DAGFEST is Dagenham’s outdoor festival of circus, music, street theatre and dance. In 2016 it featured over 280 multi-talented homegrown and international performers from across the UK, France, Spain and Belgium.
Highlights from DAGFEST 2016 included: Osadia, flamboyant Spanish hairdressers who transformed festival-goers hair into sculptural works of art, Folk Dance Remixed who mixed up traditional English country dancing with hip hop, punk performance painter Jon Hicks, hilarious high-flying acrobatic show ‘Dynamite and Poetry’ from 15ft 6, the ‘Audience Orchestra’ where festival goers created a new symphony using everyday sounds and objects like balloons, plastic bottles and pots and pans, Harald Smykla the artist who created incredible art from everyday objects like fruit, veg and £5 notes and the wonderful giant, mechanical and wooden games of Tombs Creatius.
Plus brilliant dance performances from multi-talented local stars: Konverse, Mature Movers, Bouddicea, Triangoals, Pulse Dance, Koby Turner, Versatile and Community Concord, and music from Bollywood Brass Band, the award winning Ripple School Samba Group and the Community Music Service Intermediate Brass Band.
We also had a huge range of food drink and craft stalls, face painting, temporary tattoos, bouncy castles and comedy walkabout theatre performances including Granny Turismo, Vegetable Nannies and Balloonatic.
DAGFEST is curated by a steering group of local residents and produced by Creative Barking and Dagenham.
A big thanks to all the Dagfest steering group members for their great ideas, enthusiasm and time. And special thanks to Wendy and Steve from Dagenham Parish Church for hosting our meetings and being so helpful and generous with their time and infrastructure for the festival.
We are very grateful for generous financial and infrastructure support from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Arts Council England and East Thames which makes DAGFEST possible.
We're also delighted to be part of the Global Streets Consortium led by Greenwich and Docklands International Festival which has enabled us to present the Audience Orchestra during DAGFEST this year!
Photo credits: Anita Adeshina, Jaybright Photography, Dabuju Media, and Georgia M Whyte