ONE2 Festival, a celebration of creativity in Hackney

Music, cabaret, sculpture, painting, poetry, comedy, dance, theatre, film, classical, jazz, rock’n’roll, metal music and hip-hop music (phew!) will ALL be performed at the ONE2 Festival in Hackney.

It will be held at The Taproom and The London Fields Brewery starting on Friday 12th, and will last until the 24th of May.

With more than 150 artists performing, the ONE2 Festival will be ‘bringing diverse arts to the people’.

This will be the first time a festival of this kind has been organized, and the idea came from a group called Diversity of Unit and their co-funders: Douglas A. Karson, a Bristol-based artist; Athina Barka, multidisciplinary artist; and Dimitrios Astrantinis, freelance musician, drummer, teacher and producer.

“The initial idea of the festival was to organise an Arts Party outside the establishment, so as to give the opportunity to non established Artists to display their work,” said Athina Barka. “There are plenty of talented people out there who never get the chance to be recognised or even to just to be able to work and live as Artists because they are not part of the Elite.”

“She [Athina] met me through an art pop-up I arranged last year to showcase the work I’d developed in my travels,” said Douglas A. Karson. “She really liked the way I managed the space and asked if I could help bring the concept of the festival to life. That was September 2016.”

Athina believes that art is a gift from the Gods – it doesn’t belong to a certain social class or ability.

“Diversity is the keyword behind that festival,” she said. “We wanted to bring different disciplines together, that at first sight they might not seem to match, but the blend of them creates magic and brings people together. We would like to turn this festival into an annual event where we could give the opportunity to every artistic soul out there, despite the colour, gender, age, nationality or social status to come and express themselves.”

The festival will start at 7:00 PM, with ‘Kicking Off with Kicks’, a storytelling and cabaret performance by Norman Bailey, Veronica Blacklace and Cabaret Rouge, as the opening act. The programme includes award-winning comedian Tony Law and filmmaker Drew Cox. He will premier a new short.


There’ll be  five music events, the screenings of three award-winning films and a Q&A by the film group TurnTheSlate Production. Another highlight  will be ‘Decibels’, a one-woman show performed by Elaine Fellows.may-21_5_origMany of the artists will donate prizes such as paintings and gifts to a lottery, with all proceeds going to charity.

Hackney was the perfect choice of venue, says Athina.

“I live in Hackney, I love the area, it’s very artistic, vibrant, youthful, and always open to new ideas. The London Fields Brewery played a huge part as well. They welcomed the idea of this festival straight away and they offered us their venues in order to make it happen.”

The Taproom and The Brewhouse will be sponsoring the whole event, offering two venues for the show and their own craft beers.

[Image Credits: Creative Commons - Flickr]
[Image Credits: Creative Commons]

Each night will present a different show and the tickets’ range will vary from £5 to £30 per night, but an All-Access Pass will be available too.

The event is open for anyone over eighteen.

For more information about the performances, times and dates, costs and general information, go visit the ONE2 Festival website

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