BY JAMES TWOMEY
A summer highlight is returning with a musical line-up of big names which promises to provide fun for the family, international cuisine and sunny music across one weekend.
ONBlackheath, the annual festival, takes place – you’ve guessed it – on Blackheath, on July 13 and 14, and boasts impressive musical acts as well as plenty of activities for kids.
Headline acts this year include Jamiroquai, Grace Jones, The Roots and Rag’n’Bone Man. Jamiroquai – who are fronted by the dynamic Jay Kay – and have a blend of house rhythms with 1970s era soul and funk – will be headlining the Saturday night with new-wave legend and model Grace Jones taking to the stage on Sunday night.
One of the most prolific hip-hop groups of all time – The Roots – will play ahead of Jamiroquai and record-breaking soul sensation, Rag’n’Bone Man, will bring his unmistakable sound and hits to the festival on the Sunday.
Across the two days there will be plenty of entertainment for the kids, including a guest appearance from children’s BBC TV presenter Andy Day and his band Andy and the Odd Socks, musical classes with the Boppin’ Bunnies and a stage performance from The Science Museum.
Maynard’s Mini Zoo can be found at the Family Playground showing off and educating families on their amazing reptiles, amphibians and mega bugs – from tarantulas to chameleons, and even snakes.
Street Feast, who run food markets all over the capital, are in charge of the culinary offerings and will no doubt present an interesting array of international dishes and summertime cocktails.
This year’s musical line-up includes some classic artists from the London scene such as acid jazz legends Brand New Heavies. Simon Bartholomew, vocalist and guitarist from the Brand New Heavies is from Blackheath and says he is excited to return for the festival.
Simon said: “Having been to the amazing ONBlackheath Festival I’m really looking forward to actually playing there as it’s a super cool event. Being a local lad, it’s gonna be amazing to hang in the area and see all the amazing acts that are on.
What a line-up. Right up my street, literally.” Incognito are another London- based band and have been creating jazz-funk hits for almost 40 years, they play on the Saturday and their lead singer Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick can’t wait to get on the stage.
Bluey said: “As a London band who for the past 40 years have been waving the flag for UK scene worldwide.
This is it! “We are delighted to be playing on home turf with the most groundbreaking, relevant and awesome artists and bands from the world of soul, funk, jazz, r’n’b, pop, reggae and hip-hop ever.”
“What is a festival? A festival is a celebration of life. ONBlackheath welcomes us to that mother of all celebrations. See you there.”
If you still needed more encouragement than Bluey’s words you can head to the website to check out the rest of the lineup and buy tickets at onblackheath.com.