Thousands turn out for RESPECT 2006

Brent Council’s Respect Festival 2006 (16 July) was an overwhelming success as over 20,000 people turned up in Roundwood Park to celebrate cultural diversity.

With the sun beaming down visitors joined musicians and dancers for an afternoon of great fun and entertainment.

Headlining was legendary ska band, The Beat. Their hour-long set included the hits, ‘Hands Off She’s Mine’ and ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’ as well as other favourites from the late 70s and early 80s 2-Tone era.

The festival, organised by Brent council, is now in its fourth year and due to its popularity has become an annual fixture, complementing the Mayor of London’s RISE event. This year there were 20 workshops, with everything from live music, sports demonstrations, a dance arena, a healing and treatment zone and a market area with examples of world cuisine.

Other musical acts in the world-class line up included the Federation of Reggae Music, Neasden-based favourites, Adanta, with their ever-popular African dance, drumming and acrobatics, as well as multi-cultural ensemble Berakah, making a welcome return this year fusing Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditional music.

The Dance Stage included performers included African, Bollywood, Classical Indian and Street Dance, while younger festival-goers could choose from face-painting, mask-making and
story-telling.

Cllr. Bertha Joseph, Mayor of Brent, said: “It’s been a fantastic day once again. The Respect Festival, which is getting bigger and better each year, is a celebration of the borough’s diversity and it’s good to see so many people getting together in this beautiful park to join in.”

The waste and rubbish from the event will be recycled where possible and metals, plastics, compost and glass can all be re-used. Vashti Waite, Festivals Officer at Brent Council, said: “The team carrying out the clean up have been impressed with how conscious people were of recycling on the day, using the allocated waste bins for specific types of rubbish. Brent residents awareness of recycling issues, plus a well organised team cleaning up, means that we may be able to recycle up to 50 percent of waste from this year’s Respect Festival.”

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