Revolution Through Music

JUMP TO Events

A series of four festivals celebrated the radical musicians of Lewisham's past, present and future.

Rebel Music¬†explored the borough’s activist past, and the soundtrack of punk, rock and reggae that played out when residents took to the streets. We heard from legendary dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, whose work reflects on key moments in our history such as the New Cross Fire, and screened White Riot, a film about the Rock Against Racism movement. We came together for the Lewisham Sound System Trail, when over 9,000 people filled the streets for a free day of music celebrating sound system culture and its importance to Global Majority and LGBTQ+ communities.

Deptford resident and Mercury Prize nominee Dave Okumu curated a line-up of local talent including Jessie Ware, Moses Boyd and Joe Armon-Jones for Love is Attention; a series of outdoor free festivals in the summer showcased contemporary global music in Beyond Borders; six young producers developed their own events in Lewisham Calling; and we enjoyed stand out gigs from Novelist and Kwake Bass in the autumn.




Audiences attended


Artists involved


People attended the Lewisham Sound System Trail

Watch the highlights

Get a taste of some of the fantastic events we enjoyed during the year.

From Daytimers to Seun Kuti, Kwake Bass, DLT and the Lewisham Sound System Trail, we enjoyed hundreds of performances from amazing local talent.

It was lovely to have people dancing of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, religions together in the sun. It was so fantastic!
Audience Feedback, Lewisham Sound System Trail Star Star Star Star Star

When London's music scene took on the racists - and won

Rolling Stone UK profiled our Rebel Music series and the borough's history of activism and art.

They interviewed White Riot's creators Rubika Shah and Ed Gibbs, dub poet and reggae musician Linton Kwesi Johnson, experimental musician Charles Hayward and photographer Syd Shelton, who documented much of the Rock Against Racism movement.

Read the article

Rebel Music Map

A collaboration between local musician Soft Wax and Goldsmiths, University of London, the Rebel Music Map is an attempt to crowdsource a comprehensive history of rebel music in the London Borough of Lewisham.

From the home of early industrial group Test Dept to popular reggae venues in New Cross, this map plots a chart of some of the most iconic musical locations of our borough, and gives you a chance to submit your own memories too!

Look at the map