Shoreditch Town Hall transforms into creative bonanza for youth-led arts festival


Youth-led arts festival, Shoreditch Live, saw Shoreditch Town Hall’s basement area ‘The Ditch’ and its outdoor space, Rivington Place, transform into an urban, creative extravaganza.

The event, organised by Shoreditch Town Hall as part of Hackney Council's Discover Young Hackney festival, featured a graffiti corner, art exhibitions, illustration workshops, a barbeque, and a live music stage for local, young musicians and bands.

In the days leading up to the festival, which took place on Saturday 17 August, local design duo Snooze Fabric hosted the illustration workshop, COMICOMMUNITY, as part of Discover Young Hackney. 

The five-day event saw young people create a range of dynamic art - from comic strips and sketches to graphic design work - all of which was on display at Shoreditch Live’s art exhibition. 

Rosie Griffin, 21, said: “I really like the venue and I think it’s good to get young people’s art out there. If I was younger, I think it would be good to have my art up in a cool venue like this - somewhere outside the school environment. I think it’ll really motivate young people to get into art.”

Following on with the events youth-led ethos, the performance line-up was chosen by Hackney Music Service, which works to make music a universally accessible activity for children and young people in the borough.

Ned Corney, 14, said: “My parents suggested that I come to this event, and I’m enjoying it so far. I really like the music! I haven’t seen the art exhibitions yet, but I’ve heard from other people that they’re good.”

Drop-in arts and illustration workshops were running throughout the day for those who were feeling creative, and attendees were encouraged to let their imaginations run wild and test out their street art skills in a graffiti corner run by Snooze Fabric, a local art duo comprised of knitwear designer Romany Taylor and Illustrator Wayne Murray.

Guests also enjoyed jerk chicken, rice, peas and noodles from the Waterhouse Restaurant, a social initiative from local charity Shoreditch Trust, which offers chef-training, independent living advice and pastoral support to local young people.

Elvia, 38, who was at the event with her husband, Jose, 43, said: “I think it’s very creative for young people, and it’s good to have an event like this, to keep young people off the streets and give them something positive to do. I like the vibrancy of this event - things like this make your imagination work.”

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Education
Events like this provide a myriad of opportunities for young people to discover new interests, build their confidence, make new friends and get in touch with their creative sides in a fun, welcoming and encouraging environment - which is the ethos behind our annual Discover Young Hackney arts festival. 

So far, this year’s programme has seen local young people create their own African jewellery and bags, rewrite Shakespeare for the 21st Century, network with industry professionals, and more. We look forward to seeing what the rest of summer has in store for our dynamic arts programme.
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Education