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Stage is set for high street events

The Streets launch event in Leyton
Local artists will be encouraged to help bring live music and performance to Waltham Forest’s high streets as part of a new project to turn these communal areas into public stages.

The Streets aims to shine a spotlight on local high streets in six London boroughs including Waltham Forest. Led by music and event producer, Serious, funded by Arts Council England and supported by the Council, it is a two year programme of music and performance in town centres.

At a launch event in Leyton Mills on Friday 10 July, Australian percussion star Ben Walsh wowed residents by playing his spectacular Drum Wheel – created from recycled material – for a thrilling short performance. He was joined by The Crusty Suitcase Band, with whom he is currently in residence at London Wonderground on the Southbank, and jazz musician and percussionist Muntu Valdo from Cameroon. Two steel pan groups from local schools and street performers also helped to create a festival feel.

In the months ahead, Serious will help organise mass percussion events, twilight takeovers in empty shops and musical performances in cafés, bars, corner shops and markets across the six London boroughs.

And, the Council will soon be engaging with local artists and performers – encouraging them to come up with ideas for future events as part of The Streets.

Ben Walsh said: “To all the people with a small idea in a big city which seems too difficult....just go for it people, just dive into the deep end, into that creative pool.”

Council Leader Chris Robbins said: “Arts and culture are at the heart of the work we are doing now and in the future to bring our communities together in celebration and make Waltham Forest an even better place to live.

“Through initiatives like The Streets, we hope to see our high streets temporarily transformed in stages to showcase some of the fantastic local talent and artists we have here in the borough – while also engaging and surprising residents with exciting and unexpected performances.”

The other boroughs taking part in The Streets are Redbridge, Croydon, Wandsworth, Richmond and Kingston-upon-Thames.

To keep track of what’s being planned as part of The Streets and for more information visit

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