festivla. (Picture: Sonya Hurtado).

Youngsters enjoying the festivla. (Picture: Sonya Hurtado). - Credit: Archant

Thousands of people braved the downpours for a goold ol’ knees up at the Chatsworth Road Festival this weekend.

Crowds. (Picture: Kriss Lee)

Crowds. (Picture: Kriss Lee) - Credit: Archant

Chatsfest, a community-organised event, was able to go ahead after a fundraising effort raised £25,000 to keep it free.

The road was closed to traffic and filled with street food stalls, a music stage and entertainment from jugglers and steel pans to ceilidh dancing and a dog show.

In a bold departure from the material that won her this year’s CBBC’s Got What It Takes, 12-year-old neighbourhood superstar Amaria Braithwite dropped a set of urban classics backed by veteran Slam FM DJ Chris Clarke.

On The Dentist Stage there was a collaborative performance by apocalyptic space funk-pioneers The Comet is Coming, recently nominated for the Mercury Prize for their album Channel the Spirits, who with spoken word artist Joshua Idehen and audio visual artist Niall Trask provided a spectacular climax to the day’s music.

Comet is Coming performing. (Picture: Kriss Lee).

Comet is Coming performing. (Picture: Kriss Lee). - Credit: Archant


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The street was closed to traffic but venues threw open their doors for free yoga sessions or to ask people to join their choir and there were a host of community stalls raising money for local projects.

The festival also saw the return of the dog show with more than 40 entries as well as street food from Chatsworth Road Market and bars from craft microbrewery Bew by Numbers and Politically Correct a pop-up cocktail bar from the local deli L’Epicerie56.

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Organisers say this year exceeded expectations, with more festivalgoers than before and more businesses, community groups and residents involved than the previous years.

One of the organisers and local resident, Allan Parker, said: “I was born and bred in Hackney and this festival very much represents everything I love about this community.

Kangaroo won the Best in Show award. (Picture: Sonya Hurtado).

Kangaroo won the Best in Show award. (Picture: Sonya Hurtado). - Credit: Archant

“The different generations and cultures, all coming together to create something positive, it makes me very proud to be from this area. I’m amazed at the number of people who have turned up this year.”

One child became Spiderman for the day. (Picture: Rhi Ellis).

One child became Spiderman for the day. (Picture: Rhi Ellis). - Credit: Archant

Amaria Braithwaite headlined the fesitval. (Picture: Kriss Lee).

Amaria Braithwaite headlined the fesitval. (Picture: Kriss Lee). - Credit: Archant

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