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THE FIRST HISTORIC EVENT: Afro Punk London 2016 - Celebrating Black British Music & Fashion

Celebrating Black British Music & Fashion

Afro Punk London is finally here. For the last four years, I have secretly been watching the amazing footage from Afropunk in America, wishing and wondering when Afropunk would grace the land of the United Kingdom. Then on a summer's day in June 2016, I heard the news, Afropunk was coming to London Yay! On 24th September 2016 to be exact, I was beyond happy. I was ecstatic!



Afro Punk London is important. I grew up as a teen in the 1990s going to local events in London called “All Dayers” They were all-day events held during the summer in the outdoors at parks such as Brockwell Park in South London and Hackney Downs Park in East London. There were many more, but I can’t remember them all. There were at least five major all-dayers that I would attend each year.

The all-dayers were filled with rhythmic music pumping through the Caribbean-style sound systems spinning many genres Soul, Hip hop, Reggae, Soca, Raga, and Jungle.

Musically the UK is a very special place because I don’t know anywhere in the world where so many different genres of music have been invented in such a short space of time. Within my lifetime I have heard the musical inventions of:

Lover’s rock

Rare Groove


Acid Jazz


Drum & bass



I have been fortunate to have grown up in such a creative time in music. It helped me to expand my own mind creatively to create unique fashionable designs.

All dayers was a time and space for me and other revellers to dance to our favourite music while wearing super fly fashions that represented us as an individual and a community. It was a platform for me and my crew to show off and express who we were, who I really was because most of the time outside of these all-dayers and places like them I was constantly being told to conform, to fit in, basically not to express who I was or my culture and this still happens to this day.

Then one day the all-dayers dwindled away not sure when or why this happened, but they just disappeared for years and for a place like the Uk that seems to be this melting pot of creativity it was a huge loss.

Afro Punk London 2016

Today there are many musical festivals, but none represent people of African descent. That’s why Afropunk London is so important to the UK. We finally get our all-dayers back, but on a much bigger scale there are obvious differences such as you have to pay to get in, AfroPunk is held inside a building Alexandra Palace or Ally Pally to us Londoners, but the point is we now have a platform for us to express who we are with no apology, a platform just for us.

To me, Afro Punk London 2016 is a very historic event for black British music and fashion, and I’m proud to say I was there.

Stay beautiful,

"Fashion & music saved my life" - Shantel MamMaw.