Celebrating Sanctuary is an extraordinary event which gathers together musicians, dancers and artists from all corners of the globe to celebrate the positive cultural contribution of refugees to the UK. Now in its eight year, Celebrating Sanctuary demonstrates that such a vibrant panorama of sight, sound, aroma and taste would not exist had it not been for the UK's hard won tradition of providing sanctuary to those fleeing persecution from many parts of the globe.
Highlights at this year's event include performances by the first and leading Palestinian hip-hop group DAM (Da Arabian MC's), Somalia's powerful and hugely popular female vocalist Maryam Mursal, hip-hop/drum 'n' bass 8-piece outfit Emunah (Israel, Palestine, Pakistan, Russia) and the 15-piece group The Destroyers (Balkans) with their take on traditional arrangements from Eastern Europe.
The splendour of a traditional yurt (nomadic tent) provides the backdrop for performances by Ahwazi Group (West Iraq), Oleg Yanushevfsky's Terra Trio (Russia), Alem Franck Trio (Eritrea), Duong Yang (China), Trio Lokito (Cuba/Congo) and Ayer Y Hoy (Peru).
Celebrating Sanctuary includes performances as a result of special workshops led by London-based artist, Anusha Subrananyam with pupils at Lilian Bayliss School, a local secondary school where 25 young people aged 13-19 took part in workshops in Bharatanatyam dance and storytelling. The project helps raise awareness of refugees in the UK, and some of the historical traditions of South Asia.
There is also a dance stage, spoken word stage and workshop activities for children.
The event will also boast a multitude of stalls selling mouth-watering dishes and thirst-quenching drinks from all over the world plus food and information stalls in the Festival marketplace.