6-8 August 2021

Welcome

Welcome to Brainchild Festival, our three day festival celebrating creativity, bold ideas & DIY spirit at a peer-to-peer level.

We connect and stitch together the collectives, communities and creative projects that inspire us into a program of live music, jam sessions, spoken word, DJ sets, talks, workshops, film, theatre and installation art.

The festival is not-for-profit and was started by a group of friends in their first year of university, growing organically every year since. It is now a celebration and gathering of an ever-growing network of creative people, with a capacity of 2500 people. Artists, crew and festival-goers camp together, with no VIP areas on site.

Across the weekend, we create opportunities for valuable conversations, exchanges and collaborations and welcome everybody to get involved. Built up by friends of friends over the years, the atmosphere is warm, open and relaxed. Brainchild is the perfect place to let your guard down, try things out and discover new wonders.

Winners of the AIM Award for Best Independent Festival 2015 & 2016

★★★★ - The Independent

Tickets

The response to the Crowd Cover Pledge has been wonderful, we’re overjoyed to say that enough of you have got behind us for us to be able to keep the festival alive – our epic reunion this August has never felt so close and we cannot WAIT!

Due to the CCP & the August postponement, some more tickets have freed up and are now on sale! Earlier this year we sold out in record time, so we don’t expect them to stick around long – make sure you swoop in quick if you want to nab one.

Important Info about the Crowd Cover Pledge

Anybody who wants to buy a 2021 ticket will have to opt into our new terms, agreeing to make half of their ticket a non-refundable ‘Crowd Cover Pledge’ – please read our full statement here. It’s the collective solution we’ve devised in order to make the festival possible this year without Covid-19 cancellation insurance, which our government have refused to make available, forcing the cancellations of many festivals including Shambala, Beat-Herder & BoomTown. Please visit our FAQs if you still have unanswered questions. If you still can’t find the answers you need email team@brainchildfestival.co.uk.

PS, ticket-holders, would you be up for telling us more about you?

We’ve introduced a form at checkout to help us understand who’s coming to Brainchild, telling us more about our returning audience & tracking our progress in becoming a more inclusive, diverse and anti-racist organisation. Because tickets sold in such a rush this year, we imagine many more of of you would have skipped past it. So – everyone who’s bought a ticket to Brainchild this year – please consider filling this out? It would be incredibly helpful for us 😊

Or
Volunteer

Lineup

Here is the first taster of our lineup for 2021! We have SO MANY more things to tell you about, including our whole theatre, comedy, film, poetry, workshops & talks lineup, our installation artists and the rest of the music programme. But for now we wanted to give you these gems to get stuck into. It’s safe to say they are each absolute fire, we dream of their sets at the festival on a pretty much daily basis!

Please note that we’re no longer accepting applications to play or perform at Brainchild 2021. Thank you very much to everyone who applied!

Adam Kammerling’s Seder

Ahir Shah

Alex Rita presents Calm Roots

Alpha-Beta-Blocker’s Queer Frat Bash

Anja Ngozi

Babeheaven

babyschön

Balimaya Project

bb sway

Ben Hauke

Brother Portrait & Maxwell Owin (Touching Bass)

Bushbby

BusyFingers

Cameo Blush (LIVE)

CDR: Music Production Workshop

Coco Maria

Damae (Touching Bass)

Daytimers: How secret parties liberated South Asian youth

DIY Badge-Making with Juntos

Dragprov

Dreya Mac

Elkka (live)

Eriksson Kaner & Sascha Create

feeo

Finn

Florence Schechter’s Queer by Nature

Footshooter (live)

George Riley

Glows

Goya Gumbani

Higher Ground jam session

Horsey

Hotter Project & EKP present FITTER

How To Be An Active Anti-Racist

India Jordan

Johanna Burnheart

Joy Multiplication: Our Best Work Yet

Kings on Parade

Lava La Rue

Léa Sen (Touching Bass)

Levitation Orchestra

Lil C

LOLA

Loraine James

Loucin

Lynda Dawn

Maxwell Owin

Morning Yoga

Moses Boyd

Move to Trust with Amarnah Ufuoma Cleopatra

Nala Sinephro

Naughty Corner Productions’ RAVES R US

Neue Grafik Ensemble

OK Williams

otta

Overmono (LIVE)

Papaoul

Parasang

Pecs Mansformation

Plaster Cast’s Sound Cistem

Poison Zcora

Queer House Party

Riddlestick Theatre’s Songs of the Curious

Rohan Rakhit B2B Mera Bhai (Daytimers)

Sarah Meth

Scott Carthy’s Generation Peace

Shadow Sistxrs Fight Club: We Protect Us

Shivum Sharma x Lagoon Femshayma

Skin Deep + Rocks: Teenage Love Letter

Something Borrowed with Harry Baker

SORRY

Storytelling with gal-dem

T A P E presents TOUCH

Tailor Jae

The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale Reading + Q&A

The Roundhouse Poetry Collective Alumni

The Silhouettes Project

Tomorrow’s Warriors Jam

Touching Bass DJs & Takeover

TYSON

Upcycling & Repair For Beginners

Vindya (Daytimers)

Voguing Workshop with Jay Jay Revlon

Wacky Racists

WOOM

Work Sucks, Let’s Unionise: Trade Union 101

XR Transformative Conflict

Xvngo

YESYESNONO’s we were promised honey!

Zar (Daytimers)

Zeena

Theatre & Cabaret

Adam Kammerling’s Seder

A poetry and dance piece by Adam Kammerling and a hyper-dynamic cohort of truly incredible artists, Seder examines intergenerational trauma and the rituals we make for connection. It asks how history brings us together, and considers, through the annual Jewish custom of the Seder, how all of us can celebrate our existence.

Developed from the poetry collection of the same name, Seder is a unique exploration of togetherness. It asks how far we can push the boundaries of tribal practice and how we welcome new bodies into an age-old space. It is both ancient and fiercely contemporary, lifting the lid off a religious practice to discover how it might encompass global stories of human survival.

Adam Kammerling is an award winning poet, interdisciplinary artist and educator. His most recent works include Seder, his debut poetry collection which was a finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards, Shall We Take This Outside, a three-person spoken-word/dance theatre piece toured nationally, and Inside!, a piece of poetry/rave theatre commissioned by Centrepoint and the Saatchi Gallery. This is an exclusive first showing of a brand new piece developed during lockdown and which will be touring the UK later in 2021/21.

Featuring: Si Rawlinson, Emma Houston, Saskia Horton , Antosh Wojcik , Belle Ehresmann , Adam Kammerling

Poetry & Comedy

Ahir Shah

Double Edinburgh Comedy Award ‘Best Show’ nominee Ahir Shah is one of the fastest-rising comedians of his generation. Shah’s sharp, intellectual brand of stand-up features a blend of philosophical inquiry, political vigour, and sweet gags.

Nominated for Best Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2017 and 2018, Ahir Shah is on tour again with his stand-up show DOTS. Featuring Shah’s signature blend of philosophical inquiry, personal examination, and real fun jokes, DOTS explores love, politics, culture, depression, and faith in an effort to examine the necessity, utility, presence, and absence of certainty. Probably.

Shah’s last show, DUFFER, was performed to packed houses and critical acclaim at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, followed by a sold-out run in London’s West End, and a UK and international tour.

As seen on Have I Got News For You, Live At The Apollo, and The Mash Report.

Music

Alex Rita presents Calm Roots

Designed to sooth, this session is all about Alex Rita (Touching Bass) playing some of her hypnotic and melodic records aloud, a sonic cloud to drift away on.

For those of you who were there for Alex’s Calm Roots set in 2019 will know how vital and reenergizing this session will be.

You can listen to one of her NTS shows right this moment to get a feel of what’s to come.

Theatre & Cabaret

Alpha-Beta-Blocker’s Queer Frat Bash

Join East London drag stars Mina Wig, Milk Shandy and friends for a riotous queer hazing initiation party!

They’ll be serving up a full-blown obstacle course of challenges and games to test your talents and aptitudes! How far will you go to get into the Alpha Beta Blockers frat house or the legendary Omega Babes sorority?!

Expect lipsync battles, design challenges, and a whole lotta messy fun. We’re turning your typical college party on it’s head and queering toxic gender behaviour at this unmissable frat bash extravaganza!

Music

Anja Ngozi

Anja Ngozi is a London-based DJ and producer, whose music and sets centre around soulful tunes, lo-fi beats and experimental vibrations… She runs Síbín, a club night and label (founded by herself and the infamous Maxwell Owin), with two new monthly shows on Reprezent and rundemradio. We love this tune, Pastor, which she and Max made featuring O the ghost; this Frank Ocean Mix Anja put together, and her recent edits of American R&B artist India Arie.

Music

Babeheaven

West Londoners Babeheaven were born out of a shared sonic dream between singer Nancy Andersen and keys player Jamie Travis. When they first met, the pair enjoyed mutual love for trip-hop, soul and electronics and we working day jobs – Nancy in her grandmother’s antique shop, Jamie in an organic farm store – meaning it wasn’t until night fell that they set about channelling the spirits of Massive Attack and Cocteau Twins into their creative cloud.

Music

babyschön

babyschön is a DJ and radio host based in Leeds. Across her regular shows on the community-led stations NARR (which she co-founded) and Sable Radio, she plays sleazy n slinky sounds from post-punk and downtempo to new wave and Italo. She tells us that for her set at Shack this year, you can expect weird and woozy sounds to get your summer evening started <33 genres to include: post-punk, new wave, new beat, synth pop, italo and dub.

Music

Balimaya Project

Taking the Brainstage by storm on Friday night are the immense wonder that is Balimaya Project. We are beyond lucky to have them with us, and are happy to say that they recently released their first single, Soninka/Patronba, from their upcoming album Wolo So which you can listen to here. 

Led by composer/arranger and leading UK-based Djembe player, Yahael Camara Onono and featuring members of bands including Kokoroko and Seed Ensemble, Balimaya Project intently synthesize and bridge London’s bustling jazz circuit with traditional repertoire and folklore of the Mandé peoples of West Africa, and in turn connect the music’s contemporary and ancestral forbearers.

