Festival brings creative smorgasbord to Holloway

PUBLISHED: 10:30 31 May 2013

The Mayton Street party signals the start of the Holloway Arts Festival

The Mayton Street party signals the start of the Holloway Arts Festival

Dieter Perry

Drunken fortune tellers, a gothic branch of the Women’s Institute and a mass zumba dance are the order of the day at the Holloway Arts Festival.

The celebration of all things creative, now in its 11th year, runs across Holloway for eight days starting on Saturday.

The big curtain raiser is the Mayton Street Festival, where the fun of the seaside will be brought to landlocked Zone 2 at a beach-themed party – The End of The Pier.


The street will be shut off to traffic and filled with music, dance, a carnival and a pop-up show from The Pandemonium Performers, who took part in the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Other highlights include a performance from people’s poet laureate John Hegley, cabaret act Project Adorno and a talk from world-renowned gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

On Monday there will be a conference on how the arts can be made more accessible to all, something Ruth Robinson, director of Rowan Arts which organises the festival, is keen to emphasise.

She said: “Some people want to keep art for themselves. Part of the problem is calling things ‘the arts’.

People think it’s posh and not for them, whereas if you just call it music, or theatre, they don’t.

“That’s what the festival is about – everyone should enjoy art. We never have a problem at the festival, people always enjoy themselves.

“The Mayton Street event will be fantastic – who knew there is a gothic branch of the WI? That’s very Holloway. The whole street will be dressed up like a pier and there are art workshops for people to have a go at.”

Another eagerly anticipated event is the final of the singer/songwriter competition at the Horatio pub, Holloway Road, next Thursday.

A previous winner has since found national success with her band Wolf Alice.

“Holloway is a great area,” said Ms Robinson, “a bit gritty, but it’s really nice to see the same faces coming back each year.”

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