DSC_0120On Saturday, 16 July 2016 Wembley Futures inaugurated the Heart of Wembley Festival in Wembley town centre. The event attracted 5,000 people to Wembley High Road, from Park Lane towards the Triangle.

The Festival was the first activity by Wembley Futures, one of 150 recipient groups across the UK to be awarded funding by the Big Local. A long-term innovative programme that aims to achieve lasting change, the Big Local provides a mixture of funding, finance and support.

The FestivaDSC_0285l was opened by actor, writer and producer Samuell Benta, well known for his television and film appearances and for creating the hit TV show All About the McKenzies, who lives locally in Brent. A full stage programme of entertainment followed, with performances from Wembley youth dance groups Karan’s Bollywood Masterclass and street dancers Elan Arts and First Impressions. Zong Zing All Stars played uplifting soukous fusion music from Central Africa, the singer-songwriter duo Sumner Anderson played melodic folk music, and the award-winning soca DSC_0362musician Triniboi Joocie brought his calypso sound blended with soul, funk and cadence, plus glamorous dancers dressed for Carnival. Dhol2Dhol, outstanding performers and instructors of the vibrant Dhol drum, not only played on stage but also enlivened the atmosphere by playing the length of the town centre. The award-winning comedian and magician Christian Lee, who recently reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent, also amused the audience with his interactive show.

DSC_0027 The Festival offered plenty of fun for children, with a soft play climbing area from Irvin Leisure, arts and crafts workshops, face painting, and the sight of street theatre artists creating balloon art. Children and adults both enjoyed the Rollapaluza cycling competitions, and the chance to have their bicycles tended by Dr Bike. The community and information stalls, and vendors offering health products, cosmetics, jewellery and fashion, plants and delicious world food, all stayed busy with enthusiastic visitors. The event had a total of 30 stalls in all stretchDSC_0059ing along Wembley High Road.

Anton Phillips, Chair of Wembley Futures, said: “The Heart of Wembley Festival has been a great success. It was wonderful to see people from all parts of the community come together and enjoy Wembley town centre. In addition to great entertainment, the Festival offered a chance to meet new people and learn about some of the organisations and services in our area. With the Big Local, we will keep working on ways make Wembley an even better place to live.”

For more information please contact Osita Udenson on 07875 588 107 or udenson@btinternet.com.