The word Balimaya is a word from the Maninka language that means the essence of kinship. In Mande society, the ideology of kinship is engrained in the moral fabric of its people. Family ties aren’t just limited to blood relations. The concept of extended family created by marriage, cousinage, shared history within ethnicities and deeds are done for one another is complex, but shared and adhered to with great pride. This extended family model is what inspires Balimaya’s repertoire and mission.

This group is built on the foundation of forging musical and cultural ties, from a place of integrity, authenticity and inspiration. Balimaya uses the repertoire of the Mande peoples of Senegal and Mali as the bridge to bring the folkloric West African music, together with Jazz and the sounds of Black London, to create something different.

Yahael was born in North West London to Nigerian and Senegalese parents. Despite being born in the UK and growing up in inner city London for most of his life, he had an affinity for his folkloric music from a very young age. He received his first talking drum at the age of 6 from his grandfather, and later started playing the djembe at the age of 8. Though he grew up in Harlesden, he was given the gift of an open mind through travel at an early age.

Balimaya is an accurate expression of how Yahael feels and expresses his musical journey. There is a story and meaning behind every piece, and homage is paid to his cultural roots throughout the music. In this journey, he has endeavoured to make space within the folklore to add, enrich and give new depth to the music, and to include the voices of the many communities that have guided him along the way.

Check out their website & Instagram for more infooo!

Music

bb sway

bb sway is the solo project of Ashley Grace, a 22-year old artist originally from Hong Kong. Currently producing all of their own music in a tiny bedroom somewhere in South London, much of bb’s currently released music can be associated with the sounds of Dream Pop, Lo-Fi and Psychedelia, with influences including Men I Trust, Khruangbin, and Crumb.

Having been featured by magazines including Complex, CLASH, DIY, and The Line of Best Fit, their music has also often been added to Spotify and Apple editorial playlists such as Lo-Fi Indie, Chilled Pop Hits, Indie Pop, Fresh Finds, New Music Friday, The Other List, and New in Alternative. bb sway’s releases have been played on BBC Radio (1, 2, and 6), and have often featured on BBC Introducing.

bb sway will be coming to Brainchild with their full band to play their new ‘Pearl’ EP.

Music

Ben Hauke

Longstanding Brainchild family, Ben is a South London-based producer, DJ and sonic experimenter.

In his words, Ben believes music is more about attitude than it is about mixdowns. Hands on and haphazard, Ben hits the mark every time. Whilst we’ve loved Ben for a long long time, it feels like he is really coming into his own. 2020/2021 has been a prolific time for Ben, having released EPs Nightwork, One Year Dance and Cranes in Branes (with Cecil B), as well as ‘off brand bits‘ which we are loving at BCHQ.

Do. Not. Miss.

 

Music

Brother Portrait & Maxwell Owin (Touching Bass)

As part of their takeover, Touching Bass presents Brother Portrait and Maxwell Owin, showcasing a new project they’re working on together. Both Brainchild mainstays and pillars of London’s music ecology in their own right, we are very excited to find out what material they’ve created!

A little bit more about them each:

Brother Portrait is a writer and artist – his words falling into form in poetry, prose and music. His work centres the Black British experience and socio-political issues, expression and archiving of experience. He is featured on recent releases by Oscar Jerome, Chiminyo, Neue Grafik and SAUL with many more collaborations and solo releases in the near future.

Maxwell Owin is a London-based producer, musician and DJ whose ferocious creative appetite and passion for music is reflected by the wide variety of projects he plays a pivotal role in, most recently the label Síbín alongside Anja Ngozi. 2017 saw the release of Idiom, with Joe Armon-Jones to widespread critical acclaim. With so many projects in the works, a cluster of imminent releases is being lined up to drop, further illustrating Maxwell Owin’s diverse range of musical talents and cementing his name as an artist of true creative merit.

 

Music

Bushbby

Bushbby is a British-Colombian DJ-come-producer based in London, who champions the rhythms and roots of Latin American music. Alongside hosting the bi-monthly ’Candela Viva’ show on Threads Radio and being a resident DJ at both FLAWA (Festival of Latin American Women in Arts) and the long-standing & deeply loved Movimientos club night, she has also been an active campaigner in amplifying the voices of the Latinx diaspora.

Having grown up around sound systems in both the Colombian Caribbean and UK underground, Bushbby’s sets are a celebration of these roots – blending the likes of Cumbia, Champeta and Dembow with high-energy electronic beats!

Music

BusyFingers

South London’s busiest DJ & founder of L.A.B Collective and much loved Brainchild family DJ; whether it’s his Croydon FM show, beat-maker meet-up Beat Meet or Beats & Liquor show – Chris (BusyFingers) has kept us stocked up with brilliant mixes, energy and new tunes throughout this pandemic and we are so excited to have him back to close the Kite Bar on the Saturday night. Get a flavour for what went down last time over on his TikTok.

Music

Cameo Blush (LIVE)

Cameo Blush is the project of London-based producer John Dunk, who in 2019 debuted his live set at the acclaimed Field Maneuvers, following his first outing as a producer on Nick Höppner’s Touch From A Distance. We are super excited to welcome him back after JD played with us back in 2015 and again with Ross from Friends in 2016 and 2017.

His debut release showcases his fascination with off-kilter sounds through a heady mix of intense drum programming, alien vocals and glistening arpeggios.

Along with a string of mixes – including Olsen and the Feel My Bicep mixtape series – 2020 kicked off with live shows at revered London clubs, Phonox and Corsica Studios, continuing with a remix for Athlete Whippet and a three-track EP ‘In Cadence’ as the inaugural release on new concept label, unknown – untitled.

Talks Workshops & Film

CDR: Music Production Workshop

CDR is a Black-led community-driven organisation voicing new music, knowledge and progress with generations of music makers, fans and kindred organisations.

Born out of frustration with an industry that promotes hype and constrains growth, CDR set out to make the democratic potential of digital music making a reality. Stemming from their flagship ‘Session’, a night for aspiring producers to road test their ‘work in progress’ tracks at the iconic Plastic People; CDR have created safe spaces for countercultural musical development since 2002.

Our hands-on workshop led by Tony Nwachukwu will allow festival goers to produce their own impromptu creations.

Music

Coco Maria

Heralded as one of the most unique and uncompromising DJs in the world: Coco Maria is a selector, curator and a radio host with impeccable taste. Hailing originally from Mexico and now based in Europe. She specializes in Brazilian, South-, Central-American, and Caribbean wax. Irresistible slices of jazz, samba, cumbia, and all sorts of rarities from sunnier, far-off places.

All mixed with her irrepressible energy and original style. Coco Maria hosts her flagship morning show and “Club Coco” on Worldwide FM. She can also be found showcasing her original sounds at festivals globally such as Worldwide Sete, Dekmantel, We out Here… and now Brainchild!

An early bird special treat – Coco is opening up the Shack on Friday afternoon. ⚠️ do not miss!! ⚠️

Music

Damae (Touching Bass)

Life Works Out… Usually is the fruit of Demae’s years spent absorbing London’s culture and musical identity, as well as singing with Fatima or as part of hiphop trio Hawk House. It’s a coolly assured debut from an artist with an incredible voice and flow. Demae sings of joyous experiences, growth and empowerment as a Black woman in turbulent times. The words are her story, the pages are soulful, contemplative beats from the likes of Eun (Ego Ella May), Jake Milliner (Slum Village) or 104.ROG. Life Works Out… Usually channels the unique London sound world, full of colour, earworm hooks and earthy, nu jazz production.

Demae was previously one-third of hip-hop adventurists, Hawk House, whose introspective, eclectic style was reshuffling the rule book for UK-based rap, quickly making them one of the UK’s most exciting emerging sounds and earning fans from Mac Miller and Ghostpoet to Wretch 32 and Jill Scott.

Touching Bass’ relationship with Demae runs deep (having met each other back in 2012) making the label the perfect home as they continue to prise open a distinct, exciting lane for themselves as a stable for forward-thinking, soulful music.

We feel blessed beyond belief to have her come down with the TB crew, its gonna be a happy beautiful time for sure. 💜💟

Talks Workshops & Film

Daytimers: How secret parties liberated South Asian youth

Daytimers, the UK-based South Asian arts collective, take you through the story behind their namesake. This talk will trace the history of secret daytime raves run by British Asians throughout the 1980s and 1990s. From fostering an environment for communities to express themselves freely, to breeding ground-breaking & scene-defining fusions of musical genres.

These spaces brought people together irrespective of religion, gender and sexual orientation, and liberated a generation denied the privilege of cultural expression. Daytimers unpack the cultural significance of these parties and their lasting legacy on both the South Asian musical underground and the British-Asian cultural landscape today. Despite the conceptually groundbreaking nature of these events, the majority of British South Asians are unaware of this part of their history, with cultural historians also failing to tell their stories. DIY culture in its purest form, discover a scene thought to be forgotten, now reemerging amongst today’s British Asian youth.

Talks Workshops & Film

DIY Badge-Making with Juntos

JUNTOS are a not-for-profit grassroots collective dedicated to creating safe and inclusive spaces of resistance to combat social injustice and help protect our planet. At the core of this is a belief in using creativity as a universal language to bring people together in mutual understanding and love.

They have organised several fundraising events and run workshops, with previous events including documentary screenings, talks, live music and DJ’s in order to come together, learn, converse, drum and dance to raise money for various causes.

Join them for a DIY, activist, up-cycling, badge-making workshop!

Theatre & Cabaret

Dragprov

Christian Adore and Eaton Messe are a drag king and queen double act performed by Francesca Forristal and Ed Scrivens, who improvise a night of Sequins, Spoofs, and Salaciousness! (The Guardian).

Using your suggestions, this lovable soft-boy and sassy queen will create dazzling songs, sketches, and raps right before your eyes. They’ll be serving you wit as sharp as their contour; jinks as high as their brows; memories that will stick with you longer than last night’s glitter, presenting: Dragprov!

