Billy Bragg to headline Barking Folk Festival

Billy Bragg will headline the festival

Billy Bragg will headline the festival - Credit: submitted

Singer songwriter Billy Bragg will return to Barking and Dagenham as part of the borough’s bumper 50th anniversary celebrations.

Bragg, who was born in Barking, will headline the inaugural Barking Folk Festival which is being held in partnership with the Barbican.

He will be among the high profile acts at the two-day event which will be held in a variety of venues on July 4 and 5.

Barking town square will be transformed into a street party complete with feasting tables and dance and theatre workshops, while the Short Blue Square will be home to traditional Morris dancers, buskers and local folk acts.

The festival will be part of more than 50 events which the council hopes will add up to the capital’s biggest anniversary celebration of the 50 years since the formation of the London boroughs.

Bragg said: “I’m very excited to be taking part in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the borough.

“I get to play in festivals all over the world but to have the chance to perform at a festival in my home town is really special.”

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Activities will be held in every part of the borough with programmes designed to appeal all parts of the community.

“It’s about community cohesion, getting to know our neighbours and showing that this is the place to invest,” Council Leader Cllr Darren Rodwell said.

Other major dates for your diary include the Roundhouse music festival which will be held in Central Park, Dagenham, on June 6.

It will celebrate the rich musical history of the Dagenham Roundhouse pub which had big name artists including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Thin Lizzy grace its stage in the Seventies.

Valence Park will host the Midsummer festival showcasing Eastern European culture on June 21, while Barking Cultural Mela, which will be held in Barking Park on August 8, will be a Pan-Asian celebration, with music, dance and food.

Fifty unsung heroes in the borough will be invited to a special lunch at the town hall as part of the anniversary celebrations.

The Post is the council’s media partner for its wealth of anniversary events.

The borough was officially formed on April 1, 1965.

It was initially known only as the London Borough of Barking but, after much local pressure, changed its name to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham in January 1980.