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  • Writer's pictureFraser Urquhart Media

Festival2Funky Celebrates Fifth Birthday With Its Biggest Festival Yet

The Midlands’ premier festival of Black Music and Arts returns for the fifth year this May with its biggest line up so far of unmissable artists, DJ’s, comedians, masterclasses, workshops and dancers.

Festival2Funky, which runs from the 21-27 May 2018, will encompass a diverse and vibrant selection of Black Music and Arts designed to allow visitors the chance to challenge their ears and explore a world of musical styles including Afrobeat, Reggae, Grime, Gospel, Jazz, Soul, RnB, Dub, Jungle, UK Garage, Bass and Drum & Bass.

Alongside exhilarating live performances and open mic sets, festival goers can take part in masterclasses and workshops from industry heavyweights as well as attend graffiti workshops, DJ sets, urban comedy nights, spoken word performances and exclusive after-parties which are all included for the costs of a festival wristband – just £10 from

[caption id="attachment_16622" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Sharky Major[/caption]

Festival founder, Vijay Mistry, has hand selected some of the UK’s very best BAME musicians and artists for this year’s festival. “This year’s festival is all about giving people the opportunity to discover new genres and try something new. For just £10, the Festival2Funky wristband will give you access to some amazing artists from the forefront of black music. We want visitors to go from trying one of our Graffiti workshops to witnessing some amazing live Jazz performances before sampling a night of Grime or Drum & Bass.”

Highlights of this year’s festival include performances from London based saxophonist YolanDa Brown (Monday 21 May, 8pm), whose critically acclaimed work combines soul, jazz and reggae. Harleighblu (Tuesday 22 May, 8pm) who combines a classic yet truly distinctive soulful voice with a love of bass and eclectic future beats. ‘Godfather of British Hip Hop’ Rodney P will be performing (Sunday 27 May, 6pm) with Skitz, plus Skinnyman. The first to rap in his authentic London accent, he has generated a homegrown hip hop/ reggae vibe that is firmly rooted in the UK. Along with Rodney P, British DJ Skitz produced the first ever track to be played on BBC 1Xtra when the station launched in 2002 whilst later in the evening Sharky Major and Nasty Jack AKA Exclusive Grime Originals (Sunday 27 May, 11pm will be headlining, with support from fellow grime veterans Fumin, and Discarda, DJ Dok and special guests.

Other key highlights of Festival2Funky include the Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave (Saturday 26 May, 1.30-4pm), Women In Music, A Debate & Industry Panel (Wednesday 23 May, 6pm). 2Funky Comedy Jam (Friday 25 May, 7.30pm) featuring -Dizzle The Comedian (Best Newcomer, Black Comedy Awards), Aurie Styla, the man who brought you the viral comedy performance known as ‘Sniper Pose,’ and the sold-out roadshow ‘Comedy Mania. Babatunde (Best Newcomer, Da Comedy Fun House), who has featured on BBC 1Xtra, and performed at Broadway Theatre and Hackney Empire and Glenda Jackson, who delivers effortlessly relatable anecdotes and has been hailed as The Queen of Comedy on the Black comedy circuit!


Festival2Funky runs from 21-27 May 2018 at 2Funky Music Café, New Park St, Leicester. For updates on acts and gig times, visit:

Festival wristbands (£10) for access to the full 7 days, are available on the door and via Selected individual events will be £5 entry (subject to capacity), and masterclasses & the industry debate will be free.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and National Lottery Awards for All.

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