 

★★★★★

I do not have enough superlatives to describe how incredible this inimitable act is… Filled me with so much joy – THE PINK TIMES

★★★★★

PHOENIX REMIX

★★★★★

LONDON THEATRE1

@Dragprov

Music

Dreya Mac

You aren’t ready for Dreya!

West London Native Dreya Mac caused a stir with her debut single “Skippin” which hit over 600K streams across DSPs, while her Colors session received over 340K views / streams in just the first three weeks. Dreya has garnered support from tastemakers including Annie Mac, Toddla T, DJ Target, Sian Anderson and Rickie and Melvin and Charlie. Dreya is an alumni of the world-famous Brit School where she studied musical theatre and dance from the age of 14. Since then her professional dancing background has taken her all over the world to countries as far-reaching as the USA and China. She can be seen demonstrating her talents in videos and shows for prominent artists such as Stormzy, Dua Lipa and Rita Ora. She has also performed at the MTV EMAs and Brit Awards and featured in the Burberry 2020 Festive Campaign.

The Brainchild team fell in LOVE with Dreya after they saw her dancing in Stormzy’s Vossi Bop, first for her wild energy and inventive choreography, and have been hooked on her equally brilliant music ever since, eagerly awaiting each release. Stay tuned as she’s got her 1st EP dropping in full this summer  👀

Music

Elkka (live)

London-based Elkka is an artist who began her path as a singer-songwriter and has evolved into a multi-faceted producer, DJ and label boss. Most recently bringing out EP Euphoric Melodies on Ninja Tune.

Sitting firmly in a lane of her own creation, Elkka’s music is a cross-pollination between house, electronica, percussive beats and dreamy vocals. When performing, she immerses herself in her art – from expansive, cross-genre DJ sets to hypnotic live shows.

In 2016, Elkka founded femme culture. The London-based record label and collective was born out of the desire to champion women in the arts and push forward-thinking music standing for inclusivity amongst all genders, backgrounds and beliefs, and actively promotes collaboration in all fields. The label’s annual HeForShe compilation has garnered critical success and featured the likes of Octo Octa, DJ Boring, and DJ Python.

Elkka’s momentum is fuelled by a silo of authentically danceable music; to date, her work has been supported by Four Tet, Floating Points, Caribou, George Fitzgerald, SHERELLE, Annie Mac and more.

Music

Eriksson Kaner & Sascha Create

Producer and pianist Eriksson Kaner joins forces with drummer Sascha Create to bring you ‘Ithaca’: their debut project featuring saxophone talents James Akers and Kaidi Akinnibi. The 5-piece consists of Alex Blake on guitar (Project Karnak, Jaz Karis, Arlo Parks), Hugo Piper on bass (Ego Ella May, Conor Albert), and James Akers on tenor saxophone (Levitation Orchestra). Kaner and Create formed their collaboration after a recording session turned into a jam, and those ideas took full form in the duo’s collective creative process.

Brainchild sees the project performed live for the very first time, with their 12” vinyl also due for release in August.

Music

feeo

Reared on a combination of Jazz, Folk, Reggae, and the 2002 Ibiza soundtrack, Oxford producer and songwriter feeo developed a taste for storytelling, big beats and stacked vocal harmonies early on. Her first cuts channelling this blend of styles were quick to turn heads, leading to a feature on Loraine James’ acclaimed album ‘For You and I’ in 2019, providing the vocals for ’Sensual’. Lyricism is the driving force behind feeo’s work, which she sets against an experimental Neo-soul-inflected backdrop.

Her first two tracks, Yeti and Morning Glory, are treasures to behold. We feel very lucky to have feeo with us, and can’t wait to see how things unfold for her.

Music

Finn

Finn is a Manchester DJ & producer mining a rich vein of emotive dance records, regional club music and off-kilter classics. He’s built a loyal following over the past 7 years, producing a run of breakout hits and underground classics.

His DJ sets and NTS radio show have both been growing in popularity over the past few years – full of dance-floor oddities, slept-on cuts and unearthed gems, Finn’s eclectic taste leans towards early 90s House, Garage & Hardcore records from the UK & US.

The Brainchild team have BIG LOVE for Finn and are super duper excited to welcome him to the very first time. We recommend listening to his tunes Sometimes the going gets a little tough and Givin’ it!! to get a sense of the boundless joy and Funn to be found with Finn.

Theatre & Cabaret

Florence Schechter’s Queer by Nature

What do penguins, lizards, sheep and humans all have in common?

They all engage in homosexual behaviour. It has often been thought to be ‘unnatural’ but it is one of the most natural things in the world. It has been observed in more than 1500 species! At first, it was thought that being queer was a deviation from the norm – sex was for procreation according to 19th century biologists (their poor wives). But it has since been shown that sex is beneficial in so many other ways than baby manufacture and once you accept that fact, there’s no reason sex shouldn’t be with a member of the same sex.

Florence started writing this show because as a bisexual woman and armed with a biochemistry degree, it seemed only right to investigate the science behind her identity and see if there are any other animals out there like her.

“Queer By Nature” is a one hour science stand-up comedy show that takes the audience on a hilarious and thought-provoking tour of LGBT+ behaviour in animals and the evolutionary benefits of being queer. Expect laughs, single innuendos and whole load of fun sexy science facts.

Music

Footshooter (live)

Footshooter’s live band set incorporates his productions into a live setting, with instruments blending with programmed beats and vocals/rapping from Issy Risk and Natty Wylah.

Footshooter will be playing a mix of exclusive material coming out later this year coupled with a few tracks from past releases.

Music

George Riley

George Riley is a singer hailing from Shepherd’s Bush, West London. Her signature futuristic take on soul infuses the sonics that soundtrack her immediate surroundings, including jazz, R&B, trip hop and electronica. Fusing diverse sounds with her own unmistakable tone, she has woven subtle narratives from underrepresented perspectives throughout her output; steadily building an essential discography with a multitude of essential messages.

Check out her GURLS TALK Boiler Room vid to get a flavour …

Music

Glows

Glows is the project of London-based audio-visual duo, GG Skips, of UK postpunk band Sorry, and audiovisual artist Felix Bayley-Higgins. Involved in the formation of the Slow Dance collective and label, they’ve experimented in all avenues of LondonArts and music scenes in recent years. From forming improvisational assemble EMU (Felix Raman, black midi, Cajm, Martha Skye Murphy) to creating and performing their works at the Royal Academy of Arts, they have been incubating at both ends of the spectrum. Glows was first the bedroom project of Skips who brought the show to Brainchild in 2020, driven by propulsive percussion and electronics, alongside translucent synths and soft vocals, the sound restlessly skits from orchestral to ambient to hardcore.

The current live performance is an entirely new audiovisual rave-tinged experience, echoing the live shows of Jon Hopkins, Bonobo and Fuck Buttons.

Since then the pair have performed at Brainchild’s most recent (online) Digs and it went OFF. The visuals and audio they put together, from crashing drum baselines, to flooding frenzied strobes, to vast introspective sonic landscapes, radiated pure NRG from start to finish. Expect nothing less from their set at the festival – this year closing out the live sets in the Kite Bar on Sunday night.

 

Music

Goya Gumbani

Goya Gumbani moved with his family from New York to London when he was a teenager, but he still sounds like an MC straight out of Brooklyn. His lax rap flows will win over any East Coast boom-bap fan, oozing a serene calm rather than adhering to toxic macho stereotypes. A decade of collaborations in his new UK home inspired a back-to-back stream of EPs in 2020 with South London beatmakers Rago Foot and Kiina. The result is an elegant crossover into SE1’s modern jazz community that takes musical inspiration from both sides of the pond. As featured in NME’s 100 tips for 2021.

Music

Higher Ground jam session

Founded in East London by Sofia Grant, Higher Ground is a cosmic jam session and a safe space for performers to improvise, experiment and connect through music. From instrumentalists to poets, movers to singers, Higher Ground aims to be a nurturing environment for all performers to express themselves freely.

Higher Ground also aims to address the gender imbalance commonly seen in the music industry through its programming and house band. We see our gatherings as an aspirational space, a joyful re-imagining of what the creative industries could look like.

We kick off with a set from our house band, followed by an improvised jam session that’s open to all.

Backline is provided but please bring your instruments!! 🎺

Music

Horsey

From the glitzy gold sequinned jackets they sport onstage to the surreal, noodling, apocalyptic jazz they tout, Horsey are both Brainchild royalty…and intoxicatingly odd. Their tracks meander through chintzy piano, to shouty call and response heckles to – on occasion – something resembling a rock opera. The group have built up a firm cult following touring with friend & collaborator King Krule, and are releasing their debut album Debonair in July 2021.

Theatre & Cabaret

Hotter Project & EKP present FITTER

A rugby ball’s soft, a hockey stick’s hard, what does that make me?’ – Boy, 12

Hello, we’re Ell and Mary.

We’re bisexuals but we’re a bit bummed out by boys. So we made a show about them.

We asked trans-men, cis-men, and masculine presenting people aged 8 to 102 about what makes them hard. This is a show about what we learnt: about strength, fitting in, feeling yourself, and arseholes.

Through singing, dancing, and f*cking around in crap drag, Ell and Mary write a love letter to masculinity which they are forever tearing up and taping back together again.

We cannot wait to have our favourite theatre makers and honest conversationalists Mary & Ell back in the field for a third year. The inimitable HOTTER Project are dedicated to creating radically honest and silly work, aiming to speak to and platform the voices of those we don’t normally hear. In lockdown they turned their joy, irreverence and innate hilariousness to podcasting, while you’re waiting check out their epic queer adventure quest, Lem n Ginge: The Princess of Kakos.

Talks Workshops & Film

How To Be An Active Anti-Racist

Through this workshop we’ll discuss how you can become an active anti-racist and what current campaigns you can be part of to tackle institutional racism in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement. To give some context for the current movement we will look at the history of racist ideas and racialisation as well as the legacies of colonialism and the British empire, showing how racism is linked to capitalism, neocolonialism and climate breakdown, how whiteness is a recent invention and why the BAME label can be problematic.

