I took to the beautiful Alexandra Palace for an afternoon filled with individual style, a celebration of small-business owners and great music. People were thrilled that Afropunk was finally in London! The festival may be considered as an act of protest in the States and in France, but I believe that has a lot to do with the racial and social tensions within those countries at the time when the festival takes place.
London is a very different backdrop for the festival since it is such a diverse city.
The truth is, London is a very different backdrop for the festival since it is such a diverse city. There were lots of different nationalities at the festival, with a range of different music tastes and a variety of ages. People were happy to be celebrating ‘culture’ on the whole and the only slightly controversial line of thought was that people weren’t thrilled by having so many American artists.
People hoped for more UK artists and more of a celebration of black British music.
Asia and Brown
'We're from Chicago but living in Germany. Being in London is unlike Germany; there just isn't that awkwardness surrounding race. London is definitely more welcoming which is probably just because there are more black people in London. Sza's voice is amazing and her lyrics are like poetry. It's a true reflection of freedom, which is awesome.'
Michelle Propel from Norway
'I love Afropunk! It should be at least two days!'
Richard Kofi from Amsterdam
'It’s all about the world roots and celebrating what is a beautiful and very diverse culture, our culture.'
Peju is from London
'Afropunk is a celebration of identity.'
Nzinga from Sengal and Angela from Ghana
'Would have been cool if they'd included more Grime artists. Someone like Skepta would have been great especially after him winning the Mercury award. There might be some people who are here in protest but most people are just here for fun. It's a cultural experience that I've massively enjoyed.'
Manvyvadas from London
How do you feel about Afro punk being in London? 'Finally!'
Folayemi from London
'I think any festival that celebrates specific cultures without excluding others has struck the right balance. Afropunk London definitely felt that way. I loved it!'
CJ from London
'I'm happy I'm here. I plan to follow Afropunk overseas. It's Paris next year for me! This line up for the first Afropunk London festival is sick. I'm not here in protest I'm just here to appreciate culture and have good, fun vibes. Afropunk is great we need more festivals like this. I'm here to see Grace Jones, Lady Leshurr and The Noisettes.'
Fola and Jackie from London
'London is a cool location for Afropunk. It was definitely needed and has made the festival more accessible. We've got artists on stage with Afros, that's a protest in itself and in turn that makes other black people feel comfortable. I'm here to see Sza. It would have been great if there were more UK acts but I'm still in high spirits.'
Shaka from Ghana and west London
'I feel that Afropunk is aimed more at young people, which is reflected in the artist selection and how it’s been publicised. I'm here to see Grace Jones. More UK artists would have been great.'