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The 4th annual Cally Festival: another fantastic day

September 11, 2014
You couldn't exactly miss this! The road was closed all the way from Cally Bridge to Cally Pool

You couldn’t exactly miss this! The road was closed all the way from Cally Bridge to Cally Pool

The Cally Festival on Sunday 7th September turned out to be the best ever. That was the verdict of many of the 8,500 or so people who attended the 2014 annual festival.

Sunny weather gave an already outstanding event that extra sparkle. In addition to a street market of over 50 stalls with food drink, arts, crafts, books from local businesses, there were stalls featuring two dozen local groups and organisations.

Three music performance stages, a street disco, story tellers’ stage provided fantastic entertainment. This year the Festival included:

  • Story Street: poet Paul Lyalls presents an off-the-wall afternoon of poetry and stories on Story Street including Andrew Bailey, A.F. Harrold, Joshua Seigal, and Roald Dahl Museum storytellers.
  • An “Action Area” with sports and activities from Times ABC Boxing Club, Arsenal in the Community and the Cally Pool.
  • Pirates Adventure: Crumble’s Castle Adventure Playground presented pirate themed play from sword making to bandana decorating.
  • The Arty Block Party: organised by Peabody, local artists created a ‘block party’ like no other. A whole street dedicated to arts workshops.
  • Bus Stop Dance Floor: dancing in the street all day long with 70s disco favourites, salsa, Charleston, a Tea Dance and a Hula-hoop-off.
  • The Keskidee: the story of the Britain’s first arts centre for the black community, the Keskidee Centre. Featured music, dub-poetry and theatre, with a special performance from master kora player Tunde Jegede.
  • Youth Stage: young people from the Copenhagen Youth Project and Uperform with line-up of music, dance, rap, poetry and DJing.

Finally, the main stage presented some of the great music and performance the Cally has to offer. The bill-topping attraction was local band “Burning Wheel” and featured a guest appearance by local celebrity “Dave Elvis”. Dave closed the show and thrilled the crowd with a 6pm encore of Blue Suede Shoes.

Here some of the very positive comments we’ve seen.

  • “It was truly an amazing event on Sunday. I have picked up so many positive vibes. Everyone spoke of a community spirit that they had not felt for a long time. Over the last two day I have had nothing but positive feedback.”
  • “The one word for me summing up the day was ‘authentic’. I know that’s an overused word but today it really applied”
  • “It’s a tremendous symbol of how far the area has come. And it’s a real Festival – not just the usual rent-a-stall-street-thing but has a strong vein of genuinely local groups celebrating their stuff and eclectic artists and performers.”

Siobhán Dennehy who lives on the Bemerton Estate ran a stall where she asked festival goers “Why do you like the Cally”? Click here to read the fantastic range of answers she got.

Cllr Paul Convery added: “this was another outstanding event that shows Cally is a place that’s pulling together. A great day resulted from immense hard work by local people, artists, businesses, community groups, organisations and, of course, Islington Council. The Festival is a pinnacle event to an all-year-around programme of improvement to our high street that aims to bring together the many different people of the Cally. It shows that we really are a community that’s pulling together to make the Cally a place we are proud of.”

Click on the thumbnail images in the gallery below to view a selection of pictures from the day.


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