With a strongly intersectional approach we’ll talk about white fragility and positionality and the complex ways that race, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, class and other factors can interact in oppression and privilege. We’ve also come up with an anti-racism toolkit that can be used to show active solidarity and de-centre whiteness, and a resource pack that will allow everyone to continue learning after the workshop.

Our Future Now is a diverse collective of radical young people fighting to create an inclusive, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-ableist and ecological ‘future now’. We put on many different workshops from climate justice to active anti-racism, have a monthly book club, attend protests together and engage in the odd viral brandalism action or two.

Music

India Jordan

Emerging as one of dance music’s most exciting producers and DJs, London-based India Jordan is a true disciple of high-energy, fast-paced dance music — capturing the attention of the scene’s top tier DJs and tastemakers across a series of perfectly-pitched, quietly personal singles and EPs.

After holding down DJ residencies and promoting parties across the UK for the best part of a decade, 2019 saw India take the plunge into releasing their own original music for the first time with an instant impact. By the end of the year, following three singles on Local Action Records and riotous live appearances on Boiler Room and Keep Hush, The Guardian named India as one of “50 Amazing Musicians to Watch in 2020” and Resident Advisor listed their track ‘DN4’ as one of the best of the decade.

Despite having their biggest shows to date cancelled due to Covid-19, in May 2020 India released ‘For You’ — a six-track EP that represents their “largest and most personal” body of work yet and has been praised almost unanimously as one of the best releases of the year. Inspired by growing up queer in the North of England, it documents India’s understanding and learning about their own identity, and being kind to themselves in the process (the “You” in the EP’s title is a reference to India).

‘For You‘ was an instant hit, receiving stellar reviews upon release from Pitchfork (8.0), NME (5/5), Clash (8/10), Resident Advisor, Mixmag, The Guardian, Bandcamp, Dazed and more. ‘For You’ has also swept the board in Best of 2020 Lists: Resident Advisor named it the #1 Track of 2020, Crack ranked it as their #2 Best Track of 2020, Pitchfork listed it as the 21st Best Song of 2020, and it also featured high in Best Tracks of 2020 lists from NME, The Vinyl Factory, Gorilla vs Bear, Clash Magazine, Beatportal and more. Capping off a flagship year, India also won ‘Best Breakthrough Producer’ at the annual DJ Mag Best of British Awards, and Pete Tong named them his ‘Breakout Star of the Year’ on his flagship BBC Radio 1 show.

Regular radio support in the UK has come from Annie Mac, Danny Howard, Pete Tong, Jaguar, Tom Ravenscroft and more, while high-profile artists and DJs such as Caribou, Four Tet, Romy xx, Prospa, Ben UFO and Bradley Zero have all shown public support for India’s music. With a new EP set for release in March, festival slots at Field Day, Eastern Electrics, Lost Village and more in the diary and India’s own headline show set to be announced, 2021 will see India’s star continue to rise.

Music

Johanna Burnheart

Johanna Burnheart is a German jazz violinist, singer, composer and producer. Much of Johanna’s life has been spent absorbed in the Berlin sound of the techno & house scene resulting in this certain influence permeating her compositions. Johanna’s work exists at the point where modal jazz and techno meet. This is an ever-developing venture as technology allows the acoustic sound of the violin to come alive electronically with few compromises. Since forming her own band in 2018, Johanna released her debut album simply called “Burnheart” with Ropeadope Records on October 30th 2020. Besides the positive reviews in Jazzwise Magazine, MOJO and Backseatmafia among others, Johanna was chosen as one of 30 best new artists for 2021 by the Guardian.

Poetry & Comedy

Joy Multiplication: Our Best Work Yet

In April 2015, four (hopeless) hopefuls met in the basement of a theatre for a comedy course. In February 2016, these four (now) best friends started a gig. That gig? Joy Multiplication. The four pals? Only four of the most (soon-to-be) famous comedians in the UK.

After a short 5 year sabbatical, all four of the founding members of Joy Multiplication are officially back and ready to take Brainchild. Joy Multiplication. This time, it’s personal.

HUGE DAVIES As seen on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Harry Hill’s Clubnite and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

CHLOE PETTS 2020 Leicester Comedy Festival Best Debut Show Nominee, as seen on Hypothetical and Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club

SAM LAKE Leicester Square Theatre New Comedian of the Year 2018, as seen on LADBible and The Joy of Missing Out

OLGA KOCH 2018 Edinburgh Best Newcomer Nominee, as seen on Mock The Week and QI

Theatre & Cabaret

Kings on Parade

Following Pecs’ Manformation workshop, the new royalty (kings, queen, anarchists & peasants welcome!) will have a chance to throw some shapes alongside a delicious array of kings, seasoned & new, who’ll be serving up a slice of smouldering queer joy just for you. Introducing…

Mr Wesley Dykes is your favourite rapper, your favourite RnB singer and your friendly neighbourhood fxckboi. He’s also your favourite storyteller, using spoken word, poetry and music to bring the complexities and fun of playing with gender to the stage. He was born after Adeamola, Proud member of the esteemed Cocoa Butter Club noticed a considerable lack of Colour, Soul and Funk in many of the Drag King scenes across the world.

Lovable soft-boy Christian Adore improvises “radio-ready” ★★★★★ [LGBTQ+ Arts Review] songs, sketches and raps on the spot, creating shows full of ‘Sequins, Spoofs, and Salaciousness! [The Guardian]’. When he’s not making up musical theatre, Christian can be found falling in love with literally everyone he sees. Bless him.

After wanting to cut loose from early fame as a 90’s CITV child star, Duncan Disorderly rediscovers his truest self as South East London’s ‘hardest underground MC’. Duncs is bringing the ‘PENG back 2 Penge’ with his live electronic set of original songs and club bangerz. Grab a bevvy ‘n a bum bag, and join yer fave drag king DJ for an unforgettable sesh.

Clyve: A one woman health and safety girl/boy/who-knows band spreading the word that our bodies are important and should always be kept safe, expressed through an electric fusion of lip-sync, rap and clowning! Performed by ‘acclaimed clown’ (ToDoList) and emerging idiot Frankie Thompson.

Thrustin’ Limbersnake’s sexy smoulder and smooth moves will leave you sexually confused. Part of the Off Broadway Award Winning company Pecs Drag Kings, Thrustin’ will be bringing you pretty boy camp with a capital C.

Victor Victorious; a sensitive artistic type from Toulouse, trained in classical ballet at the Bolshoi academy before moving to London to pursue a career in contemporary dance. He enjoys lounging with his pet Chihuahua and smoking Gauloises between shifts at an artisan coffee boutique.

Hosted by the one and only John Travulva, the queer, Glaswegian hunk of your dreams. His feminism knows no bounds; even the relentless adoration of the press hasn’t turned him toxic. He’s a male comedian, but he won’t take up space apologising for that. He’s here to be funny and respect the hell out of you.

 

Music

Lava La Rue

Ask Lava La Rue about her influences today, and she’ll reel off a catalogue of reference points while scarcely drawing breath, from psychedelic, punk and Britpop, to the vibrant Soundsystem culture and banging rave music she was regularly exposed to throughout her youth. But for Lava, the real beauty lies in the blurring of these boundaries. We are damn psyched to have this West London icon take on our Brainstage this year!

On Summer.20′s website, Lava’s current project, Lava explains the concept: “Summer of Love 2.0 explores how an era of social distancing has allowed people to re-value human touch, platonic love, free party culture and a resurgence of the radicalisation of view… all leading to a second coming of the famous summer we signify with past free love movements. However in the 2020s this can resurge as a new breed – one that is inclusive to all intersections of sexuality and gender identity we celebrate today.”

To this we say: take us to Lava Land 🦋🎈🧡🌞🐛

Music

Léa Sen (Touching Bass)

Joining us as part of Touching Bass’ takeover in the Kite Bar is London-based, French-Caribbean musician and producer Léa Sen. Léa will bring to the stage her soft acoustic guitar songs and effortless vocals for her first solo show. After sharing a few bits of her self-produced music during the past year, she released a David Bowie cover on a tribute album alongside acts like Khruangbin, Meshell Ndegeocello and more.

Music

Levitation Orchestra

Founded in 2018 by trumpet player Axel Kaner-Lidstrom (Where Pathways Meet, Cykada), Levitation Orchestra was formed with the shared goal to create original suites of music completely collectively, with each member contributing freely and equally. As such, the overall vision of each project is the total sum total of the participant’s influences and aspirations. 

A twelve-piece ensemble abundant in energy and focus, Levitation Orchestra’s captivating original compositions come to life in the band’s explosive live performances — as experienced by anyone who was there for their 2019 Kite Bar set! It felt only right to us that LO should take on the Brainstage this year.

Check out their ritualistic way of making music for yourself in their first EP, Inexpressible Infinity.

Music

Lil C

Born and raised in South London, DJ and broadcaster Lil C combines a potent mix of Bashment and a love of global pop music with classic R&B, Reggaeton, Afrobeats and contemporary UK rap, capturing the sound of the transatlantic diaspora. Quickly making a name for herself as a formidable selector, her skillset has taken her to the world and back and her name is now one of the first on the list of DJs spinning for the best parties around.

Brainchild are big big fans of her Pum Pum Power Hour NTS show, but Lil C’s accolades as an artist stretch far and wide. She is a founding member of the London-based collective Prestige Pak and cohort of the BBZ collective as well as a Resident DJ for gal-dem. Since making her Boiler Room debut in 2017, she has graced the stages of Red Bull’s soundsystem at Notting Hill Carnival, Hackney Carnival, Afropunk, Glastonbury, Lovebox, Parklife and more. Her ascent in the nightlife and festival circuit is the result of the endless work ethic displayed through her burgeoning broadcasting career, with her Prestige Pak show and solo slot on Reprezent Radio. Over the years she has also provided guest mixes for national and international radio stations including BBC Radio 1 & 1xtra, Kiss, Rinse France and Lot Radio.

