Stoke Newington Music Festival shows live music still thriving

Britpop trio Dodgy performing at Mascara Bar on Saturday 20th October. Credit:

Crashing drums, wailing guitars and raucous revellers filled Stoke Newington’s streets from 19-21 October at its fourth annual music festival.

The festival promises a celebration of local venues and artists with bars, church halls and kebab shops opening their doors, erecting stages and welcoming punters to drink, dance and sing the night away. This year the festival welcomed over 50 artists.

The founder of the festival, Margaret Ryan, has lived in Stoke Newington for 21 years and said she was inspired by a desire to “keep live music going” in the area. Ms Ryan said the festival has always been a roaring success – even Diane Abbott turned up one year.

While some fear that gentrification has left London’s live music scene struggling, Ms Ryan has no such worries. “Live music has always thrived in Stokey,” she said.

Stokey resident Duncan said the festival “never fails to impress”.

Hackney Council has also been onside from the outset and help with sponsorship every year. Last year, the Mayor of Hackney showed up to bust some moves.

It’s for a good cause, too. Collection buckets at all the venues help raise money for Brook – a sexual health charity – and North London Action for the Homeless.

So never mind wasting £200 standing in a field in Somerset with mud up to your knees. Next October hop over to Stoke Newington and listen to some of the very best live music that Hackney has to offer.