Mayor of London's Black on the Square starts this September
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announces first Black on the Square annual event
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced details of the first ever Black on the Square – a major new annual event celebrating the diversity and richness of Black culture and creativity. This year’s festival will take place on Trafalgar Square on Saturday 2 September.
Black on the Square kicks off at 12:00 and welcomes Londoners and visitors of all ages, including families. To ensure the festivities are as inclusive as possible, the event is free to attend and guests will not need a ticket to enter.
From food and photography to music and spoken word, Black on the Square will showcase established acts alongside emerging talent.
The mainstage will feature performances from rapper ENNY of ‘Peng Black Girls’ fame, alt rappers BXKS, and surprise special guests.
Working with representatives from the worlds of music, theatre, art, media, tech and community activism, the event is an opportunity for Londoners and visitors to the capital to celebrate the rich diversity of London’s Black communities.
The vibrancy of London’s Black-led nightlife scene will also be demonstrated through DJ sets and live music hosted by club nights and music collectives, with performances from Touching Bass, Queer Bruk and more.
Social media stars The Spit Game UK will be in the crowd engaging the audience with their unique brand of freestyle rap throughout the day.
Visitors can also look forward to a photography installation by renowned photographer Jenny Baptiste and a music showcase from Newham's Art Beyond the Shell, plus a host of stalls from Black-owned businesses.
Black on the Square delivers on the Mayor’s manifesto pledge to develop a public event which specifically celebrates Black culture and creativity. The festival aligns with his wider commitment to identifying, supporting and nurturing creative talent from across London’s diverse communities. The celebration is set to become a regular feature in London’s calendar of cultural events hosted by the Mayor on Trafalgar Square. That list also includes Diwali, Eid, St Patrick’s Day, Lunar New Year, Vaisakhi, St George’s Day, Chanukah, and Pride.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Black on the Square is a fantastic addition to our capital’s cultural calendar.
“London’s Black communities are a vital part of the rich fabric of our city, and I am proud that this brand new, free event will showcase and champion the sheer breadth of the capital’s Black creative talent.
“Our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will celebrate it at every opportunity as we continue to build a better, more equitable and prosperous city for all.”
Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE, Chair of the Community Advisory Group and Principal and CEO of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, said: "As Chair of the Mayor’s Community Advisory Board, it has been a privilege to work with esteemed colleagues on the Black on the Square event.
“This event will bring together Londoners from around our capital to celebrate the diversity of Black British cultures, in the heart of Trafalgar Square, through music, theatre, art, dance and conversation and by supporting local businesses.
“It is vital that we continue to create spaces for our communities to come together, to share our experiences, to learn from one another, to celebrate and to inspire. I hope this event goes some way towards continuing to create those spaces."
TSTIZZ, of The Spit Game UK, said: “We can’t wait to shut down Black on the Square! Young talent repping Black cultures in such an iconic setting is a massive statement and we can’t wait to bring our energy to new audiences."
Fynn Studio, Creative Programmer, Black on the Square, said: “Black on the Square is a meaningful new addition to London’s event calendar. We’ve programmed an event that gives flowers to the new and the known, to pioneers of Black culture in London, and to talent with unique stories. These artists contribute to London's reputation as a place where cultural movements are born; London’s creatives are the reason why this is the best city on Earth. Black on the Square is a moment to celebrate community, and include everyone in the cultural conversation of this city. "