Music

LOLA

A brand new group that we’re very excited to see live for the pure ENERGY! Longstanding members of the Brainchild and OG Steez community, this is tom theythem (rhymes/vocals), Cieran Corr (guitar), James Wilson (bass) & Sam Jones (guitar). In Winter 2020, they got together for long improvised session and produced some striking material engaging with the mixed feelings we’ve been going through since this pandemic hit. We’ve invited them to our new space, the Minty Cabin, to share new material that we hope reckon will tear up our expectations (in a good way) and bring something fresh to the festival.

Just as an FYI, you’ll probably know these folks – they play and perform in all sorts of familiar and renowned contexts from King Krule to Nubya Garcia to Cesca to Steez, and theatres up and down the country.

Here’s their first recording: https://tomtheythem.bandcamp.com/album/these-strange-and-unprecedented-times

Music

Loraine James

Hailing from Enfield, North London, adventurous producer Loraine James is a rising voice in the electronic music community. Taking piano lessons as a child and growing up listening to a wide range of genres has instilled a voracious musical curiosity in her that resonates throughout her productions. While classes at college, and later on Westminster University’s Commercial Music course, facilitated her encounter with the basic tools for digital production, her approach is closer to DIY culture than formal training.

Often expressing her love for IDM, her intricate, highly intuitive and emotional tracks, composed used minimal, easily-available setup, and openly queer identity stand in direct opposition with the genre’s traditionally male, white and gear-fetishising intellectualism. James’s music is at once abrasive and vulnerable, a powerful dichotomy used to fuse together the many disparate elements from London’s sound universe which she integrates into her music, moulding grime, R&B, jazz and ambient into novel sonic creations with an instinct for improvisation. 

In 2017, her self-released debut album Detail caught the ear of many music aficionados, but 2019’s sophomore For You And I LP on Hyperdub would make her a breakthrough star, receiving unanimous acclaim from peers, fans and critics at the likes of Crack, DJ Mag, The Quietus, Mixmag and Pitchfork. On Nothing EP, her second Hyperdub release, she explores new directions with a diverse group of international collaborators including Uruguayan producer Lila Tirando a Violeta, Jonnine Standish of Australian duo HTRK and Iranian-British rapper Tardast.

Music

Loucin

Loucin is a London-based vocalist and songwriter with her influences rooted in jazz, neo-soul and RnB. Loucin was first able to express her love for jazz and swing when vocalist for Leeds University Union Big Band for three years. As part of several projects including lead vocalist for Tomorrow’s Warriors Female Frontline, backing vocalist for Poppy Adjuda and as part of The ‘Living’ Choir for Cherise’s EP, Loucin has performed at festivals and venues across the world.

Taken aback by the crowd’s hushed reaction at her first public performance at the age of 14, Loucin realised her voice could command an audience’s attention. Her original project has been a way for her to connect with her audiences and reflect on issues like marginalisation, identity and oppression. She is due to release her debut EP later this year.

Music

Lynda Dawn

Lynda Dawn is a vocalist, producer and songwriter from London. Exploring the sonic spectrum between soul, funk and jazz she draws upon her musically inclined upbringing to deliver a distinctive style of storytelling.

Dawn’s nostalgia-tinged tracks embody her early influences via captivating grooves and celestial vocals. She cites the crackling sounds of her parents’ records along with growing up in the Pentecostal church as her spiritual education in funk & gospel expression.

In 2018 Dawn caught the attention of Gilles Peterson and was featured on the 13th Brownswood Bubblers Compilation. Her debut single ‘Move’ introduced her as a definite ‘one to watch’.

Dawn has since enlisted the help of frequent collaborator Al Dobson Jr for her debut EP ‘At First Light‘. The highly anticipated project (released via Mndsgn’s record label Akashik Records), was met with critical acclaim and landed the number 1 spot on Jamz Supernova’s Top 5 EP’s in the world on BBC’s Radio 1Xtra. The Guardian and Clash Magazine also featured Dawn as one of the top new artists for 2020.

With more music on the horizon, this enigmatic songstress has quietly positioned herself as one of the UK’s brightest new soul artists.

Music

Maxwell Owin

Max is a DJ you’ll never forget and a friend you will treasure forever.

1/2 of Sîbin, a party (remember those?), collective and where Max released his most recent works – Come with The Ragga (Max & Phoebs) and Pastor, (Anja Ngozi & Max)

As a producer, his credits are seemingly endless. He’s at the electronic and spiritual heart of so many of London’s brilliant jazz and improvisation-based projects – from mixing Where Pathways Meet, to doing the mastering on the We Out Here film, to collaborating with Joe Armon-Jones in their outstanding record IDIOM.

Talks Workshops & Film

Morning Yoga

As usual, will be beginning our days in the field with yoga from the Brainstage:

Saturday

Delphine’s enthusiasm lies with hosting an inward journey back to the self. Her classes offer a safe and soothing space to be playful and experientially learn. By choreographically intertwining yoga poses with breath and music her focus is to facilitate those sweet moments of inner stillness and conjure up a sense of reconnection to the present moment. Using intimate imagery and language to evoke sensory awareness within the physical and mental body, she seeks to inspire beings to feel empowered and content with who they are, right here, right now.

Sunday

Lou is a yoga teacher and workshop facilitator, passionate about making us feel more at home and connected in our bodies, and using embodiment and creativity as tools for wellbeing and community. Their work specialises in queerness, body positivity & disability and is taught within a trauma and social justice informed framework. Expect their morning yoga to include explorative and intuitive movements and to be guided towards trust in the body: space to flow, find stillness, to breathe at your own pace. They have been coming back to Brainchild for years, and are so excited to be moving and shaking and stomping and shouting with you all!

Music

Moses Boyd

Needing little to no introduction, Moses Boyd joins us as our Saturday night headliner. A double MOBO and Jazz FM Award winner, Moses’s live and studio collaborations have been as varied as they have been prolific, from touring with Sampha and Kelsey Lu, to drumming on Sons of Kemet’s Mercury-nominated album, to his recent collaboration with South African Gqom king DJ Lag, which made its way onto Beyonce’s official soundtrack for The Lion King. He produced Zara McFarlane ‘s 2017 full-length, Arise, in its entirety, for Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label, and released several acclaimed solo projects though his Exodus record label. Moses has produced original scores for major Paris fashion shows, and with saxophonist Binker Golding, he’s co-leader and co-producer of the ferocious semi-free group Binker and Moses.

His Mercury award-winning album of the year Dark Matter is ‘dancefloor-friendly kaleidoscopic jazz’.

A Tomorrow’s Warriors alumni, “a peer-to-peer youth initiative that brings people together through jazz”, at the age of 16, Moses was introduced to British jazz icon Gary Crosby OBE and his band Crosby would text him and say, ‘I’ve got a gig tomorrow, do you want to come and play? Bring your friends’ – and they’d hone their skills alongside each other, and jazz legends three times their age. Coming up through the thriving new London jazz scene, and its vibrant underground live circuit, was an experience that was “collaborative by nature,” he says. “You can’t really do it on your own, so it becomes a real community – it’s in the DNA of the music”. 

 

Talks Workshops & Film

Move to Trust with Amarnah Ufuoma Cleopatra

Feel welcome. Come as you are. Trust yourself. Trust your body. Trust this.

This year Amarnah Ufuoma Cleopatra (the A in DAL) aka Queen Cleopatra (Scrapbook Mixtape) will be leading a morning movement workshop with the accompaniment of a live musician. In this hour and 15 minutes, Amarnah invites you enter the space with an open mind and heart to allow her to take you on a physical journey. Sometimes alone, sometimes in partners, sometimes as a group but always with yourself, Amarnah will facilitate a space for you to tune into your instincts and intuition, to trust your body and allow it to find new possibilities in movement and dance. With live music creating a container we will work directly with the energy the music provides and find fun and exciting ways to allow it to move with and through us.

We are together. We are connected. We trust ourselves. We journey to trusting each other.

 

Music

Nala Sinephro

After her dazzling performance at our Digs gig (remember those?!) early last year, we are very happy to welcome pedal harp and synth player Nala Sinephro back to Brainchild 2021! You may have spotted her play alongside Alex Rita as part of Calm Roots during the 2019 festival, or even at a Steam Down jam once upon a time. For this festival set though, we are very lucky to have Nala accompanied by a full live band for one of the very first times. As heralded by the Guardian’s ones to watch list, Nala’s music is ‘gorgeously woozy and tidal – and not unworthy of comparison to Alice Coltrane‘.

Nala has new music on the way, with big things in the pipeline, but for now, keep in the loop via her Instagram page or tune into one of her eclectic NTS shows :)

Theatre & Cabaret

Naughty Corner Productions’ RAVES R US

Toys R Us has closed down for good leaving Charlie and his mates unemployed, depressed and searching for any escape from this rundown bigot-lead society. Charlie’s vision arrives fully formed. They have an abandoned warehouse, an abandoned nation… it’s time to make a sanctuary, an escape… a Rave. Inspired from a true story out of Hounslow, London.

 

★★★★★ – North West End

A Stroke of Theatrical GeniusLa Vida Liverpool

We cannot wait to for you to experience multi-award winning theatre company Naughty Corner Productions’ unforgettably good immersive show. They’ve run for the last 5 years with 8 original productions, sell out Edinburgh & Brighton fringe runs, sell out shows at The Pleasance, London, and they’ve performed to over 1,000 people at Glastonbury festival 2019. They’re also winners of the Sunday times national drama award 2014, and have had countless 4 and 5 star reviews.

@naughtycornergram

Music

Neue Grafik Ensemble

With 4 records behind him on esteemed labels like Beat X Changers, S3A Records and 22a, French producer and DJ Fred Bwelle aka Neue Grafik has quickly risen as one of the most promising acts to come out of the new French and European electronic scene. His sound is best described as eclectic and versatile.

