London’s Decolonise Fest is carrying on a proud tradition of cultural anarchy and music activism for punks of colour.
Chosen for: Driving Diversity.
Punk and anti-racism have always gone hand-in-hand. Take, for example, Rock Against Racism and Love Music Hate Racism in the 70s and 80s. London’s Decolonise Fest carries on this tradition, and is a 100 percent volunteer-run, non-profit, and DIY platform for artists who may be overlooked by mainstream music festivals. “White allies are welcome but remember, this event will focus on people of colour,” reads their manifesto. The dedication to loudly claiming their rightful places in the thick of the proverbial mosh pit is the foundation that the festival builds its platform upon.
While Decolonise definitely has its roots in punk, they’ve also recently hosted acts like the experimental electronic artist Loraine James. But just as mind-expanding as the musical offerings is Decolonise’s wide array of panels and workshops meant to support their anti-racist ethos. A writing workshop called Black and Brown Queer World-Building, or the panel Germfree Adolescents: The Legacy of Poly Styrene have been programmed at past festivals, and for those who are used to a DIY scene, the feeling of mutual support and camaraderie is palpable in the air; at the end of the day, it’s about so much more than just the music. It’s not called Decolonise Fest for nothing: the festival is about reclamation as much as it is about the future of Black and Brown punk music, recontextualising the scene one stage-dive at a time.
Dates are yet to be announced.