The Cally Festival returns to Caledonian Road in Islington on 19 June 2016 for the annual celebration of local arts, community and the area’s diverse heritage. This year’s festivities will encourage local residents to get active and embrace their inner artist
Words: Rachel Mantock
Running the expanse of the entire road, this year’s Cally Festival in Islington is set to be a lively mix of talent, fun and music, with community spirit tying the whole affair together. Around 9,000 people attended last year’s frivolous festivities which brought people from Holloway, King’s Cross and both east and west of Caledonian Road together.
It’s a family affair with events and workshops for children and adults with bubbles and balloons floating over head, the smell of sugar in the air and an eclectic mix of music sounding from every corner.
Most importantly, The Cally Festival gives undiscovered talent a platform, with diamonds in the rough and hidden gems coming out of the woodwork to claim their applause. These are our must-visit workshops and showcases, set to be at The Cally Festival on 19 June.
Brush up on your photography abilities with Project One Zero and Upsteam & Me in collaboration with the Geddes Gallery and photographer, Marta Corada. They’ll be showcasing a street photography exhibition at the festival, along with workshops. They are encouraging everyone in attendance to just ‘pop in and shoot’ at the Bemerton Art Studios as cameras will be provided. Project One Zero is a non-profit, community arts organisation on Caledonian Road, focused on serving the community and filling it with art from all genres, while the Geddes Gallery is a disused deli in King’s Cross. With a Patrick Bateman’s house vibe, uncanny and cool in an unsettling kind of way, it is primarily used as an exhibiting space.
The Dickens Museum and the Estorick Collection will be part of the festival’s ‘Arty Block Party’, as well as an army of local artists, aiming to bring arts and crafts workshops to the masses. Renowned for their collection of modern Italian art, the Estorick Collection carries some of the most internationally coveted pieces of Futurist and figurative art inside its Georgian walls, while the Dickens Museum holds some of the most important materials relating to the great Charles Dickens. Both will bring their wealth of experience and knowledge to Cally Road this June, equipping you with the inspiration to create, whether you are one of the artistically challenged or have a natural way with crafts.
Love of Literature
Poet Paul Lyalls will present an avant-garde afternoon of poetry and story telling as part of The Cally Festival’s ‘Story Street’. A former Poet-in-Residence at the Roald Dahl Museum, Lyall runs poetry workshops for children and young people in a bid to encourage reading and the love of books. The festival will act as a stage for a range of spoken word artists and musicians, all connecting with the community through their extraordinary way with words.
The Action Arena will host a multitude of different sporting activities including a penalty shoot out with Arsenal FC and a boxing ring put together by Times ABC Boxing Club, as well as martial arts demonstrations and workshops with the Cally Road Dojo. With food stalls in abundance and sweets and treats around every corner, it’s only fair that you burn off some calories at some point during the energetic festival.