His latest project, Neue Grafik Ensemble is the result of an inspiring Total Refreshment Centre after-hours jam, featuring the likes of Emma-Jean Thackray and Vels Trio’s Dougal Taylor.

Sounds are sumptuous and energy levels are hiiigh with these guys 🔥 check out their debut EP Foulden Road (named after TRC’s address) to get an earful.

Music

OK Williams

We’ve got legend OK Williams lighting up the Shack on Friday night — this isn’t one to miss! Setting dancefloors ablaze with all kinds, from deep house to techno to jungle to UK funky, catch her show monthly on NTS to get a feel of what’s to come 🤠 For those wanting to get to know her a little better, we love this interview she did with Gal Dem and this mix for LN-CC.

Music

otta

After attending Brainchild for the last few years, we are delighted to welcome otta and her band to the festival.

They’ll be playing music from both her first two EPs and some new material; “a variety of songs of self-contained chaos”.

Check out Songbook and After it all blew over.

Music

Overmono (LIVE)

We cannot spot dreaming of how incredible this will be – closing our Brainstage on the Friday night are Overmono! Their tunes have kept us dancing through lockdown, and we know we’re not alone in that – they are very widely respected by so many of hte producers in our community and we cannot wait for them to bring their live set to Brainchild. 

Under their respective artist names Truss and Tessela, brothers Tom and Ed Russell have forged formidable individual reputations as producers. Defining tracks such as Truss’ ‘Beacon’ and Tessela’s ‘Hackney Parrot’ have encapsulated so much of what is exciting and vital in UK underground, electronic music. Overmono, sees Tom and Ed come together on record for the very first time, with the duo releasing the Arla EP Trilogy (XL Recordings).

In their own words… 

“Despite doing some live shows together and the fact that we’re brothers, we hadn’t ever really written music together and wanted to start something new. We decided to head to a remote cottage in rural Wales, near to where we grew up. The trip ended up being the most creative stint either of us had ever had and after a week we had the foundations for Overmono.” 

Music

Papaoul

London-based selector Papaoul has made a name for himself as a resident DJ on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM, with sets unconfined by genre, spanning a range of sounds from across the global underground.

An eclectic selector, he does hold a special place in his heart for new dancefloor-ready sounds from Latin America, expect anything from Ecuadorian footwork and Andean digital cumbia to experimental reggaeton and dubbed out marimbas from Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Music

Parasang

Parasang started as an exploration of London’s diverse musical communities. The series invites guest musicians to improvise and interact with electronics. Parasang is led by Pouya Ehsaei on with an all hardware setup. Pouya’s musicianship is generous and flexible, making space for and responding to the musicians who accompany him. The series is co-curated by Pouya Ehsaei and Harry Follett of Manana//Records.

As an act of endurance and dedication to this exploration and sewing of sounds, Parasang was held in 2019 as a weekly series at Redon in London. Since the pandemic, the sessions have moved online and are now investigating similar possibilities on an international level.

Parasang’s takeover in the Kite Bar last year became a heady, dancy wonderland – we were transfixed and how it took people over and transformed the energy in the space. This year they are closing the Kite Bar on Saturday night, we can’t wait to see what they cook up …

Talks Workshops & Film

Pecs Mansformation

Our very favourite handsome gang, and Brainchild cult royalty, Pecs, will be helping you find your inner King in this very manly Mansformation workshop.

You’ll learn about the history of kinging, how to walk the walk, talk the talk and build your aesthetic and even take some (macho) baby steps to developing your very own drag persona.

See you there, Your Majesty.

Theatre & Cabaret

Plaster Cast’s Sound Cistem

Winner of the Offies Award 2021, and the Vault Festival Spirit Award 2020, acclaimed trans dance show ‘Sound Cistem’ is back!

Two transgender performers say, “up yours!” to the gender binary and invite you to their radical dance party!

Under disco lights, over pulsing music, a queer celebration takes place. Set in nightclubs, ‘Sound Cistem’ is an exuberant verbatim show about the cisgender gaze on the transgender body. Featuring recorded interviews from trans and non-binary people, a self-love manifesto is made through riotous, glittering disco. This duo keep moving to reject conformity and shame, despite the current transgender debate. See the beauty in these bodies, and your own, too.

“Astonishing to see, but also incredibly important” ***** A Younger Theatre

“Tremendously powerful, moving and euphoric” **** The Scotsman

Plaster Cast is a trans-led, Manchester-based company, using physical theatre as a vehicle for radical politics.

Music

Poison Zcora

Dublin-bred and London-based producer, musician & DJ Poison Zcora has totally immersed himself in the capital’s myriad of music scenes and communities since arriving in the city as a fresh faced eighteen year old.

As well as writing and producing his own music, Poison Zcora runs the label Tiff’s Joints, plays in Lunch Money Life and has been a member of the Touching Bass family since it’s inception.

2020 saw his first solo release as Poison Zcora on Astral Black with “Victory Over The British Museum”, followed by The Mainly Incompetent 5 EP on his own Tiff’s Joints label, which racked up support from the likes of Jamz Supernova, Anz, & Moxie on stations across stations like BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, and NTS.

Theatre & Cabaret

Queer House Party

After DJing and throwing parties across the county for years now, housemates, activists, and community organisers Harry Gay, Wacha and Passer came together on the first Friday of lockdown to throw an online party to give queers across the globe a sense of release and community whilst in isolation. Months later Queer House Party have built an online following and are continuing to throw events for the virtual masses, winning awards and bringing together people together in an accessible online community space.

While their virtual parties have got many of us through the last year, we’re cannot wait for their epic IRL throwdown at the festival! Expect the very best drag, dance, performances & sets from their resident DJs, each with their own individual style, coming together to lay down some serious genre-hopping campness: Garage, R&B, Disco, Pop, House, and garage. Innit camp?!?

Queer House Party keep their politics and activism central to their events, creating a space that is not only accessible for the whole LGBTIQ+ community but kicks off and campaigns for a wide range of issues that we care about. Over the past year, the family has grown and now contains a bunch of legendary queers from the access team, to the hosts and the regular performers. Queer House Party has worked and collaborated with Cybertease, United Strippers of The World, Drag Syndrome, Quiplash, Bricks, The Barbican, BFI, and Guildhall to name a few.

@queerhouseparty

Theatre & Cabaret

Riddlestick Theatre’s Songs of the Curious

Riddlestick Theatre are a Bristol-based troupe of actor-musicians dedicated to tickling fancies with weird and wonderful stories and enchanting live music.

Their fringe hit ‘The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé’ was listed as one of The Guardian’s ‘Best Shows at the Edinburgh Festival 2018’ and their late-night festive romp ‘Undercover Christmas Club’ wowed Bristol folk back in 2019.

‘Songs of the Curious’ is a storytelling gig featuring ditties from shows-gone-by and shows-to-come, along with some curious takes on songs you forgot you knew. Join us in the woods for folky fairy-tales, preposterous parables and macabre melodies as we lament the lives of fools and Frenchmen and bewitch the birds above our heads.

“Their energy is boundless, the script fiercely intelligent and the original live music bound to stay dancing through your head.” – The Guardian (for ‘The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé’)

Music

Rohan Rakhit B2B Mera Bhai (Daytimers)

Playing a game of tag team on the Decks, we have Rohan Rakhit and Mera Bhai going vis a vis for the first time ever – a plan that’s been in the works for some time now. Both DJs are known for their eclectic genre-spanning tastes and rave-ready sets, so expect everything from Footwork and Jungle to Jazz, House, and Bhangra with blends that you could slick your hair back with.

Mera Bhai:
Born in London, with roots in India, alongside time spent growing up in Italy, Albania, Saudia Arabia, Dubai, and Nigeria, Mera Bhai’s worldly influence seeps into his unique take on dance music. Known as a founding member of tropical-psychedelia band Flamingods, the multi-instrumentalist has worked closely with Moshi Moshi Records, Soundway Records, and Total Refreshment Centre.

Rohan Rakhit:
Rohan Rakhit is an actor, DJ, and broadcaster based in North London who is part of the internal team behind the Daytimers collective. Previously a resident for various parties across Nottingham, since the pandemic hit Rohan has been featured on stations such as NTS, Boxout FM, Radio Quantica, and Subtle Radio. Utilising dance music from across the globe, expect high energies and blends that span across genres.

 

 

Music

Sarah Meth

Raised in London, 21-year-old Sarah Meth has never been shy of expressing her opinions in song. With the release of her debut EP ‘Dead End World’ in 2020, her music illustrates being a firm subscriber to Nina Simone’s famous quote: “An artist’s duty is to reflect the times”. Taking influence from Radiohead, Nina Simone and Angel Olsen – her 2nd EP is due to be released in the fall of this year. She has supported the likes of Okay Kaya and Jordan Rakei and has played festivals such as Latitude and All Points East.

Talks Workshops & Film

Scott Carthy’s Generation Peace

Generation Peace talks to those who have grown up in Derry since the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which brought The Troubles to an end after three decades of violent conflict. Brexit and the possibility of the reintroduction of a border in Ireland, however, jeopardise that uneasy peace.

The brilliant young people who are interviewed in the film thrive on community and creativity, and are committed to moving on from Northern Ireland’s divided past. That’s what Generation Peace is about: the power of hope, resilience and optimism.

Scott Carthy is an Irish film-maker and Director living in London. His early endeavours into film making and short form documentary saw him telling stories of New Yorks street dance culture, above and below ground. This run of short films garnered industry and festival attention with his debut short ‘Litefeet’ winning the Audience Award at the Lower East Side Film Festival. His career in film making has spanned documentary, commercials and branded content.

Talks Workshops & Film

Shadow Sistxrs Fight Club: We Protect Us

Shadow Sistxrs Fight Club is a physical and metaphysical self-defence collective for women, non binary people and queer, trans, intersex and queer people of colour. They have a holistic approach to self defence, incorporating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, meditation and medicinal/magical herbalism in our workshops.

In We Protect Us, join them in exploring self-defence as a tool for empowerment in a time when our communities are being harassed and exploited by increasingly oppressive and violent forces. 

