Around 12500 thousand people attended Parsloes Park on Saturday 14th August for the Becontree 100 festival co-organised by Love Music Hate Racism and Barking and Dagenham Council.

Festival-goers were treated to a headline performance by Frank Turner as well as saxophonist YolanDa Brown, a DJ Set from IDLES frontman Joe Talbot, Nova Twins and a 16-piece West African drumming brand called Balimaya Project. Music fans were also got to experience DJ sets from Rock Against Racism veteran Dennis Bovell and Radio 6 host Don Letts.

Barking and Dagenham had been a borough where barely over a decade ago far-right group the British National Party (BNP) were beginning to make a major electoral breakthrough in the constituency before they were successfully challenged by antiracist and antifascist groups. This important history was explained in a number of panel discussions that happened on the day including one involving Council Leader Darren Rodwell and Stand Up To Racism co-convenor Weyman Bennett. The two panellists had played a key role in tackling the BNP’s politics of division over a decade ago.

It is hoped that the Becontree festival will be an annual event an important celebration of the power music has to bring us together against racism and hate.

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