Ayesha Tan Jones is an artist and musician based in London. Ayesha’s work is a spiritual practice that seeks to present an alternative, queer, optimistic dystopia. They work through ritual, meditating through craft, and building forms from their dreams.

Monique Etienne is a student, facilitator and organizer and has been practicing martial arts for over twenty years. She works with self-defence as a trauma-informed approach to self empowerment and community building in ways that are inclusive, creative and challenging of typical notions of strength and power.

 

@shadowsistxrs_fightclub

Music

Shivum Sharma x Lagoon Femshayma

Lagoon Femshayma (aka Zooey Gleaves) is a drag queen, host, DJ and broadcaster from South London. He currently has shows on REPREZENT FM and Foundation FM, as well as regularly contributing to Dazed Beauty and working with Dazed, AnOther, i-D and 10. He is also the head of Fashion and Beauty for ISSTUDIO.
Shivum Sharma is a singer, songwriter, producer and DJ from South London who, since the closure of clubs, has been making mixes for the likes of BBC Asian Network, Foundation FM and Soho Radio. His last EP was featured on COLORS, and as Jamz Supernova’s #1 EP on her BBC Radio 1Xtra show.
Together they play a broad spectrum of the club music they mutually adore, including House, Techno and Footwork, blended into a mix of R&B and Pop. Expect a euphoric, camp and incredibly extra set.
Talks Workshops & Film

Skin Deep + Rocks: Teenage Love Letter

Bukky Bakray is Shola, AKA Rocks – a force-of-nature 15-year-old east Londoner with a talent for makeup artistry, who returns home from school one day to discover that her depression-prone mother has abandoned her and her young brother Emmanuel, and is left with no choice but to live by her wits.

A vibrant, insightful and deeply empathetic drama about teenage girls forging their identities in a hostile world, Rocks is a genuinely collaborative production, born out of workshops with young people at a range of schools and youth hubs & boasting a terrific ensemble cast that showcases a host of talented newcomers. Written by up-and-coming Nigerian-British playwright/screenwriter Theresa Ikoko with film and TV writer Claire Wilson, and directed by Sarah Gavron (who made 2007’s Brick Lane and 2015’s Suffragette).

Inspired by the film handling of joy, resilience and the spirit of girlhood, Skin Deep will be hosting a workshop at the festival following the screening. The session will be a writing, making and sharing of love letters to your teenage selves and the cities you grew up in.

Skin Deep makes space for Black creatives and creatives of colour to work towards justice through cultural production.

Theatre & Cabaret

Something Borrowed with Harry Baker

Started during lockdown as an online space between live performance and interview, we’re lucky enough to be hosting the first live outing of Something Borrowed this year!

Join World Poetry Slam Champion (and long time Brainchild fav) Harry Baker as he invites guests from the world of poetry and beyond to share some of their own work as well as that of those who have inspired them, interspersing conversation with performances in the form of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Helen Seymour is a spoken word artist who’s theatre/poetry/comedy/performance art show “Helen Highwater” premiered at the Southbank Centre as part of London Literature Fest 2019. Her insta is
Erin Bolens is a poet from leeds who writes, teaches and performs in all sorts of weird and wonderful places across the country. Erin’s first show ‘What We Leave Behind’ and first poetry collection ‘Alternate Endings’ have been published by Burning Eye Books.
Poetry & Comedy

SORRY

Super group sensation SORRY will be bring us an hour of unapologetic, hilarious improvised comedy, inspired by a chat with a very special guest at the top of the show (previous guests include Gina Martin, Phil Wang, Mae Martin and Jason Mantzoukas).

An incredible group of talented, ground-breaking improvisers, one of the most exciting groups in LondonCariad Lloyd

Put SORRY in the calendarThe Evening Standard

SORRY are improvisers and comedians Liz Kingsman, Alison Thea-Skot, Naomi Petersen, Sophia Broido and Lola-Rose Maxwell. They have sold out runs at VAULT Festival, The Pleasance and London’s leading improv theatre The Free Association.

@sorrygigs

Talks Workshops & Film

Storytelling with gal-dem

gal-dem is an award winning media company committed to sharing the perspectives of people of colour from marginalised genders.

This year gal-dem is back with their storytelling show, taking over for an hour to make space for YOU to take the stage, and share your voice with Brainchild 2021.

 

@gal-dem

Talks Workshops & Film

T A P E presents TOUCH

As we move into the “after times”, T A P E Collective have curated a programme of short films which explore elements of ‘TOUCH’ – lust, desire, isolation, self-love, self-care and self-loathing, in all their various forms of expression.

Join them on a sensory journey through the lows of anxiety & distance, to the curiosity of pleasure, culminating in the empowering highs of self-discovery, through the work of a selection of bold filmmakers.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A panel with director Lois Stevenson, whose film WHAT ABOUT ME will see its premiere at Brainchild and close the programme.

T A P E was founded in 2015 as a response to lack of representation in the film industry. They are a collective curating screenings and events for under-represented films and those with an especial focus on identity & culture, often mixed with cross-arts engagement.

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THE FORGOTTEN C (dir. Molly Manning Walker)

Doorstep visits from friends and family mark the passing weeks as Aisha struggles with how to tell them what’s happening to her.

TOUCH (dir. Poppy Baines)

A young girl in nature, and exploring the physical body.

TEENA AND SIMON (dir. Ricardo Padilla)

An intimate documentary portrait of a London couple, who candidly reveal the pleasures and pains of body piercing.

PROPA BUZZIN’ (dir. Serena Ramsay)

Journey into the explosive brain of Serena and the many worlds inside.

INSIDE OUT (dir. Jabu Newman)

Several abstract dance performances tell a story of misfortune, determination and self acceptance.

WHAT ABOUT ME? (dir. Lois Stevenson)

A manic journey of a heart-broken woman possessed by a destructive being. Plus post-screening Q&A.

THE BIRTH OF VALERIE VENUS (dir. Sarah Clift)

A selfless vicar’s wife is possessed by a strange force, unlocking a mischievous (and pleasurable) side she never knew she had.

Music

Tailor Jae

Tailor Jae is an East London native, that lives and breathes technicality, self taught, she is famed for quick mixes, and sets which are genreless at heart but heavy on the bass. After winning a Mixmag DJ competition in 2017 tailor has continued to reach new heights with features on BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM, Keep Hush and more and killer guest mixes for Inverted Audio and Resident Advisor which have helped solidify her as a unique tastemaker. Highlighted as one to watch at the start of 2021 by DJ Mag, she is set to continue to shake dance floors with her unique approach to djing.

We are buzzzzing to have Tailor Jae come play at Brainchild for the very first time! Closing the Shack on Saturday night, you’re not going to want to miss this 🌲🌳

Theatre & Cabaret

The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale Reading + Q&A

Haley McGee is an award-winning actor, theatre-maker, podcaster and the author of the book ‘The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale’ – a memoir about her attempt to pay off credit card debt by selling gifts from her exes, and how she ended up being schooled in the true value of heartbreak. Funny, brainy, sexy and very candid.

Join Haley as she reads from her book, chats about the process of turning her sexual and romantic history into a memoir and dishes on her favourite topic: the cost of love.

“a hugely talented writer & performer” – The Skinny

Poetry & Comedy

The Roundhouse Poetry Collective Alumni

The Roundhouse Poetry Collective is formed of a group of young writers and poets aged 18-25 who meet weekly to create, experiment and develop their craft, under guidance from established and celebrated poets, Bridget Minamore & Cecilia Knapp.

Each year we welcome the most recent cohort to share their work on The Forum stage, this year will feature:

Courtney Conrad, Shanay Neusum-James, Miracle, Helen Bowell, Troy Cabida, Samatar Osman, Kelly Roberts, Nailah Dossa, Esme Allman

Music

The Silhouettes Project

The Sillhouettes Project is a new platform for up-and-coming Hip-Hop, Soul and Jazz artists from the UK. It is not a record label or management team, it is a community project. The Sillhouettes Project provides an open space – a recording studio and live venue (located within the Total Refreshment Centre in Hackney, London) – where MCs, singers, musicians and producers can connect and create.

The Sillhouettes Project was founded by community organisers / artists Asher Korner (aka Kosher) and Jaden Osei-Bonsu (Eerf Evil) in 2019. Here is the story of the Silhouettes Project as told by them:

We started The Silhouettes Project in February 2019, to shine a light on the new generation of underground Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Soul music in the UK. Community is everything to us, and we wanted to show that with a proper support network, access to professional facilities, and the encouragement of a family of artists, our community could produce something incredible.

We felt a joint frustration that the current music scene in the UK only had structures in place to support talent of a certain genre whilst overlooking a buzzing alternative Hip-Hop culture. We wanted to unify artists who are making ground-breaking music but who are in need of a solid structure to work within – artists who we felt deserved more recognition. This led us to the name ‘The Silhouettes Project’, as we wanted to shine a light on those artists in the shadows.

Taking over the Kite Bar to play tracks from their new album for one of the very first times, as well as host a jam open to all, (curated with some familiar Brainchild faces in the mix!) this is going to be a special time.

 

Music

Tomorrow’s Warriors Jam

You’ve probably read lots about this organisation, and if you have, you will understand why we find it hard to communicate quite how significant and inspirational they are. We’re very excited to be handing over to young folks from Tomorrows Warriors for the Saturday night in our new space, the Minty Cabin, where they’ll be holding fort and hosting a jam session for all to take part in.

Centre to Tomorrow’s Warriors’ teaching is the principle that improvising and experimenting in a safe space is the best way for musicians to grow and learn, so we trust that this will be a beautiful session.

Hold tight to find out who’ll be taking part! With so many brilliant musicians on site, we’re very excited…

Music

Touching Bass DJs & Takeover

Touching Bass return to the Kite Bar this year with a full takeover! We’re so happy that this has finally happened as we’ve dreamed of it for some time; from their dances to their NTS show, or their releases as a label, this is an organisation that is pushing forward soulful and original music while also keeping an community ethos & authenticity at its core.

Not only are the crew DJing until the early hours, but beforehand they’ve lined up an evening of live music from Léa Sen, Demae  & Brother Portrait with Maxwell Owin (who are apparently working on material together that we’re very excited to see!).

Music

TYSON

Born and raised in London – via Stockholm, Spain and (briefly) New York – to a mixed musical family, singer TYSON had an unusual upbringing on the road. Her music draws from these experiences, the outcome a celestial, interplanetary R&B that is both reflective and soulful, yet futuristic.

Formerly one half of band Panes, whose self-titled 2014 EP marked a London sound of its time, TYSON has since collaborated with London-based artists such as Lord Tusk, CKTRL and Dean Blunt. She released her solo debut, the double single ‘White / Seven’ in 2019, succeeded by her 2020 ‘Moonlighting Mixtape’, produced by Oscar Scheller.

TYSON reveals her own sound for the first time with her debut solo EP, Pisces Problems out April 30th on LMP Recordings, an imprint that she co-founded as part of the ‘Ladies Music Pub’ collective for gender minorities in the music industry. The video for lead single ‘Tuesday’ was directed by the Bafta-nominated director Akinola Davies and features TYSON soaring over London, circling the iconic Trellick Tower on a pink fluffy luck dragon. With support from Annie Mac, Gilles Peterson and Benji B and a renewed vision for her artistry under her belt, her story is still unfolding.

Talks Workshops & Film

Upcycling & Repair For Beginners

Upcycling and mending your clothes is a radical act in a society where profit is valued of people and the planet. £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year in the UK alone. We’ve reached a climate change crisis point. Let’s come together to make disposable fashion a thing of the past and collectively pledge to learn basic repair and upcycle skills to save money, get creative, and keep clothing in the loop and out of landfill.

Revival Collective have collaborated with our favourite maker Pomilly to bring you a guided workshop focusing on basic repair and upcycle skills for beginners. These are all skills we think anyone one can master. This workshop will empower you to save the planet, will save you money and is also super relaxing and mindful too. Please bring clothes to mend or you can practice the skills on fabric squares that will be provided.

Music

Vindya (Daytimers)

First up as part of Daytimers’ takeover in the Kite Bar is Vindya!

Vindya is a Sri Lankan-British composer, producer and DJ; her mixes incorporate multiple underground dance music genres such as techno, break-beat, deep house and jungle, but also integrate sounds from her South Asian heritage with the Asian Underground scene. Her charming and totally morish track Auspicious Time from Daytimer’s first compilation album has been on repeat in the Brainchild office lately.

Talks Workshops & Film

Voguing Workshop with Jay Jay Revlon

Jay jay’s Voguing Workshop has become the stuff of Brainchild legend – once a year, Father of the UK House of Revlon, founder of the Kiki House of Tea and leading authority of Ballroom in the UK, Jay Jay Revlon, will ask you to dip, duck and dive like never before.

For the very first time, this iconic workshop is taken out of the sweaty confines of the Forum: we are unleashing Jay Jay onto the Brainstage and you lot can make the whole field your ballroom.

And this time, he’s brought back up 👀  You’re not ready for this.

Poetry & Comedy

Wacky Racists

Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated comic Sophie Duker and psychotically talented one-man-white-man-house-band The Tone Deafs are BACK and AT BRAINCHILD, serving up a melanin-rich comedy milkshake for your delectation and delight.

Disclaimer: Not a show for actual “wacky racists”. Quirky bigots had best avoid.

This unmissable festival special, combines slick stand-up from comics of colour Kemah Bob & Dre Spisto, the odd madcap musical invention, and stupidly high-stakes games (like the infamous PIN THE TAIL ON THE HONKY!!!) for which you can win either gloriously crap or surprisingly decent prizes. Stay silly. Stay sexy. Stay woke. Seeya Sunday.

Music

WOOM

It’s quite hard to think of one word that perfectly pinpoints what WOOM do. Choir almost does the job, but despite being almost-acapella, it doesn’t fully characterize their magic. Lets just say for now: together as WOOM, Ella, Izzy, Lara and Alice are four voices. The four-part concept-choir have already amassed a passionate cult fanbase, including past touring partners like King Krule, Whitney and The Big Moon who re-envisage songs in way that is at the same time new and familiar, delicate yet powerful. Their notoriety as a completely immersive, near-transcendental experience is fast becoming the stuff of indie folklore.
Their lush, harmony-laden vocal re-interpretations of songs by Frank Ocean, Angel Olsen & Outkast, amongst others, have become a WOOM calling card. They re-envisage in way that is at the same time new and familiar, delicate yet powerful. Comprising something of a supergroup of southeast London luminaries, WOOM includes members of Babeheaven, Arlo Day, Teeth Machine, Hester, Thidius and Jerkcurb.
Talks Workshops & Film

Work Sucks, Let’s Unionise: Trade Union 101

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is a grassroots trade union, made up of workers who have traditionally been under-represented, from couriers, to yoga teachers, outsourced cleaners, charity workers, and more.

We stand for democracy and justice, and are known for our bold campaigning, grassroots organising, and being entirely member-led. The Charity Workers

Branch of the IWGB has brought together workers from across the third sector to organise for our fundamental rights, bring democracy into our workplaces, and create a sector free of precarity.

At the IWGB we are making trade unionism hot again – join us?

Talks Workshops & Film

XR Transformative Conflict

Conflict with those we love can be some of the most painful experiences of life. In working with conflict inside Extinction Rebellion we have learnt that if we confront conflict with a belief that it has something to teach us it can also lead to some of the most transformative, beautiful moments of life. We believe that doing this work of healing the separation between us is really at the heart of bringing about a different world.

Come to this workshop to learn practical skills for handling conflicts when they come up in your life. Whether in your personal relationships or at work. Come be with your feelings and see the transformative power of connecting with the mystery of the Other.

The workshop will be run by Julyan Davey, a member of Extinction Rebellion and trained conflict facilitator with experience working with several transformative modalities including Non-Violent Communication and Possibility Management.

Music

Xvngo

Xvngo is a force to be reckoned with! He fuses jazz, classical, electronic as well as hip-hop music with dirty drill beats, to produce an infectious sound that will surely get you moving your feet. In addition to feet moving and hip-shaking there will be some chin-scratching, as he takes you through a musical journey that is impregnated with philosophical and scientific investigation. His music is heavily informed by his training as a neuroscientist, and his interests range all the way from German idealism to modern theoretical neuroscience.

Xvngo will also be accompanied by the illustrious Marysia Osuchowska on the harp and the formidable Master Mac on the beat machine. Xvngo is a massive supporter of the ethos of his so this set will be especially tailored to (in his words: “the wonderful utopia that is Brainchild”. So be sure not to miss out on this existential musical excursion!

Theatre & Cabaret

YESYESNONO’s we were promised honey!

YESYESNONO are an award-winning performance company consisting of lead artist Sam Ward and producer Rhian Davies. They make work about human connection in the modern world. Their work sits somewhere between theatre and live art and feels utterly unique, often involving radical audience participation. They’ve toured work nationally for the past three years, and have had their work published by Oberon Books.

This will be the third time YESYESNONO have performed at Brainchild. Sam’s debut show Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist won the Total Theatre Award after coming to Brainchild in 2017 and his second show [insert slogan here] performed at the festival in 2018. Their most recent show the accident did not take place was shortlisted for the Total Theatre Award for Innovation in 2019 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

we were promised honey! comes in two parts, with an interactive installation roving round the festival in the day, and a work-in-progress of a brand new solo show performed for the first time by Sam at Brainchild. Both are investigations of future dreaming as a communal exercise, asking how we can look towards the horizon when it looks like the whole world is in collapse. 

Music

Zar (Daytimers)

Zar (Arun) is a drummer, DJ, producer and generally confused entity. He truly embodies the quality of eclecticism – through drumming in a noise rock band (Muscle Vest), experimental pop band (ONUR), producing experimental electronic & Indian influenced Hip Hop music (ZarDeep), or DJ’ing whatever genre he feels like.
2020 was a breakthrough year for Zar, with the release of his Nihilism remix of “In Motion” which received support from DJ’s Jamz Supernova, Mafalda and Tina Edwards.
He produced for the BBC “Isolation, In Your Words” an album documenting the British publics’s experiences of isolation during lockdown, release “A Little Hope” with rapper and close friend Mandeep., and contribute to the DayTimer’s DT001 producer compilation.
DayTimers is a collective Zar is grateful to be a part of, he was given the huge opportunity to DJ on the DayTimers x No Nazar 24 hour live stream in March 2021, helping to raise over £11k for protesting farmers in India.
Zar has no idea what he will play at BrainChild when he opens the DayTimers take over of Kite Bar on Sunday night, but it will be high energy, emotive, groovy, deep and inspired, whatever the genre.
Music

Zeena

Zeena is a London-based DJ who balances the sounds of roots reggae, ska and dub with more uptempo jungle and kudro. Starting her journey with a family vinyl collection of old-school reggae, Zeena shares the sounds of the Caribbean and the African diaspora to celebrate black music from past and present. Expect good vibes and funky tracks that are sure to get you skanking.

Writing

FAQ

Get In Touch

For job opportunities, volunteering & artist submissions for our events or the festival, please head to our Get Involved page.

If you’re a catering company or food stall and are interested in trading at Brainchild Festival please fill out this initial form.

If you would like to be included on the Brainchild Media List (to receive our press releases) please contact amelia@brainchildfestival.co.uk

For general enquiries email team@brainchildfestival.co.uk

 

Feedback

We’ve opened up a Community Feedback survey for the Black people & People of Colour in our community to tell us about their experiences of Brainchild. It’s totally anonymous and we welcome responses any time through the year. We really appreciate the feedback, and the findings so far have gone directly to inform the changes we’re enacting within our organisation. So if you have something you’d like to tell us about – good or bad – please tell us. We promise it will be read, digested & acted on. Head here to see the Community Feedback survey.